The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) recently launched a new online private social network: ASID CONNEX. CONNEX provides members a secure, easy-to-use tool that allows them to CONNECT with the 40,000+ members of ASID. One can log on and immediately see who is online and instantly begin a dialogue with members
who are thousands of miles away. One can join any of the online communities ... or start one of their own. One can even maintain their own blog on the interior design topic of their choice!
Today, social networking sites have emerged as a key medium for connecting complex sets of relationships between members of modern society. By linking professional interior designers, students, and educators to each other and to the industry members that serve them, ASID is creating unprecedented opportunities for its members to grow their networks and tap into unknown resources.
Imagine the possibilities:
- Students connecting with professional designers as they work on their projects.
- Professionals asking for out-of-town resources for out-of-town projects.
- Industry partners providing source information for hard-to-find products.
- Utilizing fellow professionals for leads on new employees.
- Asking educators for research tools to support your work.
Members can identify themselves by their practice areas and interests, and they can create as many specialty forums as they need, such as traditional specialty areas (i.e., contract design, healthcare design, retail design, hospitality design, residential design, educational design, institutional design, etc.) or cross-specialty practice areas like sustainable design and universal design.
In our world of specialization, designers are becoming experts in more narrowly focused practices. I know designers who design only jewelry stores or dentist offices. Specialization gives designers a competitive advantage. The ability to link with other professionals in different or similar specialty practice areas will increase opportunities to collaborate as well as expand our knowledge base.
Through globalization, our world has become smaller. Worldwide education over the Internet is available for most people in nearly every language. The more connected we are, the better we are able to share and build on each other's knowledge. By connecting professionals in different practice areas, interactive communication will introduce new ideas and opportunities.
In today's market, how well we are connected can directly relate to our success. Social capital may be our most powerful asset! ASID encourages its members to use this forum to cultivate innovation and support each other through collaboration.
We can all leverage our productivity by working together. Today, time is the new gold. Through collaboration, we will have more time for creative thought and innovation.
ASID president Rita Carson Guest, FASID, is an award- winning interior designer and longtime advocate for the interior design profession. She is president and design director of Carson Guest, a law office and corporate design firm in Atlanta, GA. ASID can be reached at (202) 546-3480 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and on the Web at www.asid.org.