On October 7, NYSID hosted the symposium “Interior Design: The Essential Profession,” for a crowd composed equally of designers, design students and design writers. With a focus on the relevance of the field, keynote speaker Aaron Betsky, dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, set the tone for the day’s discussions with an investigation into the history of interior design’s relevance.
“The wonder of light entering a room caressing velvet, bringing to life the wrought silver, finding the beauty in everything that is all around us: This is the beauty of what interiors can do!” Betsky said during the morning keynote. “They can bring nature inside; they can bring the importance of a whole state into the carefully calibrated sequence of a formal grand palace. They can organize and give meaning to our daily lives.”
Additional sessions included a discussion with Verena Haller, John Zeisel, Patrick Burke and moderator Randy Fiser, focused on design’s impact in health care spaces; a conversation with John Czarnecki and Contract’s 2016 Designer of the Year Todd Heiser, principal at Gensler, on the next generation of workers and their needs; and an afternoon keynote, led by behavioral economist and author Dan Ariely, focused on interior design’s potential role in fighting obesity.
Metropolis Editor in Chief Susan Szenasy moderated a discussion with experts from the worlds of design, politics and education, including Rosalyn Cama, Susan Nagle, Edna Wells Handy, Jack Travis, Kate Wood, Scott Baytosh, Susan DiMotta, Andrew Dent, and Darris James, who spoke about their passions in and outside the field of design, as well as about the potential that interior design has to create change. Denise Guerin, author of the “Interior Design Body of Knowledge” studies, was on hand to conclude the symposium with a look back at the day’s findings.