ASID New York Metro’s new president-elect has big dreams for the stalwart organization. What’s on her agenda? Getting on-the-rise students, emerging designers and longtime pros to collaborate, not compete. Kim Hendrickson Radovich of Kim Radovich Interiors, whose term begins next fall, chats with EAL about what’s next.
What are some of the initiatives you hope to implement during your term?
My term begins next year. This year, my mission is to support the president, Bjorn Bjornsson. My focus is to work with him as a support system and with our board to implement all of his visions. One of them is, of course, our collaboration with Holiday House next week.
That said, my goal this year is to become super familiar with the design community that I’ll be working with at ASID, and bring back those who were a little disenchanted and trickled away; those members who felt they didn’t have the design community that they thought they had when they originally became members.
There was always a great cachet to ASID. When I was studying at Parsons, that was the goal: to really understand the craft, hone our skills, understand the history of our profession. There was a lot of integrity. In this day and age of HGTV and DIY, everyone’s a decorator, everyone’s an interior designer. [But there] are those of us who work very, very hard to get design firms going. I think it’s time we bring the integrity of the industry back to where it needs to be.
You’ve said that you’ll be bringing ASID designers of all stripes together. Tell us more about that.
We have a very diverse community, especially in age. Across the board, there’s an enormous population in ASID of second-career [designers], as well as many emerging professionals coming up right out of school or interning with a design firm for a year or two. There needs to be a meeting of these minds. A learning curve exists for those designers who didn’t hone their social media skills—maybe age 45 and above, who have big books of business and are really successful. But there’s a lot to teach ... there’s a place to meet.
It’s all about the empowerment of my colleagues. We are not necessarily the best businesspeople. I have learned how to balance the two [art and business]. I learned how to run a business. I think designers need that support.
We need to send this message out: There is a value to our services. I want to talk about contracts, getting paid [and different angles of the business]. I do roundtables all the time and I think it’s really important that we share challenges we all face so that we can empower each other. That’s my goal: to share, teach students, teach emerging professionals and teach colleagues. Share with one another so we can empower ourselves to be a strong organization.
What are ASID’s strengths as an organization? Weaknesses?
A weakness is that designers felt they weren’t getting anything. They’d pay their dues, but what were they getting out of it? [Back in the day] there was this great cachet; it was really difficult to become a member and all of these talented professionals ... were really proud to be an ASID member.
Times have changed. That competitive nature that I talked about previously is really changing in our universe. I think we’re all learning that by supporting one another, we’re stronger together. It’s perfect timing that we’ve had changes within the leadership at NY Metro and this is a philosophy we all really do share. That said, the strengths of the organization are very apparent: We have a beautiful magazine, DESIGN. Not only is it beautiful but it highlights emerging designers and new members. We’re making an effort to highlight and feature designers making news in the industry.
Additionally, our role in ICFF was really strong this year; with [judging] the Architectural Digest show, we took a front seat there and are going to take a role this coming year. We’ve reached out to the industry professionals and sponsors like Benjamin Moore, Theodore Alexander, Kravet. They are really excited about partnering with us and growing this organization. I think when people of like mind come together, it’s a different level of networking. It’s not just giving them bad hors d’oeuvres and cheap wine. This is about community and support. That’s the most important message we can give to our constituents. We want to raise everyone up.