For most in the design industry, overwhelming growth and unprecedented challenges have been the hallmark of the past two years—now we’ve arrived at a pivotal moment. Design firms have been strapped for talent and struggling with lagging lead times. Some of that may now be changing—but at what cost? Manufacturers are catching up on their backlogs yet only thanks to a sudden drop in demand. Will designers soon face those same headwinds? And for firms that have pivoted to “bigger, better” jobs amid a climate that allows choosiness, will that shift stick? Business of Home’s fourth annual Future of Home conference will seek to shed light on these issues and more in a thought-provoking two-day event taking place on September 12 and 13 in New York.
Throughout the conference, engaging panels and keynotes will probe the questions simmering in the industry: How are companies finding success while scaling services? How can we build a better supply chain and lessen the industry’s environmental impact? How should home furnishings brands operate in a world where the boundaries between physical and digital shopping are blurred?
Future of Home taps economists, futurists, thought leaders, analysts and entrepreneurs for conversations that will challenge attendees to envision the industry’s future in a post-pandemic world—including acclaimed entrepreneur and “startup whisperer” Alexa von Tobel, who will share her rules for entrepreneurial success and analyze the current economic climate; designer Caleb Anderson and his partner, DeAndre DeVane, who will debut a new initiative focused on a healthier framework for work and life; and AphroChic founders Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason, who offer a first look at their forthcoming book about the legacy of the Black family home.
“As Future of Home returns to in-person-only programming this year, we look forward to helping design industry professionals navigate the nuances of pandemic-driven trends that will impact the industry for years to come,” said Julia Noran Johnston, president and founder of Business of Home. “Our goal is to give business owners and professionals the platform they need to connect with peers about current challenges, promising solutions and how we can shape the future of design.”
Future of Home is sponsored by design industry go-tos including High Point Market Authority, Benjamin Moore, Hunter Douglas, Universal Furniture, Afterpay, The Tile Shop, Brizo, Polished, Parachute, Crypton Home Fabric and EQ3.
Here’s a glimpse at a few of the provocative conversations that will unfold on the Future of Home stage. New speakers will continue to be added to the lineup, so keep checking in here.
In challenging conditions, designers have found forward-thinking ways to maximize the opportunities at hand. For Arianne Bellizaire, establishing a clear path to bigger, better projects and airtight systems were the key to growth; for Carmeon Hamilton, authenticity and clearly communicated boundaries in every part of her business was a winning approach to attracting new design clients and brand partners. Meanwhile, designers Tina Ramchandani, Katie Rosenfeld and Kobel + Co principals Elizabeth Bennett and Mallory Robins team up to share how venturing into virtual services—whether through a platform or on their own—has become a lucrative new arm of their businesses, while Netflix stars Adair Curtis and Erik Curtis showcase surprising ways to complete a project on a tight timeline. No matter the medium, these solutions just might be the thought-starters you need to kick your own business into high gear.
MENTAL FITNESS IN THE OFFICE
The business community is finally beginning to grapple with the fact that stress, burnout and anxiety can drastically affect a company’s bottom line. To be successful today, business leaders and employees need to be emotionally and physically healthy. For solutions around baking wellness into your business, renowned psychologist Dr. Emily Anhalt will explore the importance of supporting yourself and your team by developing emotional fitness; The Simply Well founder Amanda Hilton will share steps leaders can take to create an environment where creativity, relationships and business flourish; and designer Gala Magriñá will explain how holistic design can become the foundation of a firm’s identity.
As customers increasingly expect to connect with brands across different channels, both online and off, businesses are looking to diversify their marketing approach. Digital strategy consultant Clark Boyd will share an omnichannel blueprint that any design brand can put into practice; designer and influencer Athena Calderone explaining how to turn curation into commerce; and author and former LVMH North America chairman Pauline Brown will outline the fundamental steps for translating good taste into commercial success.
DESIGN IN THE DIGITAL WORLD
Still not sure what to make of the metaverse? That’s OK. At Future of Home, experts and entrepreneurs will showcase how to make the most of this sprawling digital landscape. One way to think of it is as an enhancement of the physical world—to explain how, David Truog, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, will highlight some of the ways the metaverse offers a profoundly human experience. Meanwhile, founder of online art platform Minted Mariam Naficy and designer India Mahdavi will discuss how NFTs and digital art will affect the future of the physical space and why designers are key to unlocking this newest of mediums.
Future of Home will be held at Chelsea Industrial in New York (535–549 West 28th Street) on September 12 and 13. Tickets are on sale now. To see the full lineup and purchase tickets, click here.