During the outbreak, and with all the social distancing and home isolation measures in place, interior design can serve two purposes. It can offer both a pragmatic solution to beautifying and optimizing the space where we spend 99% of our time, and it can be the perfect escapism tool.
Some interior design Instagram accounts offer great tips for how to go about separating work and play during these trying times, while others are simply the best break from the bleak news, offering cozy or energizing glimpses into what has become “the great indoors.”
Professionals in the interior design industry are currently dealing with their own set of challenges, trying to create a space for beauty, color, symmetry and function in a world that is slightly out of balance for the time being.
To find out more about how the most recent events have impacted designers, what their challenges are and how they are optimizing their business to meet and overcome these challenges, we talked to Suzanne Wilkinson, a Principal at interior design firm figure3. She told us about the changes she noticed and offered some amazing tips on how this period can be turned into a learning experience.
What are some of your biggest concerns and the greatest challenges you are currently dealing with?
“The biggest concern for the interior design industry, like all others, is the uncertainty and ensuring everyone can stay healthy. Everyone has been hit with this major challenge, so we’re all finding ways to keep the business strong and moving forward.”
What are some of the solutions and ideas that you think will help limit the ripples of the outbreak in the interior design industry?
“Ensuring positive morale and staying connected with staff and clients is more important now than ever. Technology is amazing in such circumstances, as it helps us stay connected where we couldn’t before, whether it be on platforms such as WebEx, GoToMeeting, or Microsoft Teams. Culture is being kept alive, but in different ways. We’re using these technologies to continue with our site reviews and meetings, but now with video calls and photography instead of in-person.
We’re actually having more impromptu conversations with our clients as we work through each project. We’re finding the communication more empathetic, patient, and understanding, as we all know we’re in this together. People are often at their best when faced with a common challenge. We’re having video calls with our consultants, and there’s a sense of realism when you can see children or pets in the background. It’s connecting people in new ways, and we’re definitely seeing a positive outcome from it.
It’s definitely a good opportunity for us all to take a step back and look at the big picture. As a business, we’re thinking in more innovative ways about our processes, and we’re becoming more nimble and responsive which is positive.”
With 25 years of business success, figure3 is Canada’s largest independently-owned interior design firm influencing how we work, live, and explore.
Invoking design research and brand strategy, figure3 takes an in-depth look at the intersection of human behavior and client goals to rethink the physical environment, connecting people to place.
Based in Toronto, figure3 has a studio of 60+ designers, and works with some of the world’s largest and most exciting companies.