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Investing in the Future of Architecture and Interior Design

Posted on Jun 16, 2016, by Mollie Williams

In our hyper-connected world, tomorrow quickly becomes today. Investing for the future is critical. We must position our company, and the industries in which we work, to not only survive, but thrive in a competitive marketplace. 

Milliken is supporting key programs to highlight, honor and bring attention to vital factors that direct the future of the architecture and design industry: education, research and young talent. 



Passionate educators are critical to the future of architecture and design. We recognize industry leaders who invest time in advancing and inspiring our industry by sponsoring the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Educator of the Year Award, which celebrates the outstanding accomplishments and commitment to interior design education by a full-time educator.

Design educators recognized over the years are true innovators and leaders in their field - and they are inspiring students by their innovative and passionate approach to design. Past recipients include Virginia San Fratello, who is researching 3D printing as an ecological and sustainable manufacturing method for the built environment, and So-Yeon Yoon, Ph.D., who uses technology to understand the human response to both the physical and virtual built environments. Lisa Tucker, Ph.D., was recently named the 2016 IIDA Educator of the Year for her work to incorporate sustainability, historic preservation and biophilic design into interior design education. 



To combat high levels of youth unemployment and disengagement in the U.K., a collective of companies joined for ‘Designing Futures.’ The new project, organized by Jade-Ilke Creative Solutions and including Milliken, Sketch Studios and Clerkenwell Design Week is focused on creating career opportunities within the design industry for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The initiative aims to help reduce the barriers for youngsters by creating practical opportunities for them to gain hands-on experience.

Designing Futures launched in mid-May with youth workshops at our London showroom on presentation skills, along with a panel discussion on barriers to young people entering the design industry. During Clerkenwell Design Week, the young people undertook work experience across various showrooms.

“We are always looking for bright, fresh talent, young people with different perspectives and new ways of doing things,” shared Alison Kitchingman, marketing and design director for Milliken’s EMEIA initiatives. “This initiative is offering a valuable service both to the young people, who are largely off the radar of the commercial world and the design community who can benefit from their input. DesigningFutures@CDW is enabling new connections to be made and bridging a very real gap.”

Crossing the pond for NeoCon 2016, we also helped shine light on five rising talents in interior design with Metropolis Magazine’s New Talent Spotlight: Five Designers to Watch.



Continuous research on the impact and influence of interior design is critical to the future of our industry. It uses proven results to help determine what ‘good design’ truly means so that our work is as relevant as possible. Design researchers provide unique insight on how to advance our industry – merging design and industry-leading research for purpose-driven solutions.

Our company is deeply rooted in science, research and development – these are the foundation of all of our innovations and how we assure they will help to provide more beautiful, functional interior environments. The Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) Design Research Award resonates with us precisely for this reason – a shared belief in the importance of continuous research to drive our industry forward.

Stacy Walker, director of customer experience for the Milliken flooring division, commented on the purpose of our participation: “The IDC Design Research Award aligns with our continuous pursuit of innovations that ‘do good’ for our world. We honor the inquisitive nature to discover the path to meaningful design through research.”

This article originally appeared on the Milliken Innovation Blog

Topics: Design, Inspiration

Mollie Williams

Written by Mollie Williams