Products, Materials, and Vendor Relationships


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Receive hands-on advice on how to specify products and materials, address health and environmental concerns, and build strong relationships with manufacturers and vendors.

Impress your professors and future colleagues by knowing exactly which questions to ask when specifying products and materials on a project.


What You Will Learn
  • Important considerations when specifying materials
  • How to address material health and safety concerns to ensure the well-being of building occupants
  • How to work most effectively with manufacturers’ representatives and build strategic relationships
  • Key questions to ask vendors about products and materials


Core Content 


Demystifying Furniture's Role in Sustainability

A mind-boggling number of environmental standards exist. It seems each day something is greener, better, and calling louder than the standards of years past. Learn how to define and compare leading sustainability programs in the market and explain the key role furniture plays within each. You will also see how to overlay LEVEL® by BIFMA’s rating system and explain its application and relevance to help demystify furniture’s role in sustainability. 


Eight Attributes of Contract Furniture

Become a more informed specifier through this exploration of the eight key attributes of contract furniture. You’ll gain insight into the crucial factors to weigh in your decision-making, including performance, sustainability, and health and wellness. Understand the tools you can use to assess each of these eight attributes, and evaluate the optimal balance in order to create spaces that meet unique design criteria and work effectively for the occupants.


Healthy Materials Sourcing and Selection 

Gain the knowledge you need to recognize materials that could be harmful to human health, and how to find alternatives when specifying. Dr. Andrew Dent of Material ConneXion will walk you through scenarios to illustrate areas of concern and provide examples of situations where healthful alternatives are necessary. You will learn key questions to ask and how to navigate ratings and points systems to evaluate materials’ impact on human health.


In Conversation: Product Intros and Perspectives

Ever wonder how designers navigate through new products and materials as they consider what is best for their clients and projects? Listen in on a series of conversations between leading designers and their reps as they review new products. You will leave with an understanding of the questions to ask when evaluating products, how to navigate relationships with product reps, and fresh insight on what’s up and coming from manufacturers. 

  • ROUND ONE
  • Segment 1: Wood Flooring: Listen as Mindi Weichman, Design Director, Studio O+A, learns about wood flooring options for a new workplace project from Todd Youngs, Founder and Sales Representative – Northern California, Todd Contract.
  • Segment 2: Plumbing Fixtures: Hear all about new plumbing fixtures from Jason Reynolds, Director of Hospitality and Architecture and Design, Fortune Brands Global Plumbing Group, as he presents options to Krista Ninivaggi, Allied ASID, Founder, K&CO, for a new condo project.
  • Segment 3: Textiles: Listen in on a conversation between Kia Weatherspoon, NCIDQ, ASID, President/ CEO, Determined by Design, and Melanie Ambridge, Sales Representative, Momentum Textiles & Wallcovering, and learn about textile options for a new multi-family residential project.
  • ROUND TWO
  • Segment 1: Furniture: Listen as three designers from Chambers, Leslie Foster, ASID, Senior Interior Designer/Associate, Megan Hochman, ASID, NCIDQ, Director of Interior Design – DC/Senior Associate, and Patricia Sampson, NCIDQ, Senior Project Manager, Senior Associate, discuss tabletops and other product needs for their hospitality projects with Eddie Weber of The Weber Team.  
  • Segment 2: Tile: Hear all about new tile lines from Amy Gay, Architectural Sales Representative, Daltile, as she presents options to Melissa Moseley, ASID, NCIDQ, CID, LEED AP, Senior Interior Designer, HDR, for her healthcare projects. 
  • Segment 3: Home Technology: Listen in on a conversation between Shundra Harris, ASID, RID, Founder | Principal Designer, Shundra Harris Interiors, and Pamela Cortes, Echo Workshop, and learn about home technology and entertainment options for residential projects. 


Extra Credit 

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