April 8, 2015

IIDA NY Joins Be Original Americas

IIDA NY Chapter President Rebecca Dorris Steiger answers our questions on why IIDA NY joined Be Original Americas.

by New York Spaces

Rebecca Dorris Steiger

NYS: The IIDA NY (International Interior Design Association) has taken on a new mission. What is it?

Rebecca Dorris Steiger of IIDA NY: The IIDA NY Chapter mission is to provide our Members with the resources to reach expertise, knowledge and contacts. This year our goal is to focus on providing Mentorship at All Levels—a holistic focus on professional development to strengthen the value that our Chapter brings to the New York A&D Community.

NYS: What is your role in taking on this new mission?

Rebecca Dorris Steiger of IIDA NY: As President of the IIDA New York Chapter, it's my role to encourage our committees to develop programs for Member segments that we believe could use more support. One such segment, established designers, those with 7-15 years of experience are often tasked with the "doing" and may not have time or opportunity for mentoring or professional development within their own firms.

IIDA Sustainable Quilt Auction

NYS: Why is it so important to protect authentic design?

Rebecca Dorris Steiger of IIDA NY: I believe that it is our job as designers to do create bespoke design solutions for our clients. Providing original design solutions, for any type of design, requires an investment of time, research and money. Copying other designers' designs and specifying knockoff products devalues that whole process, stifles innovation, and often pushes dangerous, irresponsible products out into the market.

NYS: How many jobs are estimated to have been lost over counterfeit practices?

Rebecca Dorris Steiger of IIDA NY: According to the International Chamber of Commerce, 2.5 million jobs have been lost due to the proliferation of fake products in the global marketplace. The projected annual value of counterfeit goods is estimated to reach over $1.7 trillion by 2015—an alarming increase from an estimated $650 billion market value in 2008. Click here to see the statistics as according to CNN.

IIDA Sustainable Quilt Auction

NYS: How is IIDA NY planning on helping eliminate counterfeit and knock-off practices?

Rebecca Dorris Steiger of IIDA NY: Education and mentorship! With over 40 events each year, we are uniquely positioned to reach our 600+ Members across all market sectors, and help them communicate the value of authenticity to their colleagues and clients.

NYS: How did you come to hear of Be Original Americas?

Rebecca Dorris Steiger of IIDA NY: I received an email press release from Be Original Americas—I think it was July or August of 2015. I brought the information to our next Board meeting and suggested that we should join, and our board members were enthusiastic and extremely supportive.

NYS: What is their mission? How is IIDA NY's mission congruent to Be Original Americas?

Rebecca Dorris Steiger of IIDA NY: Supporting Be Original Americas in its effort to educate designers, clients, and consumers about this issue is completely in line with our goal to create a community of inspired, talented designers who have the tools and language to validate why original design is important.

IIDA Sustainable Quilt Auction

NYS: What will your new partnership consist of?

Rebecca Dorris Steiger of IIDA NY: As the first IIDA Chapter to become Members of Be Original Americas, we join the ranks of Herman Miller and Bernhardt Design, and media partners that are working together to protect designers' original work and support the future of the industry.

NYS: What kind of programs will your partnership create?

Rebecca Dorris Steiger of IIDA NY: We are collaborating with Be Original Americas to create a CEU program to educate and inform design professionals on the moral, environmental, and economic value of genuine design.

NYS: How will they help designers, artists, and innovators protect their work in the future?

Rebecca Dorris Steiger of IIDA NY: We would like to teach designers, vendors, and consumers about the research, manufacturing processes, and intellectual property that is involved in bringing original products to market. Education is the key—we will not be able to have any impact on the statistics if we can't encourage consumers to learn more about what they're purchasing.

IIDA Sustainable Quilt Auction

NYS: What kind of outreach will you engage in?

Rebecca Dorris Steiger of IIDA NY: We are starting with the CEU program this spring and will continue work together on programs throughout the year. We also donated the proceeds from our 2015 Sustainable Quilt Auction on March 25th to Be Original Americas to help support their efforts.

NYS: How can consumers help/participate?

Rebecca Dorris Steiger of IIDA NY: Consumers should arm themselves with knowledge about products they are considering; in addition to researching price, they should research where and how a product was made and the brand who has brought it to market.

IIDA Sustainable Quilt Auction

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