1. Tell us a little about your society and the role in the industry.
The African Association of Interior Designers is the highly distinguished professional organization for interior designers in Africa, it creates an effective niche of individuals through a common passion for interior design and committed to the belief that interior design, as a service to humanity, is a powerful tool that can be used to positively influence peoples’ lives.
It is the forum of individuals with a passion for creativity, craft, design and strategy for best interior design practices through networking as well as knowledge sharing among members and the industry at large.
- To provide a forum to demonstrate the impact of design on health, safety, and well-being of the public, balancing creativity and passion for design and strategy for best business practices, through education, advocacy, knowledge sharing, networking, and outreach.
- To promote and inspire creativity with a bias for African arts and craft amongst practitioners of Interior Design all over continental Africa.
- To create a platform for promoting the mental, psychological and physical well-being of practitioners of interior design all over the African continent.
- To help sharpen and horn the skills of interior designers with a view of turning them into more confident and purpose-oriented individuals, who will have a positive and tremendous impact on the society.
2. How many members are in your association? Which country or states are represented?
The association is made up with over 3000 graduate members and other membership levels across the continent but primarily in Nigeria.
3. What countries do your members source from?
Members mostly source locally produced goods or imported products, large-scale material sourcing comes from China, Dubai, Europe, and the United States.
4. Do your members source high or mid or low price point product?
Designers keep up with the latest trends and techniques in building construction so the budget, style, and taste of clients would determine the selections of items ranging from cabinetry, lighting or other items or rather investing in worthwhile custom features. It is difficult to find highly innovative, creative designs at a reasonable price point. Some clients are affluent but expect value. Normally the client’s lifestyle and life stage dictate the direction of any design sourcing. Every project is unique.
Howbeit, designers know the best sources of products but the availability of funds could be constraints for them. Most designers have access to unusual items not available to the public whether high, mid or low products. Since designers use common sense, all approach is given to product sourcing.
5. The retail market in Nigeria is showing lateral growth, how has this affected your members?
Growth is expected to be continual, albeit at a more modest rate we hope for the best.
Over the past year, growth has been consistent, but recently due to financial fluctuations, while business is booming, the customer landscape and selling channels continue to change, affecting how interior designers are competing for their share of the consumers’ cash.
Even though the interior design has become more accessible to consumers through various avenues, half of the designers surveyed said the public doesn’t seem to understand the role of the interior designer, with most thinking only the affluent hire interior designers and not understanding the process of hiring and working with interior designers. While perception is definitely moving in a positive direction, it’s not changing fast enough, which translates into a “persistent assignment for the interior design profession to educate the public about the power of design and how it transforms lives.” Since interior design ranges from decoration, renovations, to full-scale projects either private or public spaces the customers’ needs to be educated on its importance. Since clients could be everyone everywhere from all ages and culture, some project needs to be handled from start to finish achieving the uniqueness wanted.
6. What is the focus of your association and what role does Clarion and IGF Expo have to play in the actualization of your objectives?
Our association is primarily concerned with the all-round success of members and the growth of the Interior design industry in Nigeria and across Africa; that success is directly proportional to the amount of opportunities members get and how exposed to cutting-edge knowledge they become, we continually work towards highly rewarding partnerships across the world that help to give members the opportunities they need to grow career-wise and financially. Clarion Events and the IGF Expo gives that unrivaled opportunity for members to network, get exposed and build new business relationships.
7. How the emergence of an international platform showcasing the best of the products made in Nigeria, international and the biggest global brands affect your members?
The IGF Expo is now the flagship event of the African Association of Interior Designers, it shows how seriously the association views the immense opportunities the expo proffers, our members realize that under one roof global brands from several climes can come to them. The association is definitely looking forward to a very successful event and it will only get better.Read more Expert Interviews