Dec 14, 2021 By IIDA HQ
Sustainability in Design | Converge 2021
The third annual Interface + IIDA Converge Summit brought together designers, students, and industry leaders to explore innovative sustainability and wellness solutions in design.
By IIDA HQ Dec 14, 2021
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The third annual Interface and IIDA Converge Summit took place virtually, exploring the future of sustainable innovation through design solutions and creative expression. The two-day program included a cohort of emerging designers, including members of the Metropolis 100, and design students from around the country, all joining to be a catalyst for change in the industry.

Each day participants had the opportunity to earn CEU credits through enlightening panel discussions with sustainable design experts, and to take part in collaborative activities all focused on the interior design industry's carbon footprint, and how to create a better world through sustainable design solutions.

“We want designers to walk away inspired, informed, hopeful, and energized. This is a positive movement and something you can join us on to be a changemaker” Anna Webb, vice president of marketing, Interface

Day 1: October 14

Why Carbon? | 1 hour 1 IDCEC CEU

In this panel discussion, Interface’s Erin Jende, director of marketing strategy and activation for the Americas, and Joey Shea, manager of mission activation discussed how to redevelop our own mental and physical approaches to climate change. To answer the question: What impact can designers and architects have on the climate conversation? This conversation dives deep into translating embodied carbon research from design concepts to the manufacturing process. During the dialogue designers and architects learned to think of climate change as a design problem.

For full details on earning 1 IDCEC CEU credit for this program, visit the IIDA Academy program page here

A Conversation with Kari Pei | 1 hour

Interface’s VP of Product Design Kari Pei and IIDA EVP joins IIDA's Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, FIIDA,to discuss the nuances of designing during and post-pandemic. This conversation explored how to take inspiration from the world around you to create something new—looking at design through a different lens. Kari shared her journey that led her to Interface, and her pride that the company is changing the way we think about sustainability in manufacturing. Throughout the conversation, she described the steps it takes to neutralize embodied carbon and how biophila influenced her design theory.

Virtual Tour of Base Camp | 1 hour

This virtual interactive tour of Interface's global headquarters, known as “Base Camp'' led by Stephanie Teta, manager of customer experience and events at Interface, explored sustainable design principles to help create solutions for workplaces in the current and post-pandemic world. Floor-by-floor, participants were shown ways to design a workplace that ensures the health and safety of both employees and guests. The tour shared in real-time how Interface has lowered their carbon footprint by reimagining their workplace design.

For full details on earning 1 IDCEC CEU credit for this program, visit the IIDA Academy program page here.

Let’s Get Creative an Interactive Design Breakout | 1 hour

In this breakout activity, Pugz Atomz, a Chicago based design, video, fashion, and music artist led an artistic exercise where participants created art collages that represented their individuality. This was a well needed exercise after a day full of conversations about sustainability.

Day 2: October 15

A Conversation on Design Resilience, Sustainability, and Wellness with Chidimma Abuka | 1 hour 1 IDCEC CEU

In this conversation, Sustainability Specialist, Research Champion, and Studio Design Resilience Leader at Gensler, Chidimma Abuka, joins Cheryl Durst, FIIDA, as they discussed how design can affect climate change. Participants learned about the connection to design and climate through research and shared lessons. The goal is to put sustainability into practice throughout the process of design. Following the discussion was a live Q&A.

For full details on earning 1 IDCEC CEU credit for this program, visit the IIDA Academy program page IIDA Academy program page here.

Converge Alumni Panel Discussion | 30 minutes

In this panel discussion, Cheryl Durst, FIIDA is joined by previous program alumni Caleb Cambron, interior design student; Tara Headley, IIDA, interior designer at Hendrick, Inc; Nida Hyder, IIDA, interior design associate at TriArch Architecture; and Alvin Oie, Founder of CMD+Y. They discuss how they implemented lessons learned from previous Converge Summits in both their personal and professional lives to make a difference, pointing out that every one of us can make an impact. For Tara, she took information that she learned at Converge 2020 to her firm to promote new ideas around sustainability—for more takeaways, watch the video below.

Making Sustainable Design Easier | 1 hour 1 IDCEC CEU

Interface’s Lisa Conway, vice president of sustainability for the Americas and Chip DeGrace, chief design officer join Cheryl Durst, FIIDA, and Metropolis Editor in Chief Avi Rajagopal in a discussion centered around the future of sustainability and the impact of the interior design industry’s carbon footprint. They discussed the steps designers need to take to promote sustainability in their work, industries, and communities utilizing Metropolis' “Climate Toolkit.”

For full details on earning 1 IDCEC CEU credit for this program, visit the IIDA Academy program page here.

This third annual Interface and IIDA Converge Summit was a success. Designers and members learned new ideas that will help create sustainable design solutions for the future.

“Thanks to Interface for their commitment to the environment, to sustainability, and to IIDA. And, for supporting the championship and activism of the extraordinary designers that have joined us and will join us in the future.”- Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA

To learn more about CEU through IIDA and partner programming, visit the IIDA Academy.

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