The interior design industry in New Zeland is booming.
While the industry has had an upsurge in the last five years, the growth is still quite modest.
And there is a major lack of investment, especially in the interior design space.
So why is that?
“We’re a pretty low-income country and it is very hard to find good design that isn’t a product of colonialism, imperialism or greed,” says Dr. Robert Jones.
“I think the reason for that is that it’s been a very slow-growing industry.”
“You can get great design in the United States, but in New South Wales it is almost non-existent.
The biggest problem we have is that we have an insular culture that we’ve got a long way to go,” he says.”
And there are a lot of good design graduates who go into the industry but don’t do the things that are really important.”
Jones says the reason the industry is struggling is due to a lack of capital.
He says it’s not a problem of capital; the real problem is the lack of funds.
“If you look at the business model, it’s very hard for a business to grow without a base of financial support,” he explains.
If the government wants to fund the sector, it can set up a funding model and have that fund flow through to the design and interior design industries, Jones says.
The new government has introduced the New Zealand Industry Training Scheme which gives local employers an opportunity to establish their own training and certification centres.
In addition, the government is supporting small design companies that are looking to hire design graduates, as well as offering support to the industry to expand.
It’s a great way for designers to get their foot in the door and get a sense of what it takes to make a good design, Jones adds.
For example, a design school recently established in the Gold Coast in 2017 had three graduates.
That was just a small start in a process of bringing in graduates.
Now there are up to eight more graduates on the way, with plans to double that number by 2021.