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Mon 6 Dec 2010 12:00 AM

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It takes all sorts

As we break into the home stretch, and bound towards the end of another challenging year, there’s no better time to stop and take stock.

It takes all sorts

As we break into the home stretch, and bound towards the end
of another challenging year, there’s no better time to stop and take stock.

Held in November, the annual CID Awards present an interesting
synopsis of the year. The number of nominations increased slightly in 2010, but
more noteable was a steep rise in the number of companies that decided to put themselves
forward for an award. The amount of entries per company was down slightly – a fallout
from the economic conditions of recent times.

At the same time, there was a marked increase in the quality
of nominations, across the board. The message is clear: companies may be doing fewer
projects, but when they do get them, they are producing more original, intelligent
and innovative design solutions.

In the past, the same old firms – the ‘big five’ as I like to
call them – tended to walk away with all the awards. That is not necessarily the
mark of a healthy industry. This year’s awards also saw a host of smaller, lesser-known
firms in the running, and this can only be a positive thing. The industry is no
longer monopolised by a handful of companies. The playing field has evened out,
and as an upshot of the economic crisis, there are a host of younger, smaller, hungrier
firms on the horizon.

As budgets have become smaller and the need for truly inspired
design solutions has became more pronounced, it longer matters how many years you’ve
been on the market, or how many projects your head office has completed. Moving
forward, you will be judged on a project-by-project basis. Are you creating original
design solutions that answer the client’s brief, on time and to budget... or are
you hashing out the same old solutions the worked so well in 2007?

A healthy market sustains companies of all shapes and sizes;
it consists
of firms that have different strengths and different specialisms. And if the 2010
CID Awards are anything to go by, the region’s interior design industry
is making massive moves in the right direction.

Selina Denman is the editor of Commercial Interior Design.

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