Networking and integration is the keystone of a successful and efficient interior design sector. Shared innovation is integral to the way in which design teams work, which is part of the reason that collaborative work spaces have skyrocketed in popularity and relevance when it comes to industry works this year.
State policy has made this kind of innovation pooling possible with South Australian interior design body the Integrated Design Commission (IDC) offering to bring these sector resources together, offering support and sharing ideas.
At least, that will be the case until the IDC is axed later this year.
Created in 2009, the IDC has been credited by many in the SA interior design sector as putting design back on the agenda in the state.
However, the body has been left out of this year’s state budget, with its role now expected to be filled through non-governmental avenues.
According to Treasurer Jack Snelling, the end of 2012 will see the work of the IDC and commissioner Tim Horton come to a close after making a number of successful design sector contributions. The initiatives and services developed under the program will continue on.
“Having reached that point, the Government has decided to conclude the role of the IDC by the end of 2012,” says Snelling. “For the rest of the year, Mr. Horton will concentrate on embedding the design strategy.”
While Snelling made these comments to instill confidence in the sector, many are still questioning the decision.
According to the co-presidents of the Design Institute of Australia’s SA branch, Brendan Harslett and Simon Dodd, the decision to cut the program will mean a huge loss of advocacy for South Australian industry members.
“The IDC is an important link between the collaborative design associations in SA, and is the dynamic and inspiring approach by the government that will foster confidence and resurgence into our design driven economies,” say the co-presidents. “This decision to remove the IDC is short sighted with no view to the future, restricting SA to a narrow, limited economic base, conforming to a ‘follow the other states’ mentality once again.”
Already, initiatives such as the ‘Save the Integrated Design Commission’ petition launched by HASSELL architect Sam Jeyaseelan have drawn support, with the petition collecting over 1,000 signatures in its first day. With this in mind, it is clear the industry is not convinced.
Even with the role of State Architect still intact, many feel the disbanding of the IDC means backwards progress for the South Australian industry.
“We feel we finally had a spotlight on design,” says Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA) Chapter President Kellie Campbell-Illingworth. “Basically it’s effectively gone out.”