Libby and I are always excited to be part of the CenterBuild experience. It is an annual ICSC conference dedicated to the planning, development, design and construction of shopping centers, retail stores and retail-focused developments. Over 1500 industry professionals attended this year for unparalleled networking and the exchange of ideas and visions for the future of retail design. It was an opportunity filled with CEU sessions, workshops and key note speakers to increase our knowledge, build stronger relationships and celebrate with other firms reaching excellence in retail. This year I even kicked off the conference with a 4-mile hike through the McDowell Sonoran Preserve with 40 other adventurous professionals!
I enjoyed facilitating a well attended round table called "Designing Furniture for the Future." Developers, furniture dealers and contractors shared their thoughts about the challenges and opportunities surrounding furniture selection and design. The overall results of the discussion were that shopping centers and retail-focused developments will continue to be a living, breathing organism! The desire for ultimate flexibility is driving the need for custom furniture concepts. Furniture strategies are specific to each developer and depend on the customer profile for each center. Although the emphasis on the leasing plans of common mall kiosks and RMU's remains a challenge, decluttering and better planning seems to be a common goal set by development, leasing, business development and the designer. The hope is to create successful common area furniture and amenities areas that focus on the needs of the customer.
Our goal as a design team is to provide comfortable, beautiful environments that embrace new technology while being flexible because these spaces are consistently changing. We are re-energized and inspired!
Laurie Born, Director of Retail