San Francisco Roundtable Highlights Changes in Practice

During their May meeting, the CIDA Board of Directors convened a roundtable of San Francisco interior design practitioners to gather information about emerging factors impacting interior design. Practitioners revealed that designers are being viewed as trusted advisors to clients, which creates value in being a generalist with the ability to offer guidance beyond a core set of design skills. Roundtable participants also noted that commercial clients are often asking for spaces that “feel like home” to users, suggesting a domestication of traditional workspace.

Participants commented on the positive results of quality interior design education stating, “Every year we hire new graduates, they are better than the year before.” The new generation of designers is notably different in terms of work style and values. Social networking and technology tend to produce young designers who value community over self, are innate collaborators and multi-taskers, and can readily find and apply technical information. Participants also noted that technical skills pose some challenges. Young designers sometimes don’t understand that digital manipulations do not always produce viable solutions, and may create presentations that look very professional, but lack quality design. Overall, roundtable participants were optimistic about the next generation of design leaders and the changes taking place in practice.

Allsteel hosted the practitioner roundtable and CIDA Board meeting in their San Francisco showroom. “Allsteel’s strong connections and commitment to the design community are impressive. The CIDA Board is very grateful for their dedication to quality in our profession,” states Robert Wright, CIDA Board Chair.

The Council for Interior Design Accreditation is an independent, non-profit, accrediting organization responsible for setting standards and evaluating degree granting interior design programs. There are 167 CIDA-accredited programs in the U.S. and Canada. Learn more at

For more information:
Holly Mattson, Executive Director ()
Telephone: 616.458.0400