When The Commercial Interior Design Association, otherwise known as the IIDA, announced the findings of its new annual Index Report last week, interior designers received information that may help them make better-informed decisions for their businesses. The IIDA created its Index this year to unearth information about project scale, geography, and market sector.
Reporting that the commercial design industry saw “robust expansion” in 2018, the trade association found that in the United States there was a jump in design projects started in 2018 compared to 2017. “While the most growth is currently in the East, all regions are showing an index value above 60, which indicates steady growth. In addition, we’re seeing an overall expansion with significant gains in the hospitality segment,” IIDA deputy director and senior vice president John Czarnecki tells AD PRO.
The IIDA hopes that the Index will be used as a tool to help firms understand how the commercial interior design industry is doing across market segments and regions. “This valuable information can be used by firm leadership to understand if expansion in a new region is viable. For example, if that region is showing steady growth through an upward diffusion index number, it could mitigate the risk of opening a new office in that area,” Czarnecki says.
The 2018 data revealed that the hospitality and workplace sectors saw the most growth nationwide, outpacing education, health care, and other commercial projects,. Also of note was the fact that while the growth is widespread, it was most significant in specific regions. The East Coast and Midwest experienced the most expansion in terms of interior design projects in 2018. Large interior design projects increased in all of the regions, with particularly significant growth in the South.
Association members, along with the group’s international board of directors, discussed what data points were currently missing from the industry that they could utilize to help grow their practices and expand into new markets. The Index, which surveyed 77 U.S.-based design offices and categorized 14,000 projects by project size, market sector, and region, is the result of these discussions.
“The Index was created to provide information to our members and firm leaders that was specific to the commercial interior design industry, [thereby] creating a way to take the pulse of our industry that wasn’t focused so much on billings, but rather on the number of project starts, types, and sizes,” Czarnecki explains.
The report is $50 for IIDA members and $125 for nonmembers, and it can be downloaded on the IIDA’s website.