NYSID Hosts Symposium: “Interior Design: The Essential Profession”


Examining the critical role of interior design in the contemporary global environment and its growing contributions to public health, hospitality, workplace, and urban environments, the New York School of Interior Design hosted a one-day symposium, “Interior Design: The Essential Profession,” on October 7 in celebration of its 100th anniversary.


Keynote speaker Aaron Betsky, dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, kicked off the event with an analytical look at the role design plays in the dichotomous dynamic between interior and exterior environments, investigating how one’s perception of the exterior affects their experience of the interior.

Randy Fiser, CEO of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), moderated two discussions led by John Zeisel and Patrick Burkeon on the benefits of design in achieving and maintaining health, with a particular focus on the role of design in Alzheimer care as well as in the recovery of wounded Veterans.


From Left: Contract’s 2016 Designer of the Year Todd Heiser of Gensler in discussion with Contract Editor in Chief John Czarnecki

A discussion between Contract Editor in Chief John Czarnecki and Contract’s 2016 Designer of the Year Todd Heiser of Gensler examined the notion of gamification in design and the changing perception of workplace interiors. Heiser shared insight into the motivations behind several of his progressive design projects, exemplifying the shifting focus towards pushing the boundaries to emphasize collaboration in the workplace.

Behavioral economist and author Dan Ariely shared a critical investigation of the impact of design on the various ways that human behavior affects the national and international economies.

In “Hot Topics: 21st Century Issues, Places, and Passions,” Susan Szenasy of Metropolis moderated a series of presentations from a roster of dynamic design specialists with a critical eye towards the rising trends across all areas of interior design. Rosalyn Cama, Susan Nagle, Edna Wells Handy, Jack Travis, Kate Wood, Scott Baytosh, Susan DiMotta, Andrew Dent, and Darris James provided unique insights into the most pressing issues faced by interior designers today.

The symposium concluded with a presentation by Denise Guerin, principal at Martin & Guerlin Research, that summarized the day’s conversations and punctuated the responsibility of interior designers to serve the human condition.

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