Twelfth Annual Contract Design Forum held in Del Mar, California

Fostering engaging and thought-provoking discussion, the Forum is held annually for the leading experts in commercial architecture and interior design. Photography by Beth Weaver

Bringing together the leading experts in commercial architecture and interior design, the 12th Annual Contract Design Forum took place in Del Mar, California, November 9–11. Fostering engaging and thought-provoking discussion, the Forum is held annually for nationally recognized designers of workplace, hospitality, healthcare, retail, education, and civic projects, as well as design educators and national real estate leaders.

Contract Design Forum was sponsored by Bentley, Humanscale, Keilhauer, Kimball Office, Mohawk Group, OFS, Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Shaw Contract, Tarkett, Teknion, Universal Fibers, and Wolf-Gordon.

The event kicked off with an opening keynote by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates, who spoke about how culture can be a catalyst for social transformation. Providing platforms for communities to come together, his nationally recognized body of work includes large-scale urban interventions and is focused on cultural development in underserved communities. Founder and CEO of LiquidSpace Mark Gilbreath discussed the ramifications of the sharing economy on commercial real estate, particularly workplaces, and the broader lessons for all commercial interior project types. Architect and design strategist Evelyn Lee, AIA, delivered a thought-provoking a presentation about the need for architecture and design professions to adapt and be agile in order to remain relevant.

The Contract Editorial Advisory Board includes notable architects and designers from across the country, representing the thought leaders in the design of workplace, healthcare, retail, hospitality, and schools as well as real estate professionals. Together with other guests at Forum, they led provocative conversations about the state of the design profession and its future.