IIDA to open Middle East Chapter in May


Association claims global demographics and technology have drastically changed architecture and design over the last 10 years

UAE: IIDA will open a Middle East Chapter in May to coincide with The Office Exhibition May 15-17 at Dubai World Trade Centre.

The announcement was made during a network event for the architecture and design community organised by dmg :: events to publicise both The Office Exhibition and Index 2012 in September.


Cheryl Durst, executive vice president IIDA (International Interior Design Association), held a presentation on ‘Business of interior design – the work, the people, the process’ and talked about the chapter launch in the Q&A session.

Almost 200 people attended the networking event.

Durst said IIDA wants to create a community in the region to get closer to professionals in the industry and to give them content that will be useful to them.

“We are very excited about the IIDA Dubai launch and it’s great to get closer to the design community here. We look forward to expanding the group and offering additional services to members,” she added.

Speaking about design in the US versus Dubai, Durst said; ‘You do things big in Dubai. I had never seen a seven star hotel until I came here. Designers don’t have the constraints that they have in the US. There is a sense that you can do anything. A pioneer, an unbridled renegade spirit’.

“No other area has jumped so far so quickly, but, there is a strategy behind it. Design here is fuelled by process and strategy. I am cautiously optimistic going forward,” she said.

“I think a lot more designers need to be more strategic about the services they offer to generate revenue. In the US, firms have taken on a ‘branding sensibility’, putting together a total identity package for each individual client.”

She added global demographics and technology have drastically changed architecture and design over the last 10 years.

Durst said a younger generation and social media has transformed how people think about their relationships at work and the office environment must respond to it.

“Worldwide, design is responding to a youth culture. The world is getting younger and the youth are more visually literate than their older counterparts. Lighting and colour are design priorities; as is speed. This demographic consumes their information in 15 second news feeds. Design must not only look great, it must function quickly,” she said.

While architects and designers have always been trained to create spatial environments in the context of the end user’s experience, IIDA says the influence of design in commercial environments is more pervasive than it has ever been.

“Design has always been about the experience, but that also extends to marketing. Brands these days are focused on experiential marketing and interiors are a big part of that visual language. It is no longer enough to just know design. You have to understand its place within the marketing mix; its influence on organisational behaviours.

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