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Design Summit- Venice

April 14, 2010

I have just returned from co-sponsoring a meeting in Venice with over 140 interior designers and architects, most of them principals in their firms. The discussions were wide-ranging and often fascinating. What was discussed at dinner and walking through Venice was as valuable as the official program. There was consensus that the design business is moving forward again, albeit with less designers and less suppliers than before. However that was seen as not necessarily a bad thing. Some very smart people had some very cogent opinions about the state of our industry, and there was surprising unanimity. There was also joy, something that has been a bit scarce of late.

Transparency in billing is now becoming the norm not the exception (though there are many versions of that model). Working with a firm signed contract should now be a requirement. Design for an aging population is on many of the attendees minds. What was also apparent was the understanding that true talent and vision are the real added value to the client, not merely access to showrooms.

This group had talent and vision to spare, and it made me  proud to be in their company. I thank those founders who have put this event together each year. I thank the Rubelli family for the successful events they hosted. I hope that every design principal of a major firm has the chance to attend one of these invitation-only events in the years to come. I came away reinvigorated and very proud of our industry.

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