JASPER, IN - The Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) recently honored Kimball Office with an Industry Merit Award in recognition of the company's outstanding support of interior design education.
"Each year we choose a member of the industry who is a champion of interior design education," explains Jeffrey Beachum, executive director, IDEC. "Kimball Office is a giant for us this year. They have led the way in drawing attention to the shrinking numbers of educators in the interior design profession, and they have contributed significant resources to helping find solutions."
During NeoCon® 2007, Kimball Office initiated a panel discussion on the acute shortage of interior design educators. While educators were well aware of the situation, it was shocking to members of the interior design profession who attended the event.
"I have to admit," states Nila Leiserowitz, principal and managing director of Gensler, "until that session, those of us in practice were not aware of the grave situation regarding the declining pool of interior design educators. During the panel discussion and dialogue, we witnessed the reaction of educators who have been experiencing this problem firsthand. It was the most important session I have attended in years."
Based on the insights exchanged between panelists, education professionals and design practitioners, a task force was formed, with Kimball Office donating funds to support its initiatives. These included a survey that defined and quantified the issue and a forum that explored the challenges and potential in becoming a design educator at the university level.
"One of our guiding principles is to enhance the world we live in, and one way we can do that is by advocating for the future of interior design education and sponsoring programs for recruiting design practitioners to become design educators," explains Jeff Fenwick, vice president/general manager, Kimball Office. "This recognition shows that we've made an impact, but there's still a lot to do."
Kimball Office received the Industry Merit Award at a ceremony in March as part of IDEC's 2008 Annual International Conference in Montreal. To learn more, go to www.kimballoffice.com.