Taking the Lead
Exploring the role that educators play in the profession's future.
Taking the Lead" was the theme for this year's Interior Design Educators Council's (IDEC) annual international conference, held from March 24 to 28 in Pittsburgh, PA. The theme emphasized the important role educators play in developing high quality design education as well as building the image and future of the profession. LaRoche College hosted the event with Wendy Beckwith serving as conference chair and fellow
faculty members Lori Anthony, Sally Wood and Carolyn Freeman assisting as co-hosts. Attendees included IDEC members from colleges and universities in the United States, Canada and numerous other countries, as well as representatives from the Foundation of Interior Design Education Research (FIDER), the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ), the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).
The conference offered keynote speakers, CEU credits, a broad offering of presentations, a variety of exhibitions, area tours and opportunities for networking. Many attendees took advantage of the pre-conference workshops including an informative FIDER workshop as well as a lighting workshop sponsored by the IDEC lighting network.
Opening keynote speaker Dr. Oliver Evans, president and vice chancellor of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University in Grand Rapids, MI, spoke about the value of "design as the center." He noted that designers are taking the lead from the center of the team rather than from the front and influencing, guiding, nudging, orchestrating, coordinating, navigating and picking up the slack. He also stressed the value of design courses for students in all baccalaureate programs as an essential part of a well-rounded education.
Several key issues were discussed in open forums and networking sessions during the conference. IDEC, under the guidance of president Anna Marshall-Baker, committed to adopt the Cradle-to-Cradle protocol of William McDonough and Michael Braungart and to emphasize these beliefs as a key component of interior design education curriculum. In addition, questions were raised regarding the new NCIDQ proposal specifying the qualifications required to sit for the exam and how this might affect new interior design graduates.
The Journal of Interior Design (JID), a scholarly, refereed publication dedicated to issues related to the design of interior environments published by IDEC, celebrated its 30th anniversary. The celebration included the introduction of the first electronic issue, a review of the history of the journal, and recognition and appreciation of past editors.
Closing keynote speaker, Joseph Schwartz, executive emeritus at Herman Miller,
delivered a speech titled, "How Design Happened at Herman Miller." Schwartz shared his personal experiences with many of the designers he came to know during his long tenure with the company. He enlightened IDEC members on the history of Herman Miller and the philosophies of the founder and designers that have guided the company over the years.
The conference could not have been possible without the generous support of
Tectonic Studio, Herman Miller, Honeywell Nylon, Haworth, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Dow, FIDER, NCIDQ, Sitonit Seating, Desks, Inc., IIDA, LaRoche College and Fairchild Publications.
The 2005 IDEC annual conference will be held from March 1 to 6 in Savannah, GA. IDEC can be reached by contacting Jennie Metzinger, IDEC executive director, at (317) 328-4437, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.idec.org.