AN INTERVIEW WITH RANDY FISER, CEO, AMERICAN SOCIETY OF INTERIOR DESIGNERS WITHOUT A DOUBT, RANDY FISER, HONORABLE FELLOW OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF INTERIOR DESIGNERS, understands the impact of great design. As CEO of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) for the past six years, Fiser works with interior designers across North America as a leading voice describing the power of design to positively impact people’s lives. We sat down with him to discuss the benefits of hiring a design professional to maximize a space and improve an occupant’s health and well-being. Q. What are the most important things consumers need to know about the interior design profession? A. The interior design profession is a robust occupation in which designers capture a client’s lifestyle and expectations to execute a project to maximize functionality. A good designer also has the ability to build a rapport with the client, ensuring that their vision for the home comes to life. In addition, they also need to be very familiar with materials that are aesthetically pleasing, but also healthy and sustainable. Interior designers must understand people as much as they know the practice of design. This is beyond residential. Interior designers build spaces for healthcare, workplace, education, hospitality, and all other places where we live, work, play, and heal. Q. With countless resources on the Internet for consumers to gain access to design tools and products, how does the design professional navigate the relationship with the consumer? A. Consumers want to work with a professional that taps into their personal desires for a space to better reflect (in the home) who they are as people and can have a positive effect on their health and well-being. Online services may not be as personal, making it difficult to design a space that will have a positive impact on the lives of people in the space. These services may provide some materials to consumers, but not as much of the personal rapport that they would receive when working directly with a design professional. Developing a relationship with your designer is important in reflecting yourself in a space. Much of what an interior designer does is create a space that is unique to the owner. Q. How often do you see designers partnering with real estate professionals to benefit the buyer and the seller? A. Closer relationships between agents and designers can help a client navigate the design process and ensure that when it is time to sell the home, the space is marketable to new buyers. I have seen some real estate agents take designers to properties to ensure that the buyers make the space their own, but, right now, I don’t think it happens enough. Through a partnership with an interior designer and a real estate agent, new owners can create a space that is personal and functional. Q. What are some examples of “good design” where the design professional added unique and demonstrable value? A. One example is customization. There are always mass-produced pieces that you can purchase and add, however, if the client wants something truly unique like a custom wall piece or are in need of a smaller sofa, that should be made for them. These customized elements add unique value to the home and bring joy to the owner. Another example of good design is incorporating elements that improve your health and well-being. Everything from circadian (24-hour) lighting to biophilic designs (which can reduce stress) are environmental improvements that can positively impact a homeowner’s well-being. Q. How can consumers know that the design professional they commission is an experienced professional? A. One of the ways to know someone is qualified is through certification. ASID offers several categories of membership so that consumers know that their designer is an experienced professional. Allied ASID membership is open to members who have completed an interior design degree program from an accredited institution, Associate members have a minimum of 6 years of experience in interior design, and the Professional ASID membership is for members who successfully completed examination to show that they understand technical issues that support the health, safety, and welfare of the people within a space. RANDY FISER LEADS THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF INTERIOR DESIGNERS (ASID) AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, OVERSEEING THE STRATEGIC PLANNING, FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT, AND NATIONAL OPERATIONS FOR THE SOCIETY’S MORE THAN 25,000 MEMBERS WHO WORK ACROSS ALL SECTORS OF RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL INTERIOR DESIGN He leads the network of 48 ASID chapters throughout the United States and Canada to advance the profession and to communicate the impact of interior design to enhance the human experience and to transform lives. Dedicated to advancing community and economic development, Fiser brings to his role a unique point of view about the capacity of design to make a positive impact on human health, well-being, and productivity.
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