Design Innovation

Design Innovation

This award recognizes an individual, organization, manufacturer, or research project for having produced a significant and innovative product, project, or body of work that contributes to interior design by positively impacting human behavior; promoting comfort, efficiency, or communication; exemplifying a commitment to the profession; exhibiting a commitment to sustainability, health, and wellness; and displaying an overall appreciation for design.

Photo: 2017 Winner, Design Museum Foundation, Sam Aquillano, Founder


Eligible parties include any individual, organization, manufacturer, or research project that has made lasting and significant contributions to the body of knowledge that supports the profession of interior design. National officers, board members, and award jurors are ineligible during their terms of service.

Paul Scialla

2018 Design Innovation Award Winner - Paul Scialla

After 18 years on Wall Street, including 10 at Goldman Sachs as a partner, Paul Scialla’s interest in altruistic capitalism and sustainability led him to establish the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), which administers the WELL Building Standard® globally to improve human health and well-being through the built environment. Developed through seven years of rigorous research in collaboration with leading physicians, scientists, and industry professionals, WELL is the first building standard focused exclusively on the ways that buildings, and everything in them, affect the comfort and well- being of the people inside. By monitoring seven core concepts of building performance that have been scientifically proven to positively impact human health and wellness, including air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind, WELL works in the background to improve our comfort, drive better health choices, and generally enhance, not compromise, our overall wellness.

Additionally, IWBI has committed 51 percent of net profits, after taxes, generated by registration fees, certification fees, and recertification fees received from real estate projects applying for WELL Certification, toward charitable contributions and impact investment focused on health, wellness, and the built environment. Since IWBI’s inception, Paul has become a leading voice in the sustainability movement, serving as a keynote speaker technology firm, a member of the board of directors for the Chopra Foundation, and a founding board member of the JUST Capital Foundation.

Previous Award Winners

2018: Paul Scialla
2017: Design Museum Foundation
2016: Stacklab + Rebart
2015: Wayne Ruga, PhD, FAIA, FIIDA, Hon. FASID
2014: Haworth's Bluescape
2013: Health Product Declaration Collaborative
2012: Material Connexion
2011: BIFMA Level Sustainability Standard