Interior design plays a significant role in the construction industry. It impacts the environment and its resources, causes biodiversity depletion and more importantly, affects the health of people. Designers are by definition problem-solvers, and are in an ideal position there to provide solutions. In this article, we will talk about the content of our “Sustainability in Interior Design” workshop that we delivered back in February 17th and 18th 2015 in Dar Al Uloom in KSA. The workshop was an introduction to the concept of sustainable thinking into everyday design practice.
Sustainable design is relevant to all building sectors and project briefs and can be affordable on all budgets. A designer should start by rethinking the materials they choose for interior design elements like finishing materials, paints, adhesives, furniture and appliances. The designer can and has to choose materials that are healthy and safe for occupants as well as for the environment. This choice can go as far as to improve a building’s energy and water systems and enhance the thermal performance of the building’s external envelope.
Interior spaces are frequently intended to be short-lived, whereas buildings are usually intended to last for many years. However, interior designers must take greater account of how long their designs will be in place and what will happen to the materials they used afterwards. The duration of the project affects the choice of the interior design elements and all the considerations to be taken in the design process.
The considerations an interior designer takes demands a full understanding and a calculated prediction of the whole life cycle of a project for the application of sustainable choices, like the type of lighting appliances and water fixtures. These choices do not only include technical elements like these, but they also include the choice of details such as materials’ color, texture, light reflecting, weight and density. These details affect the space’s environmental performance as well as the occupant’s user experience. A designer’s understanding of the function of space helps them optimize the user’s behavior and health within the space.
As the issues of pollution and climate change are becoming more pressing and urgent by the day, architects and designers should feel more responsible to take an action and alleviate the effects of climate change. Not only that, but it is also their responsibility to work on restoring the damage committed to nature and humans, as designers have a subliminal effect on the other environments others live in. This look back to our workshop that took place in 2015 in Riyadh, is a reminder of the positive role interior architects and designers can take to create a positive impact in their societies.
Learn more about our Sustainable Interior Design projects: