ASID NJ Science of Design Symposium Recap

Anna Maria Mannarino, ASID NJ president, and Randy Fiser, CEO of ASID National, who presented a CEU with the WELL Building Institute, share a moment at the very green step and repeat, courtesy of a show exhibitor, FlowerBox US Wall Gardens.
The crowd of design aficionados at ASID NJ’s Science of Design Symposium enjoying the keynote luncheon at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J.
Randy Fiser, CEO of ASID National, introducing his CEU in conjunction with the WELL Building Institute, the WELL Road Show.
Design students from Kean University listen with rapt attention to a presentation by Creative Touch President Baki Ildiz at his booth.
At the Blackman booth, from left to right, Brooke King and Monica Flynn of Blackman with Joan Ravasy, incoming president of the ASID NJ Chapter.

The New Jersey Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) held The Science of Design: A Design Collaborative Symposium at Jersey City’s Liberty Science Center on Monday, September 25.  The stimulating day-long event was attended by a range of chapter members and other interior designers, architects, design students, media and Industry Partners.

Keynote luncheon speaker Randy Fiser, Hon. FASID, CEO of ASID National, presented a CEU with Susan MacMurchy, Delos Consultant, who spoke on behalf of the International WELL Building Institute.  Called the WELL Roadshow, the initiative is based on the research that humans spend 93 percent of their time indoors. The course detailed how to ensure that indoor spaces are contributing to a person’s well-being rather than harming it and the specifics of the WELL Building Standard. Interior designers play a vital role in the health and wellness of an environment and help implement the seven concepts that comprise the standard: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. The new ASID National Headquarters in Washington, D.C., the first LEED Platinum and WELL Platinum v1 space in the World, was used as an example.

Attendees also enjoyed a CEU on the interactive Skyscraper exhibit currently at the Liberty Science with its four distinct areas: Skyscrapers with an overview of the short but impressive history, as no buildings were taller than 10 stories before the late 19th century; Design & Planning — including a real wind tunnel where ASID participants experienced 100 mph winds and wet that are used to test curtain walls; Construction, where a small crane and real-life stories were among the features; and Living, showing the impact of the skyscaper on modern life and even local weather patterns.

The trade show floor with resources for every segment of the industry was on the agenda from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and proved very productive for both attendees and exhibitors. “We welcomed the opportunity to connect with ASID designers and others in the industry.  It was a terrific experience. An active display environment with personal interactions builds relationships,” said David Lyon, vice president of retail for Blackman, a leader in decorative plumbing fixtures, lighting, tile and stone, and a Platinum event sponsor.

The afternoon CEU, DREAM BIG: Engineering Our World, an IMAX movie and panel discussion celebrated the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small and focused on the work of five engineers. One of them, Avery Bang, is founder of a nonprofit that builds bridges in Third World countries. Another, Steven Burrows, is a structural engineer who uses cutting-edge technology to uncover the past (who knew that one of the adhesives used in the Great Wall of China was cooked rice?) and construct the future in San Francisco.

“The Science of Design allowed attendees to gain new insights in the field of design, cultivate new relationships and discover new products and resources in a stimulating, interactive environment,” said Anna Maria Mannarino, president of the New Jersey Chapter of ASID.  “It was also a great opportunity for our Industry Partners and others to exhibit their latest innovations to a receptive audience and to gain visibility and strengthen connections within the design community.”

Kean University design students at ASID NJ’s Science of Design Symposium held at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J.

About ASID

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) believes that design transforms lives. ASID serves the full range of the interior design profession and practice through the Society’s programs, networks, and advocacy. We thrive on the strength of cross-functional and interdisciplinary relationships among designers of all specialties, including workplace, healthcare, retail and hospitality, education, institutional, and residential. We lead interior designers in shared conversations around topics that matter: from evidence-based and humancentric design to social responsibility, well-being, and sustainability. We showcase the impact of design on the human experience and the value interior designers provide.

ASID was founded 40 years ago when two organizations became one, but its legacy dates back to the early 1930s. As we celebrate nearly 85 years of industry leadership, we are leading the future of interior design, continuing to integrate the advantages of local connections with national reach, of small firms with big, and of the places we live with the places we work, play, and heal. Learn more at