A catch up with Gilly Craft – BIID President 2018

Posted in Business, News, People on 4 October, 2018

Following Gilly Craft’s recent appointment as BIID President 2018, Nicola Kent finds out how the first few months have been and what the future holds for Gilly as a designer and as the President of the BIID community.

Three months on since you were announced as the new BIID President, how has the new role been so far?
Very busy. Having the year as President Elect was very helpful in preparing me for the year of the Presidency.

As well as being the new BIID president you have your design company Koubou, how has the team taken your new role?
I discussed the possibility of being BIID President with my family and my team at Koubou before putting myself forward for the role. The team and I knew that we would have to plan for my time away from the business and so I took last year to get everything in place. My team has been very supportive, and I know that they are very capable.

What do you feel will be the key challenges for the interior design industry in the coming years?
Clients are very well informed because of social media and the internet. This means that we have to work in a way that the value of design is brought to the fore, being seen as consultants rather than retailers.

How does the BIID support interior designers starting within the industry?
The BIID is the only professional body with institute status that works for its members. It’s important to know there is a professional body they can belong to that will offer them on-going support, networking opportunities, continuing professional development and an advanced career pathway. In particular, the support for members through the Professional Pathway and the learning hub is magnificent. It has proved to be a great success, helping a growing number of designers move from study through to professional competence. The Professional Pathway provides a national, professional standard for interior designers, and also offers flexibility with different entry points that recognise the qualifications and experience interior designers have already gained. It bridges the gap for interior designers between education and achieving full professional standing.

Looking back on your experiences within the design industry, what would be your advice for those starting their career?
Make sure that you join the BIID. Practising professionally and following the code of conduct is just as important as being a good designer. For many, an interior design degree or related qualification is the start point to their career; others may choose to enter the profession without any formal interior design education. The BIID’s Professional Pathway was designed to be flexible and inclusive enough to accommodate these varying start points. BIID members are also supported in their ongoing education with a full and exciting CPD programme to help develop their careers. The CPDs available to the membership are varied and educational and ensures designers can gain access to the latest developments and update their skills in a rapidly changing industry. It also provides a platform to engage with experts in the industry and a forum for exchanging ideas and best practice.

Are there any projects that you are currently working on that you can tell us about?
We have several proposals we are currently waiting to progress, which, until they come live will have to stay a secret.

What are your ambitions for the BIID going forward?
There have been several strategies that the Council have been working on to progress the institute over the last year or so, which we are going to build on over the next year. We have a busy schedule coming up for the rest of 2018, with events talks, and panel discussions from our members. One of the high points in our calendar is the BIID’s annual conference, returning this November to 30 Euston Square in London. Inside Knowledge: the BIID business success conference will feature inspiring and informative sessions to help interior designers to develop and grow their businesses, and we’re looking forward to seeing some new and familiar faces there.

To find out more about the BIID, visit: biid.org.uk

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