The architecture and interior design sector has seen some dramatic changes over the years. It’s currently evolving at a faster pace than ever before, since the sustainable design revolution at the tail end of the 20th century.

In the modern design environment, it’s commonplace to see everything from innovative re-use and preservation to cloud-based services and community-led projects. To create spaces that are both functional and beautiful, new creative methods team with advances in research, data mining, neuroscience, health and building performance, etc. This brings a lot of benefits to the table, but creates new challenges as well.

Let’s look at the top 5 issues affecting interior design today:

1. User Experience and Brand Identity –

These two factors drive the design process from start to end, and their importance has grown tremendously over the years. They will continue to define the industry as a whole, right from decisions about size and style of a space to the furnishings, lighting and materials used in it.

Conceptualizing spaces based on brand identity is no longer restricted to corporate settings either. There is a rising demand for interiors that tell a story, share a message and create an emotional ‘connect’, across the design spectrum.


2. Strategic Design and Leadership –

Design solutions are increasingly being connected to economic, cultural and social factors, driving further changes in the field. Today, there is greater awareness about the impact of design on client and customer experience, which creates a unique need for entrepreneurs.

Firms need to focus more on design strategy now, if they want success. The industry is calling for designers who are also leaders and strategists, offering tailor-made solutions and flexible ideas that overcome challenges like limited space or resource availability.


3. The ‘Interiors and Health’ Connection –

Easy access to information and growing environmental, health and sustainability concerns have led to some revolutionary changes in the design sector. Modern ‘smart’ buildings are designed to be intuitive, scalable, user-friendly and most importantly, health-oriented.

The connection between interior design and health goes far beyond a building’s impact on your physical well-being. Designers also need to consider emotional and mental health benefits of lighting, ventilation, orientation, indoor air quality and various other factors.


4. Benefits for Local and Global Communities –

With digital communication and sharing, designers become part of a greater community when they’re working on a project. In addition to environmental concerns, they are also expected to maximize their positive impact on social justice, both on a local and global scale.

Industry demands need to be balanced against social ones, keeping the larger picture in mind. The world has become a much smaller place than ever before, and ripples caused by any change can be seen across vast geographical, social and economic distances.


5. Integration within the Profession –

The changes in modern interior design are not limited to procedures, but have also redefined the role of the designer. Today, interior designers need to operate as leaders, but also as part of a team. Their duties are no longer narrowly defined, but there is also a greater need for specialization.

As it evolves, the conflicting demands of the profession will drive the need for better integration and versatility. It will also require innovative ideas, flexible problem-solving, tactical and strategic skills, especially while working with interdisciplinary teams and service providers (like a sourcing agent).