The State of Interior Design
IIDA initiatives shine the spotlight on providing education on wellness, well-being, diversity, and social responsibility.
Interior design is a robust industry that continues to expand its role in the built environment. However, that growth is not without uncertainty about he future. The next generation of design professionals will face unprec- edented challenges around pivotal factors that are shaping our industry—
diversity, social responsibility, and well-being.
Current interior design practitioners and educators must ask themselves
some difficult questions: Have entry-level designers been properly educated
for today’s workplace—and tomorrow’s? Do they feel prepared? How will our
industry rise to the challenges presented, given the current state of education, the prevalent traits and attitudes of young Gen Z and millennial practitioners, and the evolving project implementation processes? What roadmap
can help us surmount these obstacles and seize them as opportunities to
propel the industry forward?
These are a few of the questions tackled by a range of emerging and
experienced professionals as well as educators from design programs around
the country at the second annual IIDA Educators Roundtable hosted by Milliken
in October 2017. The resulting report, “The State of Interior Design Education:
Wellness. Well-Being. Diversity. Social Responsibility,” chronicles the discussion
about the scope of interior design education, pivotal factors driving the field,
and how designers and educators can futureproof the profession by nurturing
students at all levels.
“The inspiring and optimistic discussion at the Educators Roundtable
provided insight into how design leaders are rising up to educate young
professionals in our industry,” said IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO
Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP, who moderated the discussion. “We
are encouraged to see challenges re-framed as opportunities for our industry
to recruit fresh, diverse talent and better prepare them for the ever-evolving
profession of design.”
In addition to insight into the gaps that exist in interior design education
today and the responsibility of firms to help acclimate junior employees to the
world of professional design, the report offers educators and practitioners
real solutions for building a more diverse and interdisciplinary workforce,
recruiting students who possess important soft skills such as empathy, and
better promoting the profession as a viable career to new populations.
Designer participants at the IIDA Educators Roundtable included: Josie
Briggs, IIDA, LEED AP ID+C, principal interior designer, NBBJ; Wanda
Coates-Flowers, lead interior designer, Army Corps of Engineers; 2017-2018
IIDA International Board of Directors President James Kerrigan, IIDA, LEED
AP ID+C, design principal of interiors, Jacobs; and Shawn McLean, IIDA,
owner, McLean Bergel Design.
Educator participants included: 2017-2018 IIDA International Board of
Directors Vice President Annie Chu, IIDA, FAIA, NCIDQ, founding principal,
Chu + Gooding Architects and professor of interior architecture, Woodbury
University; Pamela K. Evans, Ph.D., IIDA, FIDEC, LEED AP, director, Interior
Design, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Kent State
University; Christina Gonano, IIDA, RID,IDEC, professor of interior design,
Savannah College of Art and Design; 2016 IIDA Diversity Award recipient
Kijeong Jeon, IDEC, NCIDQ, professor, Interior Architecture Program,
Department of Art and Art History, California State University Chico; IIDA
Global Chair of Student Experience Primo Orpilla, FIIDA, principal and
co-founder, Studio O+A and visiting professor, University of Texas at Austin;
2017 IIDA Educator of the Year Jon Otis, IIDA, founder and principal, Object
Agency and professor, Pratt Institute; Doug Seidler, IIDA, chair, associate
professor, Interior Design, Marymount University and 2017-2018 IDEC president; and Jack Travis, FAIA, NOMAC, adjunct professor of interior design, The
School of Visual Arts, New York School of Interior Design, Pratt Institute, and
the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Student representatives included the 2016 and 2017 IIDA Students of
the Year Amy Leigh Hufford, Associate IIDA, interior designer, Nelson, and
Lindzey Duval, Associate IIDA, interior design coordinator, HDR, respectively;
and Genia Wright, Student IIDA, MPA, PMP, Pratt Institute and COO/CFO,
Vera Institute of Justice. The roundtable also featured guest speaker Dana
Pillai, president, Delos Labs and executive director, Well Living Lab.
The Educators Roundtable report can be downloaded at iida.org.
By IIDA | Photography courtesy of IIDA
“The State of Interior Design Education: Wellness. Well-Being. Diversity. Social Responsibility,”
chronicles the discussion about the scope of interior design education, pivotal factors driving the field,
and how designers and educators can futureproof the profession by nurturing students at all levels.