One of the best ways to continue to be inspired by your profession is to pursue opportunities in addition to your primary job. If you’re interested in becoming more involved in your profession, the resources below provide an excellent jumping point. There are industry associations and organizations to join, trade shows to attend, and competitions to enter your best work in. Become inspired!
International Interior Design Association (IIDA):
The vision and mission of the International Interior Design Association stands for the Future of Design. IIDA, with respect for past accomplishments of Interior Design leaders, strives to create a strong niche for the most talented and visionary Interior Design professionals, to elevate the profession to the level it warrants, and to lead the way for the next generation of Interior Design innovators. The Association provides a forum to demonstrate design professionals’ impact on the health, safety, wellbeing and virtual soul of the public, balancing passion for good design and strategy for best business practices. IIDA stands at the intersection of passion and strategy where designers create extraordinary interiors and experiences.
A Global Network: IIDA is committed to facilitating a global community for Members through the IIDA website. Through the site, you will be able to stay connected with your peers by viewing the Member-submitted events in the Event Calendar, reading articles written by or featuring Members in the Press Room, and linking to Twitter, Facebook and the IIDA blogs.
IIDA provides Members with the sources to attain expertise, knowledge and contacts. Chapters and City Centers are the visible strength of our Association, and their networking events allow professionals to connect on more personal levels that encourage trust, collaboration, and innovation. Use your contacts as leverage in seeking out opportunities and solidifying partnerships. The people you interact with form a microcosm of the Design World. – courtesy of IIDA
American Society of Interior Designers (ASID):
The core of the design community, the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is a community of people – designers, industry representatives, educators and students – committed to interior design. Through education, knowledge sharing, advocacy, community building and outreach, we strive to advance the interior design profession and, in the process, to demonstrate and celebrate the power of design to positively change people’s lives. More than 24,000 members engage in a variety of professional programs and activities through a network of 48 chapters throughout the United States and Canada.
Founded in 1975, ASID is the oldest, largest and leading professional organization for interior designers. The rich, vibrant history of the organization goes back much further, to the founding of its predecessor organizations, the American Institute of Interior Designers (AID) and the National Society of Interior Designers (NSID). The History of ASID: 30 Years of Advancing the Interior Design Profession was published in 2005 to commemorate the achievements of the Society’s first three decades.
ASID inspires and enriches members by promoting the value of interior design, while providing indispensable knowledge and experiences that build relationships. The Society’s nearly 13,500 practicing interior designers work in all areas of commercial and residential design. Professional members of ASID must pass rigorous acceptance standards, including a combination of accredited design education and/or full-time work experience and passage of a two-day accreditation examination administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). ASID Industry Partners include more than 2,000 Industry Partner member companies with 6,000 individual representatives, uniting the professional designer with manufacturers of design-related products and services.
The Society’s membership also includes nearly 5,000 students of interior design. ASID has more than 280 student chapters at colleges, universities and design schools with 2-year and 4-year programs throughout the U.S. as well as several “virtual” chapters through online institutions. – courtesy of ASID
American Institute of Architects (AIA):
Based in Washington, D.C., the AIA has been the leading professional membership association for licensed architects, emerging professionals, and allied partners since 1857. With nearly 300 TRANSIT state and local chapters, the AIA serves as the voice of the architecture profession and the resource for our members in service to society.
We carry out our goal through advocacy, information, and community. Each year the AIA
- Sponsors hundreds of continuing education experiences to help architects maintain their licensure
- Sets the industry standard in contract documents with more than 100 forms and contracts used in the design and construction industry
- Provides countless Web-based resources for emerging architecture professionals
- Conducts market research and provides analysis of the economic factors that affect the business of architecture
- Hosts the annual AIA National Convention and Design Exposition
- Serves as an advocate of the architecture profession
- Promotes design excellence and outstanding professional achievement through an awards program
AIA member groups help you meet like-minded architecture professionals who share the same interests, expertise, and experience; get to know each other; and stay informed of the latest issues and trends. – courtesy of AIA
International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI):
The International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers is the global voice and authority for professional Interior Architects/Designers. IFI is the sole international federating body for Interior Architecture/Design organizations, and acts as a global forum for the exchange and development of knowledge and experience, in worldwide education, research and practice. Often considered as the “United Nations” of the Interior Architecture/Design field, IFI connects the international community in order to further the impact, influence and application of the design of interiors, promote global social responsibility, and raise the status of the profession worldwide.
Founded in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1963 as an international not-for-profit, the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI) is the sole global authority for professional Interior Architects/Designers. Representing 270,000 designers, educators and industry stakeholders in the international design community in 110 countries , IFI furthers the dialogue exchange and development of knowledge and experience in education, research and practice, IFI impacts and influences the application of the design of interiors and the built environment. – courtesy of IFI
Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC):
The mission of The Interior Design Educators Council, Inc. is the advancement of interior design education, scholarship and service.
IDEC will be recognized as the leading association and authority on interior design education by:
- Advancing responsible design thinking through education, scholarship, and service.
- Advancing the interior design profession’s Body of Knowledge.
- Participating in leadership discussions and actions that affect the entire design community.
- Being the primary source of innovative interior design teaching resources.
- Being the leading venue for the publication, presentation, and dissemination of interior design scholarship.
- Preparing members for leadership roles in their academic institutions, communities, and the interior design profession at large.
- Providing support for the professional development of interior design educators at all professional levels.
Engaging interior design educators in service to the organization and to the greater community.
- We believe in the value of an accredited, formalized interior design education.
- We believe the preparation of an interior designer includes learning through formalized education, scholarship, and service.
- We believe the foundation of interior design education is grounded in ethics and encompasses environmental, cultural, social, global issues.
- We believe in an open dialogue and collaboration among colleagues.
- We believe a successful interior design education depends upon the participation of diverse groups of people.
– courtesy of IDEC
Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA):
Founded in 1965, the nonprofit Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) is one of the oldest and largest membership organizations for industrial design professionals. IDSA sponsors the annual International Design Excellence Awards® (IDEA), the world’s most prestigious industrial design honor, and its events, including an annual International Design Conference and five district conferences, bring together the brightest minds in the profession. INNOVATION, IDSA’s flagship publication, is a highly regarded magazine within the profession. IDSA has more than 3,200 members in 28 professional chapters in the US and internationally. To learn more about IDSA, visit www.idsa.org, and connect via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
What is ID?
Industrial Design (ID) is the professional service of creating products and systems that optimize function, value and appearance for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer.
Industrial designers develop products and systems through collection analysis and synthesis of data guided by the special requirements of their client and manufacturer. They prepare clear and concise recommendations through drawings, models, and descriptions. Industrial designers improve as well as create, and they often work within multi-disciplinary groups that include management, marketing, engineering and manufacturing specialists. Learn more about each step of the industrial design process at http://www.idsa.org/education/what-is-industrial-design. – courtesy of IDSA
Trade shows and fairs are excellent opportunities to experience new products in person, meet and network with your peers, and score CEU points. Below is a selection of North American trade shows.
2015 Dates: June 15, 16, 17
Location: Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL
NeoCon is the largest commercial interiors show in North America, taking place at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago since 1969. NeoCon today remains the premier platform for connecting, learning and doing business in the industry. The three-day event attracts nearly 50,000 design professionals and showcases more than 700 leading companies. With more than one million square feet of exhibition space, the show launches thousands of new products and covers a spectrum of vertical markets including workplace, healthcare, hospitality, retail, education, public spaces and government. The exhibition is complemented by first-class educational programming featuring more than 100 accredited seminars, association forums, special events and keynote presentations that showcase leading industry and business experts.
NeoCon is typically held in June of each year at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, IL. At the show, you’ll see fabric, furniture, flooring, interior building products, interior finishes, international partnerships and technology products. – courtesy of NeoCon
2015 Dates: October 28, 29
Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA
Known as the premier design expo and conference for commercial interiors on the east coast, NeoCon East, now entering its 13th year, continues to be the best place on the East Coast for the A&D community to see and specify the latest products and services across a wide spectrum of vertical markets. More than 250 innovative companies will showcase hot new products, visionary designs and cutting edge resources for the commercial interiors market.
The show’s new location at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia will enhance the NeoCon East experience and extend even greater benefits to attendees and exhibitors.
- Supported by GSA, NeoCon East features the largest concentration of products and services under GSA’s Multiple Awards Schedule Program.
- The show’s Fall timing coincides well with the federal budget cycle and is ideal for post-NeoCon product availability.
- NeoCon East features world class programming including keynote presentations by industry icons and more than 30+ CEU –accredited programs. New this year, NeoCon East will be co-located with AIA Philadelphia’s Design on the Delaware Conference.
- Who attends: architects, interior designers, federal procurement officers, facility managers, space planners, dealers/distributors, manufacturers/reps, corporate real estate executives, end users, office managers, purchasing managers, press, and students
- On exhibit: More than 250 top companies will showcase thousands of new products and services for workplace, government, healthcare, hospitality, retail, education and public space, including: accessories/worktools, interior building products, art, carpet, casegoods, files & storage, finishes & material, flooring, furniture, industry resources, lighting, moveable wall systems, seating, signage, stone and ceramic tile, sustainable products, systems furniture, technology, technology support, textiles and wall treatments.
Inspiring networking and social events with industry leading partners and strong regional organizations, including AIA and IIDA, will enhance the NeoCon East experience for attendees and exhibitors alike. – courtesy of NeoCon East
Greenbuild International Conference and Expo
2015 Dates: Expo – November 18, 19 / Conference – November 18, 19, 20
Location: Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC
Greenbuild is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. The green building community gathers to share ideals and mutual passion at Greenbuild, sparking a contagious buzz throughout the week. When industry leaders, experts and frontline professionals dedicated to sustainable building in their everyday work come together, the result is a unique and palpable energy. Participants are invigorated and inspired. They find themselves equipped to return to their jobs with a renewed sense of purpose.
Greenbuild features three groundbreaking days of inspiring speakers, invaluable networking opportunities, industry showcases, LEED workshops and tours of the host city’s green buildings. Join thousands of other people who agree that green building is a good idea and good for business.
Greenbuild provides the opportunity to visit with more than 550 suppliers and top manufacturers of the latest green building equipment, products, services and technology available in today’s market. Greenbuild’s diverse group of attendees include the following: architects, builders/contractors, building owners, code officials, developers, education/schools, engineers, financial service providers, green building thought leaders, government agencies, interior designers, sustainability officers, and utilities
Thousands of building professionals from all over the world will come together at Greenbuild 2015 for three days of outstanding educational sessions, renowned speakers and special seminars. Greenbuild education sessions are eligible for continuing education credits for a number of professional credentials and organizations. Click here to find out more about the renowned Greenbuild education program. – courtesy of Greenbuild
Living Product unExpo
2015 Dates: September 16, 17, 18
Location: David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA
The Living Product unExpo is a groundbreaking new event that will bring together leading minds in the product industry and ignite a revolution in the way materials are designed, manufactured and delivered. Sustainability directors from the world’s leading design firms, prominent manufacturers and sustainability consultants will gather to learn about game-changing innovations in product design.
In early April 2015, the International Living Future Institute launched the Living Product Challenge. This new program re-imagines the design and construction of products to function as elegantly and efficiently as anything found in the natural world. The unExpo will assemble a diverse group of people, industries and disciplines. Together, we will engage in a transparent, transdisciplinary and transformative dialogue to inspire the creation of the world’s first Living Products. Participants will gain new tools, knowledge and connections to effect positive change in their organizations and supply chains. – courtesy of ILFI
HD Expo: Hospitality Design Exposition & Conference
2015 Dates: May 13, 14, 15
Location: Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV
HD Expo is the premier trade show and hospitality conference for its industry. Established in 1992 and presented by Hospitality Design magazine, it remains at the forefront by offering the newest and most innovative products and services, encouraging and sharing ideas, providing inspiration and connecting hospitality professionals. HD Expo is dedicated to bringing the interior design industry, architects, owners/operators, developers, specifiers and purchasers the best available resources for their projects. This includes the most informative conference sessions led by top specialists pertinent to today’s industry.
Hospitality professionals are looking for opportunities to turn today’s challenges into tomorrow’s solutions. Attend HD Expo and you can examine tools, products and services to remain successful in our changing economy. See first-hand the latest designs for interiors as well as ideas that make doing business in the hospitality industry easier and more ingenious than ever before. Technology and artistry come together to not only inspire the senses but ignite the imagination.
Through CEU/LU accredited conference sessions educational credits can be earned along with having your industry related questions answered by our experts. From world renowned interior designers to internationally recognized developers, HD Expo shares their insight via a conference program based on what attendees want. The schedule is balanced and multi-faceted with various networking opportunities to provide a hospitality conference unlike any other. Take advantage of all that the show has to offer and make the most of your time by attending the sessions that will impact the way you approach design. – courtesy of HD Expo
International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF)
2015 Dates: Trade – May 16, 17, 18 / Trade & General Public – May 19
Location: Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York City
North America’s premier showcase for contemporary design, the ICFF annually lures those in determined pursuit of design’s timely truths and latest trends to an encyclopedic exhibition of up-to-the-moment offerings, as well as a series of fascinating, fun, edifying programs, and a packed schedule of exhibits and features. ICFF hosts more than 700 exhibitors from more than 30 countries in 11 categories from furniture to materials to kitchen and bath to fabricators.
For the four-day duration of the Fair, 165,000 net square feet (15,300 net square meters) of the Javits Center will be abuzz with more than 32,000 interior designers, architects, retailers, representatives, distributors, facility managers, developers, manufacturers, store designers, and visual merchandisers. On Tuesday, May 19, the ICFF opens its doors to the general public, as well.
More than 700 exhibitors from all points of the globe will display contemporary furniture, seating, carpet and flooring, lighting, outdoor furniture, materials, wall coverings, accessories, textiles, and kitchen and bath for residential and commercial interiors. This remarkable throng of exhibitors creates an unparalleled opportunity to view a broad yet highly focused selection of the world’s finest, most innovative, and original avant-garde home and contract products side-by-side, under one roof. – j courtesy of ICFF
IIDEXCanada: Canada’s National Design + Architecture Exposition & Conference
2015 Dates: December 2, 3
Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre North, Toronto, Canada
IIDEXCanada is Canada’s National Design and Architecture Exposition & Conference. The event brings together the multidisciplinary interior design and architecture communities for a sourcing, networking and education event that celebrates creativity and best practices. It embodies all areas of design including, interior design, architecture, lighting, healthcare, hospitality, institutional, education, workplace, landscape, retail, industrial, textile and material. It is a place to be truly inspired, to connect in person and to discover new products and services. IIDEXCanada is where new relationships are built, new ideas are synthesized and where creative collaborations begin.
Presented by the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) and Architecture Canada | RAIC, IIDEXCanada is held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building. The event has expanded to the South Building to include Construct Canada, PM Expo, The Real Estate Forum, HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo and Concrete Canada. All shows combined will create The Buildings Show, North America’s largest exposition, networking and educational event for the built environment. The show has 25,000 influential buyers and decision-makers of the architecture, interior design, construction and real estate industries attending to experience more than 1,600 exhibits, 350 seminars, and four world-class keynotes, delivering the very latest in products, technologies, best practices and applications. Connect. Learn. Be Inspired. – courtesy of IIDEXCanada
MetroCon Expo & Conference
2015 Dates: August 13, 14
Location: Dallas Market Hall, Dallas, TX
Started in 2003, METROCON is a ground-breaking collaboration: a regional expo and conference organized through an innovative volunteer alliance between the Texas Oklahoma Chapter of IIDA [International Interior Design Association] and the Texas Chapter of ASID [American Society of Interior Designers]. In a concentrated effort to strengthen the design community, the two organizations have joined forces and pooled resources to offer the best in exhibitors, continuing education, and speakers to their members and beyond. As METROCON is not-for-profit entity, any income from the event goes back to the chapters to fund special educational and recognition programs, as well as scholarships and charities earmarked by the individual organizations.
Interior designers, architects, facility managers, design students, and other design industry members take advantage of this premier two-day event that focuses on introducing the latest in products and innovative ideas to the Southwest region’s community. A diverse array of exhibitors introduced the region’s design community to the latest and greatest in cutting-edge products and services. Exhibitors catered to the corporate, residential, multifamily, hospitality, retail, healthcare, institutional, and education design fields. Along with the outstanding trade show, METROCON offered attendees continuing education courses.
METROCON15 is expected to attract over 250 manufacturers and service-oriented companies as exhibitors in 400 booths. Attendees will be exposed to a multitude of cutting-edge products (everything from the newest in soft- and hard-surface flooring to open office systems furniture and upper-end case goods to advanced acoustical applications and security measures to the latest in window treatments for both home and business) and valuable services (from consulting to project management). Organizers anticipate more than 2,500 in total attendance during the two-day show. – courtesy of METROCON
Interior design, architecture, and product design competitions are hosted year-round by:
- Industry associations and organizations
- Industry publications
- Trade shows
To keep in the loop about available competitions, check out the trade organization and association websites for information on all of their competitions. Also, subscribe to email lists of companies whose competitions you might be interested in.