i+s Editor-in-Chief AnnMarie Martin Says Quit Whinin'

Sept. 30, 2015
AnnMarie Martin expounds on the importance of getting [expletive deleted] done

That phrase has many meanings, as I recently found myself on a cross country journey to our publishing headquarters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. So first, it refers to all the muttered obscenities, huffing and puffing, and eye rolls I delivered through all the delays, turbulence, and connections I suffered through to get there.

Yes, I can be a bit of a drama queen when it comes to air travel.

But moving on. The second meaning is the story that’s really begging to be told: the pit stop I made in Austin at the tail end of the trip for a little event called the IIDA’s First Annual Advocacy Symposium. And it delivered exactly the type of wake-up call I needed to get me in the right frame of mind to put this issue together. It was a reminder of just how much your jobs matter in society, but more importantly how to make others understand that, particularly local legislators.

Speakers included Texas State Rep. Celia Israel, lobbyists from the Graydon Group in town, and IIDA CEO Cheryl S. Durst who led an inspiring opening session that got the crowd revved up for the weekend. But the real breakout star was Ryan Ben, chapter relations manager at IIDA HQ, who preached to the congregation about getting (and staying) energized about advocacy and civic engagement.

His overall message?

Let’s get some shit done.

So allow me to second his point and say let’s stop the bitching and start the doing.

In many ways, the Impact of Design issue is the most important one we put together all year. Because it’s a yearly illustration of how deeply woven into the fabric of society you are as interior designers. Your jobs do directly affect the health and well-being of citizens, especially as commercial designers. So you, me, all of us—we have no excuse not to be advocates for this profession.

If you’re not, “you can pack up and leave right now,” Durst told attendees.

True advocates know thy friend and know thy enemy and with one third of IIDA members also serving as AIA members, Durst suggested, “We have to get over the fact that architects are our enemies.” It’s not their fault if you aren’t out there, aware, well-versed, and fighting for or against legislation that directly affects your jobs. And the fight for licensure is just the beginning…

Find out what's going on in your state and get your voice heard on the floor, rather than just on Facebook. Rely on amazing organizations like IIDA to show you exactly how to do it. We’ll do full coverage of the symposium in November, but until then check out their advocacy “toolkit” at the following link:

And remember, nothing worth doing ever came easy. Ask Melanie Bahl and Amy Combs, two speakers at the symposium and board members of IDEAL (Interior Design Education and Legislation) for Utah ( Contact them to hear their story of how they got some shit done. It is just one of many.

I hope the following pages will serve as even further examples of how much of an impact you make on a daily basis and inspire you to do more for yourself, your practice, and your colleagues.

AnnMarie Martin | Editor in Chief
[email protected]

About the Author

AnnMarie Martin | Editor-in-Chief

AnnMarie has been covering the commercial design space since 2005 and has been on the editorial staff at i+s since 2011. Her style and vision has helped the brand evolve into a thought leader in purpose-driven design and cultural movements shaping the way we live and work. She returned to the role of editor in chief at the start of 2023 and her journalism and fiction writing background have helped to craft bi-monthly issues that don’t just report the latest industry news, but tell a cohesive tale of some of the biggest topics facing designers today.

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