One More Reason to Smile
Cindy Allen -- Interior Design, 3/1/2009 12:00:00 AM
As I write this in the wee hours of the AM, news is hitting the ticker. They say that 4 million home owners are going to get their mortgages under control, avoid foreclosure, and keep a huge amount of real-estate inventory off the market. All this comes with a delicious bonus that sees banks finally getting some strict adult supervision. Aside from the sheer staggering size of the rescue, it is singularly refreshing to see leaders in action, alertly back at the switch. Here in our neck of the woods, the State of New York is grappling with the task of quickly spending $4 billion in expected federal assistance, just for starters. The lion's share will go to infrastructure, but sooner or later we'll get to other structures—and there our industry is zestfully going to be of service. In case you mistakenly dismiss these sums as trifles, easily matched by a few '08 bonuses at Merrill Lynch, I'd like to point out that the only place one hears complaints about the rescue plan is Wall Street, kicking and squealing like a spoiled child under a firm hand. The SEC's hefty new budget for investigation and enforcement must have added to the decibels. What's that saying running rampant these days? "Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered."
If you're struck by the surprisingly cheery note in my voice, economics and politics are only partly the reason. My good mood is largely design-manufactured. Our March stories are as impeccably fresh as ever and, most important, as useful—the adjective for our times. Along with first-class fare from Gisue Hariri and her sister Mojgan, Lauren Rottet, and Hagy Belzberg, we have assembled an extraordinary Start of Something Big feature. This collage from a representative sampling of designers not only provides living proof of how richly fertile a patch ours is but also offers a cross section of strategies to survive and propellers to prosper—with a foot firmly placed on the ground of sound, proactive business practices and any other limb bet on creativity and flexibility. Throughout the process of putting together this special feature as well as in the countless moments with designers I am afforded, I have been witness to your almost pagan worship of the future and the power of invention.