After a seminar that I recently attended, a few fellow designers and I were discussing the economy and how it's affected our businesses. Here are the highlights of our conversation:
- Designers and builders are taking on smaller jobs than usual, with the expectation that working with these clients will lead to more work with them in the future.
- Designers are offering smaller mark-ups on fabrics and furnishings in order to ease costs for clients while still allowing the designer to make a reasonable profit.
- Designers have shied away from reducing hourly fees. Clients generally feel that the services and expertise that we offer is fairly priced.
- Service professionals are generally being much more flexible with regard to meeting times (more evenings and weekends) in order to accommodate working couples and people who don't feel they can be away from work for an extended period.
- Designers and builders are helping clients find cost effective/affordable solutions for kitchen and bath renovations, flooring, lighting and more by exploring different suppliers and materials. We've seen many do-it-yourselfers who wish to install certain items themselves.
- Some designers are seeing a higher percentage of staging or redecorating type projects (on a fixed or hourly basis).
- One designer that specializes in residential design still has many large clients, including several that are still proceeding with projects involving millions of dollars worth of furnishings, artwork, and renovations.
- A builder I spoke with is continuing with construction of multimillion dollar homes for several clients.
The next year or so will prove challenging for the design field. Personally, during any down time that I have, I continue to educate myself about new products, green applications, and the like.
There are a number of good Continuing Education resources for design and architecture professionals out there. We eventually plan to offer a Continuing Education Resource Center for design trade and other professionals here at InteriorDesignPartners.com, so please check back regularly for updates in this space.
In the meanwhile, we've recently published a list of good online resources for interior designers, architects, and landscape architects who may be seeking CEUs or other continuing education opportunities.
As many of you may know, the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) is responsible for administering all aspects of the LEED Professional Accreditation credentialing program, including exam development, registration, and delivery. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) continues to handle all development of the LEED Rating System and offers LEED-based educational programs.
Well, some significant changes are underway that will affect currently recognized LEED Accredited Professionals as well as individuals and businesses that wish to become newly accredited. New credentialing standards and certification designations were announced in November 2008 in order to address the fact that LEED AP credentialing had become somewhat watered down, both because of the sheer number of certified LEED APs (77,000+ at last count) and because the accreditation program did not require periodic retesting or continuing education. This has changed with the recently updated standards.
I recently came across this article
which I think sums up nicely the changes that are happening with regard to the LEED program.
Now that the 2008 Election season is over, that means that Build Boston
is nearly upon us.
Held at the Seaport World Trade Center, it's billed as "the premier regional tradeshow and convention for the design and construction industry". This year's event is being held from the 18th to the 20th of November.
At last check, the exhibitor list totaled more than 350 and more than 240 workshops
were planned. Architects, interior designers, and other industry professionals may earn continuing education credits by attending one or more of the Build Boston workshops or tours. For more details about the CEU and Learning Unit programs and contacts, click here
More than 16,000 building industry professionals attended Build Boston in 2007. Here's a photo from the 2007 event, courtesy of Boston Society of Architects/AIA
Hope to see you there!!