Jan 18, 2022 By Cheryl Durst
Cheryl Durst Welcome to 2022
IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO, Cheryl Durst welcomes you to 2022—looking forward to a year dedicated to being changemakers.
By Cheryl Durst Jan 18, 2022
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There are moments in history that are turning points, where radical shifts in culture and our daily lives shine a bright light on what’s of utmost importance: the ability to adapt and embrace change. As we know so resolutely now, change remains the most reliable constant in life. Which makes this moment especially, most auspicious for design to continue to be a driving force for growth in our communities and society at large.

Over the past year, IIDA, its membership, and its engaged design community have been at the forefront of progress—through creating design pipeline initiatives and programs addressing equity and justice, tackling health and safety in our environments, understanding the shifting needs of a workforce in major transition, and at a very fundamental level, simply caring for and being attentive to the needs of humans and the spaces they inhabit. We brought together leading minds in design and beyond to discuss the issues of our time, with a focus on EDI (or DEI or JEDI), learned from our collective experiences, and gathered a wealth of knowledge to share, and tools to achieve both short-term and long-term goals for equity in many forms. Importantly we confirmed that with design, we can all be changemakers and craft new realities that help build a more just world.

While much of late 2020 and early 2021 was focused on predicting the emergence of our society from the pandemic—whether contemplating the return to the workplace, envisioning reimagined healthcare environments, or striving toward a sense of security, comfort, and wellbeing—it became clear that it is not a line that we cross, but rather a shifting set of needs that requires flexibility in design and our thinking. Design's inherent quality to adjust and meet the form and needs of a question or challenge—is what gives it (and us) the power to adapt to a rapidly changing world. It is the engine that keeps us moving forward, and onward!

The year ahead is full of opportunity—to harness the power of design, its community, and our incredible care for the built and lived environment—toward the betterment of society. We look forward to celebrating the brightest lights of our community, building new pathways for opportunity and equity, and establishing ways for design to play a role in making the world a safer, healthier, more inclusive place. And as we are fortunate to work amongst creative, resilient, innovative, and compassionate thinkers and doers, we can’t help but be optimistic about our future together.

IIDA is committed to being a force for change in design, actively creating new opportunities, facilitating important and challenging discussions, and creating equitable space for all voices to be heard. I am proud and inspired by the way our community has risen to the challenge of these past years—with compassion, resilience, courage.

All my best wishes to you for progress, safety, good health, and finding joy. Stay hopeful and stay strong.

Cheryl Durst, Hon. FIIDA, Executive Vice President and CEO, IIDA

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