Multi-Generational Design and A Focus on Aging in Place – Wellness & Design Thought Leadership Series | 358 | Andrea Hysmith

I’m Josh Cooperman, this is Convo By Design and just like that it’s 2022. Where did 2021 go? Same place 2020 went, in the annals of history as a year the design industry (or any industry for that matter) will soon forget. We made it through and as this tight knit group of creatives and seekers of creativity did at the end of 2020, we lean into 2022 with high hopes. I wanted to start off the year with a new installment of the Wellness and Design Thought Leadership Series presented by ThermaSol. that deals with, among other things, the idea of aging in place and designing with that in mind. Andrea Hysmith is the founder and principal designer behind ASH Interiors and Design. Her Ellicott City, Maryland firm specialize in crafting design that evolves in tandem with stage of life. Hysmith is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. We are going to get into that in just a moment.

An announcement. A big one and this is something I am so excited about that it really has been a challenge not to talk about it already… 

Convo By Design presents the 2022 Remote Design House | Tulsa. A unique idea around an equally unique show house. I have been wanting to do another design house project for many years now, but the right opportunity had not presented itself. Sure, there were projects, but none were right for me. Then, the pandemic hit. Here I was, producing a podcast for 8 years and all of a sudden, the entire industry stops working in an office and trying to figure out what the future of design is even going to look like. I am going to go a bit further down that rabbit hole in future episodes. Right now, I want to tell you where this is all going. In the first 200 days of the pandemic, I recorded over 100 interviews, conversations and panels. Like you probably did, I dived into the work, for two reasons. The first was to keep myself from going crazy with a family of four in a small house, trying to keep everyone calm and not lose my cool in the face of something scary and unknown. The second part was a strong belief at the time that our industry was on the precipice of something amazing. I had no idea that the product would be in short supply until the summer of 2020. I was on a run in Manhattan Beach, California on day, unable to run along the Strand, I was forced into a neighboring alley and noticed all of the boxes awaiting trash pickup. I started counting and identifying the boxes which became a hobby and way on passing the miles while running through mostly empty streets and alleys. The boxes were TV’s, appliances, office furniture and equipment. There were fitness equipment boxes and all kinds of design materials and product. I remember the “a-ha” moment for me was later in the Fall. I had completed recording and airing a series called, “Designing for Disaster.” You can still find these episodes in the CXD stream.

Designers architects were telling me that, of their clients, the ones that could were escaping to mountain, beach and more remote locations to live this out and using the opportunity to remodel both homes. Designers and architects, you know this… You have been busy ever since. Part of this new professional reality meant that embracing the new technology like Zoom, Slack, Base Camp, Microsoft Office and Google Drive was now a mandatory part of their jobs. This also meant that they would be required to design from a distance. That is something that represents the most revolutionary element for the design trade. How can you continue to work with your clients, now on the move and do what you do which traditionally was almost all in person and face to face.

I wanted to find out and so here we are in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a really special project house that is going to be reimagined by some of the world’s most talented creatives, none of whom are from Tulsa, this house is real and and the design is completely remote, the meets are all virtual and the work is being completed locally by local craftsmen, artisans and tradesmen. I haven’t seen a project like this before, so I really don’t have anything with which to compare it. So, we will learn together. Episodes featuring the designers and design partners are coming soon.

Speaking of amazing partners.

If you have been listening to Convo By Design for a while, you have heard me tell you about Article. Great style really is simple with Article. Things have been challenging for design professionals and their clients, you know this, what you might not know is that it doesn’t have to be if you are looking for exceptionally beautiful modern furniture. Article provides a simple and easy way to creating a beautiful modern space. Because Article works direct with their manufacturers on production of unique and stunning pieces, then they work directly by providing this well crafted design directly to you. This direct relationship means you aren’t wondering where your furniture is, AND you are getting it for an incredible value.  Even more… Their culture and service are rooted in their core values, Customer Obsession, Do it differently, Ownership Mindset, Win together. If you are a designer, architect or residential developer you must check out their Trade Program. Discounts, special support and exclusive perks. Article has the beautiful modern furniture you’re looking for. Check them out.

Thank you, Andrea. I appreciate what you do and our time together. This has been another installment of the Wellness and Design Thought Leadership Series presented by ThermaSol. Thank you Walker Zanger for presenting Convo By Design. Thank you Article, York Wallcoverings and Franz Viegener for your partnership. You are remarkable partners and amazing allies for the trade. And, thank you for listening, remember why you do what you do and that the business of design is about making better the lives of those we serve. Until next week. Be well and take today first.