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Design Connections Education Recap

Oct. 29, 2015

Navigating the new classroom

Last month, Interiors & Sources and partner nGage Events expanded on our Design Connections live events platform by entering a new arena.

Design Connections Education blasted open a new market for this conference format that serves up a breath of fresh air. As a unique alternative to the traditional tradeshow, attendees and sponsors alike find it more engaging, fulfilling, and most importantly, profitable.

“It was a really good opportunity for us to have some genuine conversations,” said Wilson Chow, president of DCe sponsor OM, a seating manufacturer. “Whereas a lot of other events might advertise really good one-to-one connections, this one actually did come through.”

Fourteen product specialists joined 29 interior designers and architects for two days in West Palm Beach, Fla., at the perfectly serene PGA National Resort and Spa. And even if you’re not a golfer, the surroundings made it easy for guests to center themselves and revisit their goals and purpose in their fields.

“I loved the list of vendors. But more than anything I enjoyed the comradery with different professionals from all over the country, and finding out how we’re doing things regionally in different ways,” said Caryn Wohn, architect with Saphire-Albarran Architecture. “When we’re in our own bubble, wherever we are geographically located, we don’t often have that opportunity.”

Fellow attendee Toni Wyre, director of interiors at WER Architects, and an ASID ambassador agreed: “As designers we often get bogged down in the details of everyday life and coming to events like this and hearing from other thought leaders in my field makes me feel like I’m going to go back to work a better designer.”

With one-to-one meetings where designers and suppliers sit down for intimate conversations about their work, and boardroom sessions where vendors are able to address a larger group but still in a casual and warm atmosphere, everyone is able to achieve more meaningful connections.

Each Design Connections conference also delivers engaging and vital CEU sessions. For DCe, attendees could earn up to .7 credits from the Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC) for their attendance.

Our designer attendees shared their expertise across the board, from technology to new learning philosophies, libraries, how to build a cohesive brand for institutions, and of course how to implement the latest advancements in safety and security.

And we were honored to welcome architect Kevin Greischar, principal with DLR Group, as our keynote speaker. Greischar told the story of Joplin, Mo., and how he and his team rebuilt its high school (and by extension the community) after a devastating tornado hit in 2011.

Being tasked with such an emotionally raw project, he shared how the team was forced to do some soul-searching about their roles in society. He remembered watching a little girl walk into her school, look up and ask nobody in particular, “This is for me?”

It was a watershed moment in his career and hit home for everyone at the conference, reminding them of exactly how impactful their work can be.

We’re looking forward to continuing these conversations and more at Design Connections Healthcare in February 2016, which will be in its third year. To learn more or to see if you qualify for attendance, please visit our website at www.dsignconnections.com.

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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