Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011 - A Year in Review at KSA Interiors

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
- Winston Churchill

At KSA we have lived by these principles for the last twenty nine years. As we aproach our thirtieth year of business we hope to reflect on the last year and the many ways we have been influenced by our community.

Leadership –

Defending the right to practice.
As 2011 has come to a close, the interior design industry in Virginia has been roiled by the proposal by Governor Robert F. McDonnell to deregulate “Certified Interior Designers”. KSA is a firm supporter of the interior designer’s right to practice and has taken the lead in the effort to educate the Virginia legislature on the importance of Certification in Virginia. Working with the Council for Certified Virginia Interior Designers (CCVID), as well as the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), and the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ), KSA has actively promoted the benefits to Certification in Virginia while dispelling common myths and stereotypes.

Deregulation creates barriers to business by selectively eliminating competition between design disciplines and establishes potential barriers to state and federal projects, as well as the permitting process. Interior designers face additional restrictions and discrimination in regards to scope of work, board membership within professional corporations, and interstate commerce.
Most importantly however, deregulation removes protections for the public. Interior designers play a key role in protecting the health, welfare, and safety of the inhabitants of interior space. Interior designers are the sole professional body focused on the relationship between human beings and interior spaces. People spend in excess of 90% of our time inside buildings. Interior designers are the ones charged with space planning, materials selection, and furniture, fixtures and equipment selection for commercial buildings. These choices directly impact people's abilities to function effectively, and to remain safe in the case of emergency. Wuite simply, interior designers have the greatest impact on the safety of building occupants in regards to interior content.
2012 will prove to be a very important year for KSA and the interior design industry as a whole. If you are interested in learning more about this issue, or are interested in how you can help, please contact KSA or your state representatives.
You can learn more about the facts of Interior Design regulation by following this link:

Qualified Professionals
A number of KSA team members expanded upon their qualifications in 2011. Heather Croy and Erin Riggan passed the NCIDQ exam and joined Ruth Deibler in becoming CID's (Certified Interior Designers) in Virginia. KSA is proud of Erin, Heather, Ruth, and our many other Certified professionals.

Reinventing the design process – and how we serve our clients.
KSA spent much of 2011 reinventing how we deliver inspired design solutions to our clients. The first half of the year was devoted to building on the previous year’s corporate retreat where we investigated ways to place service to our clients at the core of our business. The end result was a mindset we like to refer to as “Best in the World”. Built around five keys to service, “Best in the World” is rooted in one primary insight – what is best for each of our clients is an entirely relative thing. Learn more about “Best in the World” by reading our e-book here:

Best in the World

The second half of 2012 was devoted to ways that we could improve our design process based on the lessons we have learned in developing the “Best in the World” mindset as well as in learning from the best practices of the design industry. The result was the KSA Way – a design methodology developed through the investigation of processes developed by KSA as well as design leaders such as IDEO, Apple, HOK, and others. Combining aspects of Design Psychology, Evidence Based Design and Design Thinking, KSA created a design methodology tailored to its needs and the practices of its clients. Learn more about the KSA Way design process by viewing a short presentation here:

The KSA Way

Wellness –

For the last several years KSA team members have had the great fortune of receiving yoga lessons taught by Sonja Stoeckli. Each Thursday afternoon Sonja visits KSA’s Richmond office to host classes for our team members. What began as an opportunity to release stress and promote fitness has become a movement within KSA. Our wellness initiative has expanded and grown to include not only yoga, but also a company-wide weekly wellness dialogue and the encouragement for a number of KSA staff members to become pre-dawn running partners, join their local gym, or even sign up for the 140.6 mile Ironman Triathlon.

Beyond KSA’s desire to promote wellness within our firm we were thrilled when Richmond was awarded the 2015 World Road Cycling Championships, and with the recent plans by the city to make cycling an integral part of our city’s framework. Cycling, like running, swimming, and many other wellness activities around the city not only promote individual wellness but they also engage and bond the community.

KSA looks forward to 2012 as we are excited by the opportunities that lie before us and our city in regards to promoting wellness across our hometown. If you are interested in how wellness can improve our local community, we recommend you visit our friends at Richmond Cycling Corps. A non-profit organization that provides leadership and personal development to Richmond’s urban youth through the sport of cycling.

Community –

Real World Design Week.
Over the course of two days in November, KSA played host to over a dozen aspiring interior designers currently enrolled at universities and colleges across the state. RealWorld DesignWeek represented an opportunity to share our passion for the design industry with the next generation of up and coming professionals. Students shadowed our design staff, attended CEU presentations, met with the firms leadership, business development and marketing staff, and asked lots and lots of questions. At KSA we have the highest level of respect for interior design education and are passionate about sharing our knowledge and insight with young designers.

Engaging Peers, Clients, and Friends.
KSA has continued its commitment to the design community by sponsoring events, hosting CEU’s and taking a leadership role in organizations such as ASID. KSA’s Mary Katherine Crouch joins a long line of KSA team members who have either served on the board of the Virginia Chapter of ASID, or who like Mary Katherine, have taken the helm as Chapter President.

White Elephants and Habitat for Humanity.
KSA’s design staff donated hundreds of hours of volunteer work to the Virginia Chapter ASID White Elephant Sale, raising over $30,000 for Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity. Over 300 people attended the event which featured modern furnishings, art, jewelry and other fine items. The newly renovated Hippodrome Theater played host to the event and set an appropriate tone for all those who support the mission of Habitat and the revitalization of Richmond communities.

Photo Credit: Chris Anderson Photography

Photo Credit: Chris Anderson Photography

Giving –

Ft. Lee Holiday Helper.
For the last several years KSA has participated in the Ft. Lee Holiday Helper program, a wonderful way to thank and give back to our troops. The soldiers are able to browse and select gifts for their children from a wide variety of donations from the community: plush toys, electronics, jewelry, games, clothing, books, and a wide variety of other items. "Elf" volunteers help the soldiers navigate through the gifts and answer any questions they may have about items. Volunteers can also offer their services as a holiday "wrapper". All the gifts may be gift-wrapped and tagged, so they can go directly under the tree! It is a very fulfilling way to serve those who serve us.

Toys for Tots.
In keeping with tradition KSA combines its annual corporate holiday party with a drive to collect toys for the Marine Toys for Tots program. Selecting gifts to represent our team members is a fun way to say thanks and share interesting personal stories. Even better it provides us a great opportunity to donate to a great cause. If you are interested in getting your team more involved with the marine Toys for Tots Foundation, visit the website today!

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