Taking the Long View

January 15, 2005 · by DesignIntelligence

Our purpose here at *DesignIntelligence*is to help you make 2005 your best year ever and to give you an edge as you contemplate the potential for even more success in 2006. Join us as we challenge the A/E/C industry�s conventional wisdom.

Our purpose here at DesignIntelligence is to help you make 2005 your best year ever and to give you an edge as you contemplate the potential for even more success in 2006.

Join us as we challenge the A/E/C industry�s conventional wisdom. We believe this to be a time of unprecedented opportunity.

There is a new frontier for architects, engineers, and designers. As we write this issue, we see numerous new visions, new ascendancy resolutions, new value paradigms and some warning signs.

Here in our offices in Atlanta we monitor dozens of trends that will be factors in this industry in the future. There are nearly 100 we follow. We take information from all the major daily newspapers as well as the regional weeklies and we stay in touch with economic sources at the Federal Reserve Bank in Washington. D.C., the Real Estate Institute at Johns Hopkins University, Reed Construction Data�s North American Construction Forecast, and the association reports primarily those from AIA and AGC. We also have links to Europe and Asia and we follow sector and category exports and the regional forecast by each of the Fed�s offices. We follow the Beige Book created by the Federal Reserve Board and we also interview architects, engineers, designers, and contractors in each of the Fed�s regions. When we speak about specific regions we always use the Federal Reserve definitions, as this allows us to overlay critical professional practice correlation as it applies to different geographical areas.

Here in our offices we are organized around a library, which some of you have come to know as the Ostberg Library of Design Management. This Ostberg name has now also become our imprint for the titles published by Greenway Communications International LLC, the parent company of DesignIntelligence. Here we have the latest periodicals, management books, design monographs, Counsel House Research Reports, and a history section that includes antiquarian books dealing with architecture, design, decoration, and planning dating back to the early 18th Century.

Our staff catalogs the information daily�we discuss the top trends internally and with the Board of Advisors of the Design Futures Council. The ongoing think tank sessions of our Board determine the weight that is given to trends and where we should carefully assess the industry�s health.

These board sessions also provide our research priorities and provide the editorial outline for future issues of DesignIntelligence.

The trends that are discussed by the DFC Board are constantly reorganizing themselves�some become mainstream practice paradigms; we then move forward off the list and adopt new priority trends. We organize these trends visually on whiteboards that wheel around the offices and in files that are updated daily in Atlanta. It is interesting to go back to our founding in 1994 and contrast how much change has taken place in just 10 years. This change has been awesome! And most of it for the better, I might add. Consider productivity increases in best of class architecture firms that have improved over 8.5 percent per year in five years, some firms reporting even better progress. The firms responding to our research reports are not stuck�they are embracing the future and moving onto new frontiers.

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