Experience and who you know get work

Think tank The Henley Centre is “surprised” at the result of its new report, which reveals that experience of a client’s industry and prior work for the client are the most important criteria when choosing an interior designer.

“We were expecting managers to choose a consultancy for its reputation and the quality of its work,” says Meg Abdy, senior consultant at the centre.

Design Business Association chief executive Ian Rowland-Hill says these findings are “as expected – it’s quality that got them the job in the first place, and people like to do business with people they know.”

These criteria are especially strong in the hospitality industry and the public sector.

The Milliken Report: Space Futures was compiled after Milliken Carpet commissioned the centre to ask 250 designers, architects and facility managers for their views on space issues.

The report also reveals that hospitality and travel will be future growth areas with demand for interior designers.

Lack of piloting for new interiors was also mentioned by poll participants. “Retail and leisure interiors tend to be installed without customer testing and only one in ten companies get feedback from customers – it’s quite shortsighted,” adds Abdy.

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