07/01/2003

Preserve the Past: Design the Future

Mitzi R. Perritt

Preserve the Past:
Design the Future

 

Members of the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) gathered in San Diego, CA, in March for their 40th annual conference, which was dedicated to the theme "Preserve the Past: Design the Future." Mimi Moore and Holly Hodnick of San Diego Mesa College hosted the well- organized event and were assisted by Curt Sherman, formerly of Winthrop University, and Jan Bast of the Design Institute of San Diego. Together, the committee provided a cadre of memorable guest speakers and informative tours as well as a delightful setting for the exploration of organizational, research and pedagogical issues. Members from Canada, Mexico, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and the United States enjoyed the hospitality and design heritage of the San Diego community.

The varied conference agenda featured workshops by FIDER and NCIDQ, a welcome reception, keynote addresses, paper and poster presentations, panel discussion, business meetings, tours, a trade fair and the annual awards banquet. Guest speaker Wayne Donaldson, FAIA, challenged participants to become more involved in historic preservation and the adaptive reuse of existing structures. Randall Whitehead, IALD, ASID, presented a humorous yet thoughtful look into the role of lighting as the new jewelry of architecture and interior design. Panelists including Donna Vining, NCIDQ president; Beth Harmon-Vaughan, FIDER chair; Dee Ginthner, past IDEC president; and Don Bowden, ASID president, presented a fast-paced and insightful discussion of the future of interior design.

The 44 peer-reviewed paper and poster presentations reported efforts in design research and pedagogy. Researchers explored aspects of healthcare design, lighting effects, wayfinding, workplace environments and information dissemination. Additional presentation topics included successful strategies in the art of teaching utilizing a global perspective, advancements in computer technology, distance learning and graphic communication. Other educators discussed success in implementing unique curriculum to advance student learning in the university classroom as well as in grades K-12. Professional issues such as identity politics, feminism, green design, ecology, behavioral awareness, professional status and cultural factors were investigated. In summary, the conference successfully achieved its purpose in promoting the exchange of ideas and dialogue to benefit the advancement of interior design education and the design profession.

Dedicated sponsors that contributed to the success of the conference included ASID, Autodesk, BASF/Honeywell Nylon, BlueBolt Networks, Fairchild Books, Herman Miller, IDEC Foundation, Prentice-Hall and Wilsonart International. Lori Eichel of BlueBolt was honored with the Industry Merit Award in recognition of her enthusiastic support of IDEC. The IDEC organization is most grateful for this outstanding slate of conference sponsors.

The awards banquet provided a festive forum for the celebration of achievement. The IDEC Fellows inducted Stephanie Clemons of Colorado State University into the council in recognition of her sustained and noteworthy contributions to the organization. Paul Eshelman of Cornell University, Matt Melcher of Washington State University-Spokane and Carl Matthews of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln received top honors in the Juried Design Competition. Winners of the student competition, loyally sponsored each year by BASF/Honeywell, were John Weigand at Miami University, Phillip Tebbutt of Louisiana State University, and Carl Matthews of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Regional chair awards were presented to Stephanie Watson, University of Minnesota for Best Poster; Theodore Drab and Carol Bormann, Oklahoma State University, for Best Presentation; and John Weigand, Miami University, and David Matthews, Ohio University, for Best Paper. Special awards recognized the significant service of Jean Edwards, University of Louisiana-Lafayette, in organizing the Juried Design Competition and Victoria Brinn-Feinberg, California State University-Northridge, for a record-breaking increase in IDEC membership.

Pittsburgh, PA, will be the site of the 2004 IDEC conference inspired by the theme "Take the Lead." Special festivities to be held from March 23 to 28 will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Journal of Interior Design and the launching of an electronic publication format. Host Wendy Beckwith of La Roche College promises a stimulating and enjoyable program of events open to IDEC members, professional and industry associates as well as others interested in interior design education. For more information about the conference and other IDEC activities, visit the IDEC Web site at www.idec.org or contact Jenni Metzinger, executive director, at (317) 816-6261.


Mitzi Perritt is professor of interior design at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX. She presently serves IDEC as president. IDEC can be contact at (317) 816-6261 or www.idec.org.

 

 
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