As we come to the final months of 2008, the outlook for the economy has become more uncertain. The debate among economists has changed from one of whether the economy will weaken, to one of how much it will weaken as we move toward the end of the year.
The commercial interior design sector is one area which may be impacted - it is perceived to some extent as a luxury-led industry –although everyone presumably needs a desk, chair, and the other basics of the office environment.
Market chatter has revealed that some interior designers are concerned about design being compromised in this financially tight context but I beg to differ!
Cost of green materials
Awareness of appropriate design and specification decisions has been steadily growing over these last few years. In many cases, this is driven by suppliers looking for commercial advantage in an increasingly green-aware society.
The current economic situation may make some of these more exclusive materials more accessible, as the market becomes more competitive, so this could possibly be a plus for those wanted to use such materials.
Demand for durable material
Secondly there is the issue of the increased demand for durable products in commercial interiors. While the economy is in its current state, people don’t want to repeatedly invest in furniture, so increasingly we are finding people opting for materials that they can rely upon for a longer period of time.
I think in this market we will see people opting for smaller offices, which is not always a negative for the commercial interior design sector. In some instances you can find that people will be more selective about the pieces that they buy. For more info, read our thoughts about space limitations in a previous blog.
Thinking outside the Box
This financially challenging situation might be the catalyst that we need to improve and evolve the profession. For far too often, we’ve seen big budget projects produce less than stellar commercial interior design. One could look at this opportunity as a way to separate the designers from the geniuses!