IFI President’s Message | EXPANSION AND EMPHASIS: Interiors Profession


At the start of this new IFI board term, I am privileged to assume the presidency. This is an honor, which I respectfully accept. I look forward to working closely with the new Executive Board, IFI staff, other partners, and the global design community to help further design excellence and awareness, while continuing to strengthen our advocacy platform and unified voice for design. Having returned from our most wonderful and memorable 27th IFI General Assembly held in Gwangju, South Korea, we are enthusiastic to start this next term and to hit the ground running. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who were able to attend the 2015 General Assembly and International Design Congress, and to encourage all of IFI to be involved in whatever way possible during the next two years. There are a lot of exciting plans currently underway which should help our organization become ever more relevant, more democratic, more unified and more able to answer to the needs of Interior Architects/Designers worldwide.

Since its inception in 2011, the IFI Interiors Declaration has been met with great enthusiasm by our global membership and others from the design community committed to advancing the Interiors profession and the rights of all individuals to benefit from good design all over the world. We are particularly proud of that this historic document continues to strike a chord with members worldwide and the design community at large. The historic document continues to be adopted or proclaimed by national and city governmental bodies around the globe who acknowledge the importance of Design and Interiors. We were proud to have the IFI Interiors Declaration adopted by the City of Gwangju, officially signed by Mayor Mr. Jang-hyun Yoon on October 19th.

To this point, one of IFI’s core and noteworthy programs is World Interiors Day (IFI WID). This is an annual international event spearheaded by IFI to actively engage professionals, national organizations, design enthusiasts and the public at large to explore their creativity, imagination, vision and passion in recognition of the role that Interior Architecture/Design has in our shared future. The theme in 2016, ā€œInteriors Intelligenceā€, is particularly intriguing as it opens itself up to a range of programming and a variety of other possibilities to connect. We encourage all of you to begin thinking about what this means to you. We look forward to our global celebrations, happening on Saturday May 27th, 2016, and throughout the entire month of May.

IFI Blue Sky Task Force 2014-2015: Formed out of the 2014-2015 Structure Commitee, the Blue Sky Task Force was convined to re-visit our platforms for a greater participation. Their results help to communicate the IFI vision to a wider audience and imbed the Interiors Declaration and Advocacy Platforms that align with crucial world issues.

We on the IFI Board are focusing this term to strengthen our refreshed Advocacy platforms. As a global organisation, definitions that we work with day-to-day around the world can sometimes be lost in translation and misinterpreted. A new glossary of terms is being developed so that we can communicate across different cultures with a better clarity. As a profession, collaboration is key to success and with this in mind a matrix of organisations is being created to help with our outreach.


Today, the average professional has, on average, 846 connections on social mediaā€”yet most organizations fail to leverage the potential impact of these individual networks. Since its founding in 1963, IFI has committed itself to the international community and to the future of design and interiors worldwide. We have consistently expanded from its first mission statement more adapt to a future that includes advocacy, policy and consensus. With continued collaboration and focus our organization hopes to continue to promote design awareness and champion those who help raise design standards within the industry worldwide.

The role and position of Interior Architecture/Design profession is rapidly changing to match the growing influence of design globally. In the last board term, to continue in its role as the trusted global voice of the Interior Architecture/Design community, IFI set out to expand its advocacy role as an organization. In this capacity we have advanced ourselves to lead collaboration within the built environment, advocate for change and to help guide the activities of our organization and the membership into the 21st century and beyond.

Rooted in the mandate for a new structure model, it became apparent that the practical and operational aspects needed a wider approach. Over the last several years the IFI has continuously reached back to the mission and vision of IFI and its evolving role as the ā€œUN of Interiorsā€.

Today, a major shift is occurring, as we prime organizations and individuals alike for added success with the launch of refreshed advocacy platforms for the future. Those platforms are:

Health & Wellbeing
IFI seeks to foster research and teaching on the multiple aspects of health and wellbeing in the built environment. Our goal is to understand the determinants of health and wellbeing, and the role that design advocacy plays in shaping the quality of people’s lives.

Environmental Stewardship
IFIā€™s stewardship is to influence ethical and socially responsible development: to plan and design sustainable, resilient, carbon-neutral and healthy built environments that protect and enhance natural resources and wildlife habitats, provide clean air and water, generate on-site renewable energy, and advance more livable buildings and communities.

Social Responsibility
IFI proposes that environments create better places, affect society, influence social conditions, and make a community more livable by contributing positively to our social fabric and improving quality of life.

IFI stands to contribute to the concept of resiliency in public discourse by looking (research, advocate) at an array of risks that face our built environment identified through the lens of sustainable development, disaster planning and climate change.

Universal Design
Universal Design (UD), or Inclusive Design is ā€œdesign for all peopleā€. It seeks to create an environment with the widest possible use, addressing the needs for all age groups and people of different abilities including temporary disability. The move towards UD has developed due to the expanding aging population with varying degree of abilities, their demands for recognition and desire for independent living.

Economic Viability
IFI seeks to assist to increase the built environmentā€™s overall value over its lifetime. It is wise, therefore to fully understand the power of good design as it provides a real opportunity to reduce the ultimate cost of any built environmental project through long term efficiency and viability, and also to generate real value across all aspects of society.

As we start this exciting new board term, it is my hope that you will continue to send comments, ideas, and insight so that I, along with the Executive Board, can best serve our growing global community.


10-12 November 2017

Stay tuned for more information!