IIDA Notes: Sustainable and Smart Design

April 1, 2006
By Eric Engstrom, FIIDA
Sustainability is moving the profession forward; IIDA is ensuring designers are on board.

By Eric Engstrom, FIIDA

Backed by the ever-growing platform of sustainable design research and case studies, IIDA is committed to serving as a prime resource for designers looking to make smart decisions with their design solutions. Sustainable design is just one of the many elements that platforms good design and IIDA is working to help cut through the clutter of information. Our stance is clearly articulated in our mission statement: "IIDA seeks to promote awareness and knowledge of interior design strategies that reduce negative impacts on our natural environment and improve the health and well being of all people."

Toward this end, the association will be hosting a variety of programs for designers looking to increase their knowledge of sustainable design practices. Sustainability is not just this year's or this decade's trend, but an integral part of our design responsibility—now and in the future.

With a revitalized EnvironDesign 10 taking place in Toronto this April, we invite Interiors & Sources readers to stop by our IIDA booth for more information about how IIDA can support your professional development. EnvironDesign is a premier annual conference showcasing all that is truly revolutionary in advancements toward environmental stewardship and sustainable development in both the public and private sector; and IIDA is pleased to be able to take the lead in supporting this program. IIDA is known for spotlighting the best in design through our prestigious design competitions. In 2006, we are taking that role even further through three important programs: the Smart Interiors Competition, the Sustainable Leadership Awards, and the Sustainable Design Student Competition.

  • The first annual IIDA Smart Interiors Competition, co- sponsored by publishing partner Metropolis Magazine, honors projects that are environmentally and socially responsible as well as beautiful and functional. The competition is open to all interior designers and architects internationally. Projects up to five years old are eligible.
  • The Sustainable Design Student Competition, like the Smart Interiors Competition, honors outstanding project work that is responsible as well as functional—but in an arena exclusively judged between students. All students enrolled in a design program are eligible to compete in this design competition.
  • Additionally, IIDA has just completed the awards cycle for the Sustainable Leadership Awards for Design and Development. This ground- breaking, collaborative competition is co-sponsored by IIDA, CoreNet Global, and the AIA Committees on the Environment and Interior Architecture, and supported this year by underwriting sponsors Haworth, Tandus and Johnson Controls. The awards recognize those who lead by example, making sustainable design and development a cornerstone of their business practices. Awards are given to organizations in four categories: architecture and interior design; government or non-profit; for-profit companies under $5 billion in sales; and for-profit multi- national companies over $5 billion in sales.

It's not enough to spotlight the best practices of today. To stay on the forefront of design, IIDA is pleased to announce the formation of the IIDA Sustainable Advisory Committee to counsel the association on matters related to green design. Led by IIDA's Sustainability Forum Advisor, Ken Wilson, IIDA, AIA, LEED AP of Envision Design (Washington, D.C.) the group also includes recognized industry leaders including Elaine Aye, IIDA, LEED AP, Green Building Services, Inc. (Portland); Josie Briggs, IIDA, LEED AP, Studio Celadon (Seattle); Holley Henderson, IIDA, LEED AP, H2 Eco Design, LLC (Atlanta); Jill Kowalski, IIDA, LEED AP, Delaware Valley Green Building Council (Philadelphia); Brian Malarkey, IIDA, AIA, LEED AP, Kirksey (Houston); Linda Sorrento, IIDA, ASID, LEED AP, (South Riding, VA); and Cathy Stieg, IIDA, IDEC, LEED AP, Stieg Design Associates (Bainbridge Island, WA).

Further information about any of the initiatives outlined can be accessed at www.iida.org or by contacting IIDA Headquarters at (888) 799-4432 or [email protected]. IIDA takes pride in our commitment to best practices in design. We strive to be the premier resource for professional development options and are working toward making sure that our sustainable design programs will be of service to design professionals at every level of expertise in this critically important and ever-evolving topic.

  • Eric Engstrom, FIIDA, is president of IIDA, and founder and president of Engstrom Design Group (edg), San Rafael, CA. IIDA is headquartered in suite 13-500 at the Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL, and can be reached at (888) 799-IIDA; www.iida.org.

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