I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with a different perspective today. We’re hopping across the pond to hear from one of my new favorite design firms. From London, this is the mother and daughter team, Sarah and Rosie Ward from the Chelsea, London design firm, Ward & Co.
You will notice a few things about the following conversation. Strong design is universal. Good design relies talent, skill and a willingness to divorce oneself from their own personal style in favor of understanding what lies at the center of a client’s desires. Sarah and Rosie do that and it’s evident in their work. It’s also fun to have a conversation that spans international boundaries because while as humans we have similarities in needs and desires, the differences geographically are significant. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Sarah and Rosie of Ward & Co.
Thank you, Sarah and Rosie.I appreciate the time and insights. Thank you CXD partners, sponsors and friends ThermaSol, Moya Living, Design Hardware, the ICAA SoCal Chapter and The Oasis Alliance.
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to listen to the show. I hope you enjoy the show because that’s why I do this. I would also like to hear from you. I love the guest submissions and show ideas so keep them coming, email me email@example.com or message me on Instagram @convoxdesign, with an x.
Remember why you do what you do and for whom you do it. Let that be the thing that drives you to push the boundaries and let’s keep moving our industry forward. Be well, and until next week… Take today first. CXD
I’m Josh Cooperman and this is another edition of Business By Design, a special feature of the show. As previously mentioned, I am producing these ad hoc and I have something special for you today. But first…So you know, the following opinions are mine and do not represent or warranty any economic or future performance. We are not responsible for any gross factual errors voiced by guests, real or fake. There are no guarantees here, just ideas that have been constructed based on research so I suggest that you do your own research as well before acting on any of the ideas shared here. This is what those in the business call a disclaimer and it is meant to make sure you know that I am not giving you any financial advice, I am presenting ideas in the hopes that it gives you a way to perhaps think a bit differently about this business of ours.
Most of you have heard and might be curious about whats happening next in the business from a technological standpoint. There has been a lot of chatter recently about NFT’s, the metaverse and AI. At KBIS and Vegas Market recently, some creatives have expressed doubts, others concern and it makes sense. Years ago, I started tracking the amount of time designers and architectural firms spent of social media, marketing and other activities not directly related to the core business of the design practice and it has been astounding to see the time spent on these activities skyrocket. For me, as the host and publisher of Convo By design, it has been interesting to watch some designers really embrace media, writing blogs and some even recording their own podcasts. I love that because they got to see first hand just how difficult and time consuming it can be to do it right. That being said, we are entering a new era, one of artificial intelligence and that will have some very interesting effects on the business of design. and we are going to explore that very idea. Before I get to deep into this, I want to introduce me guest today. Meet AIDAAN (Artificial Intelligence Design And Architectural Narrarator).
As you might have guessed, AIDAAN is not human, he is as AI as it gets. I made a choice here, I gave AIDAAN an artificial sounding voice. There are some options out there that sound as real as any human. You have most likely already heard from or actually spoken with AI support and you might not even be aware. So, today on the show, we are going to hear from AIDAAN and they are going to tell you about various aspects and topics of the industry. I’m messing around with different voices and over time, I will begin to add more refined voices and we are going to learn together what that will sound like.
Something else you should know. The content you will be hearing about was not written by me, or any other human being for that matter. I have been using a few different AI sources like ChatGPT which is responsible for the actual content that AIDAAN is voicing. As a journalist, editorial integrity is of paramount importance to me so I am going to tell you when AI is responsible for producing the content you hear on the show.
So the first thing I wanted to know was the current state of the design and architecture industry. AIDAAN, take it away.
STATE OF DESIGN
The interior design industry is a vital part of the United States economy, providing jobs for thousands of designers, salespeople, and manufacturers across the country. From high-end residential projects to commercial spaces, the interior design industry has a wide range of applications and can be found in virtually every sector of the economy. In this article, we will explore the interior design industry as a business in the United States, examining the industry’s history, key players, and future prospects.
The history of interior design in the United States can be traced back to the early 20th century, when the emergence of the middle class led to a growing demand for comfortable, stylish homes. In the years that followed, the interior design industry grew rapidly, with designers like Elsie de Wolfe and Dorothy Draper pioneering new styles and techniques that helped to shape the look and feel of modern American homes.
In the post-World War II era, the interior design industry continued to expand, with designers like Raymond Loewy and Charles and Ray Eames revolutionizing the way we think about design. The emergence of the mid-century modern style, with its emphasis on clean lines, minimalism, and functionality, had a profound impact on the industry and helped to establish the United States as a leader in the world of design.
In the decades that followed, the interior design industry continued to grow and evolve, with designers and manufacturers constantly pushing the boundaries of what was possible. Today, the industry is a diverse and dynamic landscape, with a wide range of players and applications.
The interior design industry is made up of a wide range of players, from independent designers and boutique firms to large manufacturers and retailers. Some of the key players in the industry include:
Designers: Interior designers are the heart of the industry, providing creative solutions for residential and commercial spaces. Many designers work independently or as part of small firms, while others are employed by large companies or design studios.
Manufacturers: Furniture manufacturers and other companies that produce interior design products are an essential part of the industry. These companies may work with designers to create custom pieces or may sell their products directly to consumers through retail outlets.
Retailers: Retailers are an important part of the interior design industry, providing consumers with access to a wide range of products and services. Some retailers specialize in high-end luxury goods, while others cater to more budget-conscious shoppers.
Contractors: Contractors and construction companies play a key role in the interior design industry, providing the skills and expertise needed to transform spaces into beautiful, functional environments. Many interior designers work closely with contractors to ensure that their designs are executed to perfection.
Suppliers: Suppliers of materials and other products, such as fabric, wallpaper, and lighting, are an important part of the interior design industry. These companies provide the raw materials that designers need to create their designs and bring them to life.
The interior design industry is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, driven by a number of factors. One of the key drivers of growth is the increasing demand for personalized and unique interior design solutions. As consumers become more design-savvy and sophisticated, they are increasingly looking for interior design solutions that reflect their individual tastes and styles.
Another key factor driving growth in the industry is the increasing importance of sustainability and environmental responsibility. As consumers become more aware of the impact of their actions on the environment, they are looking for interior design solutions that are environmentally friendly and sustainable.
In addition to these factors, the growing importance of technology is also expected to have a significant impact on the interior design industry. From virtual reality to 3D printing, technology is enabling designers and manufacturers to create new and innovative products and services that were previously unimaginable.
Okay, so from the state of the industry to some of the players AIDAAN mentioned, let’s start with a classic,
Billy Baldwin was a man ahead of his time. Born in 1903, he was one of the most influential interior designers of the mid-20th century, renowned for his ability to create elegant, livable spaces that were both stylish and comfortable.
Growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, Billy had a keen eye for design from an early age. After attending the Parsons School of Design in New York City, he began his career as a window dresser for the prestigious department store, Bonwit Teller.
It wasn’t long before Billy was noticed by the city’s elite, who quickly began asking him to design their homes. His signature style was a blend of classic and modern elements, with an emphasis on comfort and practicality.
One of Billy’s most famous clients was Jackie Kennedy Onassis, who asked him to decorate her family’s home in Virginia. Billy’s design for the house was a masterful blend of traditional and modern styles, with clean lines, simple shapes, and a neutral color palette that emphasized the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Billy’s success continued throughout the 1950s and 60s, as he designed homes and offices for some of the most prominent names in entertainment, politics, and business. His work was characterized by a simplicity and elegance that set it apart from the more ornate and opulent styles of the time.
Despite his success, Billy was always humble and focused on his work. He believed that good design should be accessible to everyone, and he wrote several books on the subject to share his ideas and inspire others.
Today, Billy Baldwin’s legacy lives on, with his designs and ideas continuing to influence generations of interior designers. He was a true pioneer in the field, and his contributions to the world of design will always be remembered and celebrated.
Next, I wanted to see if AIDAAN could explain something a bit more esoteric, nuanced and industry specific. I wanted to know more about the
Parsons School of Design
Architecture, also known as Parsons or Parsons The New School for Design, is a private art and design college located in New York City, New York. It is widely regarded as one of the best design schools in the world, with a long history of producing innovative and influential designers, artists, and thinkers. In this article, we will explore the history, philosophy, and legacy of Parsons School of Design.
Parsons School of Design was founded in 1896 by American impressionist painter William Merritt Chase. Originally known as the Chase School, the institution was established to provide young artists with the opportunity to learn from working professionals in a supportive and collaborative environment.
In the early years, the school focused primarily on painting and drawing, with a curriculum that emphasized the importance of classical techniques and the study of nature. As the school grew, however, it began to expand its offerings to include other disciplines, such as graphic design, industrial design, and fashion design.
In 1904, the school was purchased by Frank Alvah Parsons, who served as the director of the school until his death in 1930. Parsons was a visionary educator who recognized the potential of design to transform society, and he was instrumental in expanding the school’s offerings and establishing its reputation as a leader in the field of design.
Under Parsons’ leadership, the school was renamed the New York School of Fine and Applied Art, and later the Parsons School of Design. During this time, the school attracted a wide range of talented artists and designers, including the likes of Norman Rockwell, Alexander Calder, and Donald Deskey.
In the years that followed, Parsons continued to evolve and adapt to changing trends in art and design. Today, it is recognized as one of the most innovative and forward-thinking design schools in the world, with a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and a commitment to social and environmental responsibility.
At its core, Parsons School of Design is guided by a philosophy that emphasizes creativity, experimentation, and innovation. The school’s curriculum is designed to encourage students to take risks, push boundaries, and explore new ideas and ways of thinking.
One of the key tenets of the Parsons philosophy is the idea that design can be a powerful force for positive change. Parsons students are encouraged to think critically about the social and environmental impact of their work, and to use their skills and creativity to address real-world problems and challenges.
Another important aspect of the Parsons philosophy is the school’s emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration. Parsons students are encouraged to work across disciplines and explore new ways of combining different forms of design, from fashion and architecture to graphic design and product design.
Throughout its history, Parsons has also been committed to providing its students with real-world experience and practical skills. The school has strong connections to industry leaders and professionals, and students have the opportunity to work on real-world projects and collaborate with established designers and firms.
Over the years, Parsons School of Design has produced a long list of influential and innovative designers and artists. From fashion icons like Donna Karan and Tom Ford to architects like David Rockwell and Steven Holl, Parsons graduates have had a significant impact on the world of design.
One of the most notable aspects of Parsons’ legacy is its focus on social and environmental responsibility. Many Parsons graduates have used their skills and creativity to address pressing global issues, from climate change and sustainability to social justice and equity.
Parsons has also been instrumental in shaping the cultural landscape of New York City and beyond. The school’s alumni have played a key role in shaping the fashion, art, and design scenes of the city, and its influence can be seen in everything from the public spaces and buildings of the city to the fashion runways and galleries of the world.
Is this as interesting to you as it is to me? I find this fascinating. So the final question I had for AIDAAN today, how will those in the design trade use AI to make life better, businessmore profitable and design more refined?
Artificial intelligence (AI) has become an essential tool in many industries, including design and architecture. The use of AI in these fields is changing the way designers and architects work, creating new opportunities for creativity and innovation. In this article, we will explore how designers and architects are using AI to make their work better for clients, how this is improving interior design and architecture, and how it is making life better.
How designers and architects will use artificial intelligence to make the work better for their clients:
a) Streamlining the design process:
AI is already being used to streamline the design process, reducing the time and effort required to complete projects. For example, some companies are using AI to automate the creation of 3D models, allowing designers to focus on other aspects of the project. This saves time and increases efficiency, which can ultimately result in cost savings for clients.
One of the most significant benefits of AI in design and architecture is the ability to customize designs to meet the specific needs of each client. AI can analyze data on client preferences, needs, and behaviors to create personalized designs that meet their unique requirements. This leads to more satisfied clients who feel that their needs have been heard and addressed.
c) Improved accuracy:
AI can also improve the accuracy of design work, reducing the risk of errors or mistakes. This is particularly important in fields like architecture, where errors can have serious consequences. By using AI to analyze data and create precise models, designers and architects can reduce the risk of errors and improve the overall quality of their work.
How this will improve interior design and architecture:
a) Better space planning:
AI can be used to analyze data on space usage and traffic flow to create more efficient and effective interior design plans. This can lead to better use of space, improved traffic flow, and ultimately, a better experience for users of the space.
b) Improved sustainability:
AI can also be used to improve the sustainability of interior design and architecture projects. For example, AI can analyze data on energy usage and building materials to create more sustainable designs that reduce energy consumption and waste.
c) Improved safety:
AI can also be used to improve the safety of interior design and architecture projects. For example, AI can analyze data on traffic flow and building usage to create designs that minimize the risk of accidents and injuries.
How this will make life better:
a) Increased accessibility:
AI can be used to create designs that are more accessible to people with disabilities. For example, AI can analyze data on the needs of people with disabilities to create designs that are easier to navigate and use.
b) Improved quality of life:
AI can also be used to improve the quality of life for people in interior design and architecture projects. For example, AI can be used to create designs that maximize natural light and reduce noise pollution, creating a more pleasant and comfortable environment for users.
c) Improved efficiency:
Finally, AI can be used to improve the efficiency of interior design and architecture projects, ultimately saving time and money for clients. By streamlining the design process and improving accuracy, designers and architects can complete projects more quickly and with fewer errors, resulting in cost savings for clients.
In conclusion, the use of AI in design and architecture is changing the way designers and architects work, creating new opportunities for creativity and innovation. By using AI to streamline the design process, improve accuracy, and customize designs, designers and architects can create better work for their clients. Additionally, the use of AI in interior design and architecture can improve space planning, sustainability, safety, accessibility, quality of life, and efficiency, ultimately making life better for all of us. As AI continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more exciting innovations in these fields in the years to come.
So, there you go. If you believe the machines, the state of design is strong. AI is real and this means there are new ways to use these new tools to make life better, work easier, advance innovation at a much faster pace and learn whats available sooner all while saving time and energy so you can both be more efficient and get more done. Now, can you use that additional time in a productive way or will that mean more time spent on social media? That is a personal question, but one that all of us need to ask ourselves. And, we will explore this further in the weeks and months to come.
AIDAAN, did you enjoy your first appearance on the show?
Thank you, to the amazing Convo By Design partners and sponsors, ThermaSol, Moya Living and Design Hardware. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to listen to the show. Please make sure you are subscribing to the show so you don’t miss a single episode. You can also follow along on Instagram for more fun and informative content. 2023 is shaping up to be another interesting year in design. As I have for the past 10, I will be bringing you the stories from across the globe here o n Convo By Design as well as design business insights on CXD’s The Business X Design.
Until the next episode, be well and take today first.