ASID Shares Findings of '21 Outlook & State of Interior Design Report

Washington, DC, March 2, 2021-To keep interior design practitioners and professionals on the cusp of relevant changes as related to global trends, economic indicators and beyond, the American Society of Interior Designers ​(ASID) has released its annual Outlook and State of Interior Design Report. A summary of findings is below.

The report finds that health and wellness, long pillars of the ASID mission, have become top priorities for individuals and institutions. Additional findings that designers must bear in mind include:

Population age distribution is no longer a pyramid but a rectangle. ​Increases in the aging population and decreases in birth rate over time have transformed the population distribution, and each generation has different lifestyles and needs.

Economic and social inequalities will worsen due to the pandemic, but there is heightened awareness and efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion overall. Increased attention is being given to providing good design to everyone, creating a greater stock of affordable housing, adding diversity in leadership positions, and thinking about identity holistically.

The great pause of 2020 had people and organizations revisit fundamental values and lead meaningful transformations. The pursuit of wealth, security and health will drive life goals, but at different capacities and prioritizations.

Sustainability becomes a bottom-line concern. Companies will need to rethink their operations and their environmental impact as they face the potential economic costs of climate change. Organizations will want their business environments to reflect these values and want more information about sourcing, supply chain, methods of delivery and life cycle.

Virtual technologies will become more mainstream as a way of doing business, including how designers work. ​Both clients and employees will utilize visualization technologies to replicate the human interaction/experience in an actual physical environment and provide necessary services as best as possible.

The report also positions the interior design industry within the U.S. economy. While the recovery in 2021-22 may be slow, the overall outlook is positive, and growth of spending in the residential sector has made up for losses in the commercial space. It finds:

Real spending on furnishings and durable household equipment and the housing market have led the recovery. ​The pandemic escalated the need for improved living accommodations that resulted in the purchase of a home and/or renovation projects.

Pricing concerns will persist, impacting the bottom-line. ​Trade issues and inflation influence product and material pricing. Suppliers and now contractors have absorbed cost increases that resulted from the disruptions to supply chains and shifts in supply and demand from COVID-19. Continued unresolved trade concerns with various large regional powers, like Canada, Mexico, China, and the European Union (EU) play a pivotal role, as well.

Construction spending activity ​in commercial sectors will continue to suffer. Office, hospitality, and retail sectors that have been hit the hardest from the pandemic will experience stagnant recovery. Work in these sectors will focus on required updates in response to the pandemic.

The report also looks at the current state of the industry and profession, noting that interior design is on a strong path to recovery, thanks to the consistent firm and practitioner growth for more than the past five years. However, it faces challenges from talent shortage and diversity, and suggests that the profession must work together collectively to support emerging talent.

Related Topics:American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)