15

Dec

2021

What Can Interior Designers Learn from 2021?

What interior designers hoped to learn from 2021 was that it was a new beginning. And it was. The beginning of a new lockdown. Or put another way, the worst possible start.
So, 2021 hasn’t been the bounce-back to ‘normal’ that many prophesied. Sure, we’re likely to end 2021 in a much better place than we started. Even so, our world isn’t what we expected it to be. And the answer to why that is lies with Sci-Fi movies. Yep, Sci-Fi movies.

What Interior Designers Can Learn About 2021 from Sci-Fi Movies?

What on Earth can interior designers learn about 2021 from Sci-Fi movies?! Almost invariably, filmmakers set Sci-Fi movies in the future. That is, the future when they make the film. Which, due to the passage of time, may now be our past. To illustrate, let’s take that classic Sci-Fi movie ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.


The public first saw the firm directed by Stanley Kubrick (and the book by Arthur C. Clarke) in 1968. Set in, well…. 2001, it depicts a very technologically sophisticated future. Where space travel is commonplace. And artificial intelligence has developed to such an extent that a spaceship’s computer, HAL, ends up in a bloody battle with its human crew.
Yet, 20 years after the future depicted by Kubrick and Clarke, we are nowhere near the same levels of technological advancement. In fact, our bloody battles with AI amount to little more than swearing at Alexa. And this is what interior designers can learn from 2021. That things don’t just take time. Everything takes longer than we think, or hope, it will.

Everything Takes Longer Than We Think, or Hope, It Will

If, as interior designers, we learn that things take longer than we expect, our future beyond 2021 becomes rosier. As acceptance is the first step when making a change. More than that, lack of acceptance causes indecision, inactivity. Because we hold off making decisions when we think a new future is around the corner. And keep doing things the same way if we believe the return of our recent past is fast-approaching.

How Indecision and Inactivity Affects the Interiors Industry

As every office interior designer has come to learn, the remote working debate continues to rage during 2021. The two sides seem no closer to a compromise. And stuck in the middle are interior designers. Waiting for the dust to settle, so they can use their creativity to craft our new workplaces. The unfortunate reality, we might be waiting forever for this debate to end.

And it’s other interior design sectors too. Hospitality, and especially retail, continue to suffer. There are those who argue that we haven’t had enough time to get back to normal. Others say 2020 has permanently altered consumer behavior. Either way, it’s another whirlpool of uncertainty that sucks interior designers in. Leaving us unsure what to do next.

When Faced with Uncertainty, Take Charge of Your Destiny

A great time to take charge of our destiny is when we’re faced with uncertainty. When our once reliable income streams have become infrequent. Or even worse, non-existent. As a result, we have less, or nothing, to lose, by trying new things. As long as we introduce change in a sensible, considered way. But how?

First things first, what’s similar to the sector and design you already know? The office design to home-working setup is an obvious, perhaps overdone, example. For this reason, let’s talk about hospitality. And the parallels to care homes. The baby-boomer generation has enjoyed unprecedented increases in wealth. As a consequence, they demand the finer things in life during their twilight years. That includes spaces that look and feel like hotels, bars, cafes, restaurants. Not the grey, drab institutions earlier generations endured.

Retail design poses a trickier problem when searching for a similar sector. And so, we overcome this obstacle with a different approach. That’s to say, find a new market for the services you already provide. For instance, it doesn’t matter your contractors are retail specialists if you’re supplying concept designs to private residential clients. An approach discussed in a recent Design Business Insight, The Rise of New Interior Design Clientshttps://yourcoachapproach.co.uk/2021/08/10/new-interior-design-clients/

To come back to introducing change in a sensible and considered manner. Large, sweeping change is fraught with danger. And it’s best you avoid it whenever possible. Instead, change little and often. For example, concentrate on only one new type of client at a time. Alternatively, spend only 25% of your time exploring a new sector. Regularly stop and go back over what you’ve done, what you’ve changed. What did you see, learn? Use your new knowledge to adjust what you’re doing. Then move forward again, better equipped and with more confidence.

Interior Designers, Watch Sci-Fi Movies and Learn from 2021

Sci-Fi movies show our journey into the future can take longer than we think, or hope, it will. Of course, we can say that Sci-Fi movies are nothing more than flights of fantasy. In response, I give you this, the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey correctly predicted Beijing as the 2008 Olympics host city!

Joking and Sci-Fi movies aside, we can accept our situations as they are, not how we hope they will be. By doing so, we take charge of our destiny. And change our future for the better. To achieve this, pinpoint the changes we can make by asking two simple questions:

  • Who else can gain from my skills and ability?
  • What parts of my design process can be easily provided to other types of clients?

Finally, change isn’t something that we should approach in a gung-ho way. Instead, change little and often. So that we have the chance to learn along the way.

And on that note, Merry Christmas! And a prosperous New Year!

Do You Need to Make Changes, But Don’t Know Where to Start?

Knowing that things aren’t going well can be obvious. Working out what the next step could be is often much harder. But having a chat with someone independent, who knows where you’re coming from, can be all you need to get moving forward. To recognise the changes you need to make. I can be that person you can chat to about your interior design business. And help you figure out what you can do next. Sound interesting? Then book a free 30-minute chat with YourCoachApproach, and #LetsSeeWhatWeCanDoTogether. https://calendly.com/yourcoachapproach/

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