IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 34

“…interior DesiGn is A proFession WitH—it’s not An eXAGGerAtion to sAY—enorMous iMpLicAtions on HuMAnitY.”

THE INTERIOR DESIGN GENOME pROJECT? thus far, most writing and research on the subject of the design mind, though intriguing, has been relegated to soft science and anecdotal evidence. to arrive at more rigorous conclusions, perhaps we need to hit up hard science—namely, genetic testing. could we assay the genetic makeup of interior designers to identify a DnA link? it’s not so far­fetched a proposition. in fact, genetic research has already been conducted on at least one other occupation: finance. A recent Wall Street Journal article described a study spearheaded by neuroscientists who endeavored to unravel the genetic signature of the Wall street trader personality type (read: risk­taking, competitive, impulsive) in the hopes of earmarking a gene correlating with investment success. in particular, they were looking at the effect of dopamine activity. their study of 60 professional traders concluded that the genes common to successful traders kept dopamine in check and blunted extreme highs or lows, allowing them to avoid making knee­jerk decisions. of course, finance is a mediagenic occupation these days, one in which unfathomable sums of money are often at stake, making it a compelling locus of research dollars. but interior design is a profession with—it’s not an exaggeration to say—enormous implications on humanity. perhaps with just a little more understanding of ourselves and our special way of thinking and seeing the world, we can elevate the perception of our industry—and inspire neuroscientists to turn their microscopes on us. DESIGN vERSuS THERapy perhaps psychology could help shed light on how our brains work and how we’re hardwired. Maybe we are a bit like shrinks? someone with an insider’s view of both professions, boston­based designer turned psychotherapist Margery Lapp, sees commonalities between the two. “Where i think there is significant overlap is that both designers and therapists want to solve problems to make clients feel more comfortable
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in their own skin”—skin being either one’s literal personhood or their immediate surroundings. A sensitivity to “skin,” as in space, is the very thing that distinguishes interior design from related disciplines. both types of practitioners also rely on intuition to see beyond what lies right in front of them. they look past assumptions, not being encumbered by what already is. “therapists see someone’s potential—who they can become—untethered to their current limitations,” says Lapp. “Designers, too, have that vision for the end result.” but given that only a small percentage of the general populace shares that capability, there tends to be a disconnect between what designers and their clients can visualize. Herein lies the heart of what differentiates the profession: interior designers are visionaries, but ones who use empathy, diplomacy, and teaching skills to get a client to follow them to that vision. Lapp offers an insight that may account for the varied Mbti test results of designers. Forget fitting into one of 16 categories; designers embody all categories at once. “in both professions,” Lapp continues, “you are thinking and feeling at the same time. You’re empathetic, but you’re also analyzing— you’re not just immersed in emotion. Designers problem­solve and think, but there’s such a feeling­sensing piece to what is pleasing and what works.” Designers are engineers but also artists. “usually you have to choose between left and right brain, but some professions—like therapy and design— require both sides to be operating.” interior design is the halfway point, the fuzzy gray area, between aesthetics and function, art and science. And it’s harder to define and explain yourself when you reside in the middle than when you’re in the extremes. but, in fact, designers are not so much in the fuzzy gray area as they are in both worlds—with the elasticity to stretch into the extremes and bounce back to the middle in order to make those extremes relatable and understandable to others. in essence, you— the interior designer—help clients get inside your head so they can then see the world as you do. the design mind, it turns out, isn’t just a mental process but a place— one in which we connect with others.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012

IIDA Perspective - Spring/summer 2012
From IIDA
Contents
Behind the Issue
IIDA News
Designer Dialogue
What Do Clients Want?
Inside the Design Mind
Design Decoded
Mythbusters
Resources
Viewpoints
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - IIDA Perspective - Spring/summer 2012
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - Cover2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - From IIDA
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - Contents
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 4
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 5
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 6
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 7
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - Behind the Issue
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 9
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - IIDA News
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 11
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 12
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 13
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - Designer Dialogue
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 15
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 16
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 17
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 18
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 19
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 20
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 21
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - What Do Clients Want?
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 23
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 24
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 25
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 26
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 27
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 28
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 29
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - Inside the Design Mind
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 31
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 32
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 33
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 34
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 35
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - Design Decoded
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 37
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 38
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 39
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 40
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 41
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 42
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 43
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 44
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 45
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 46
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 47
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - Mythbusters
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 49
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 50
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - Resources
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 52
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 53
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 54
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - 55
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - Viewpoints
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - Cover3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2012 - Cover4
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