Why Interior Designers Matter


Post 2012 Conference Thoughts- Critical Issues and IDEC’s Role

I was fortunate to have been invited to participate on the Village Square Critical Issues Session panel titled “Legislation: The Role of Educators”. My panel mates Caren Martin, Ph.D. and Rosemary Botti-Salitsky and I spoke to an audience of about a dozen. The light attendance concerned us.  I suspect the reason for the low interest was the fact that there were multiple “critical” sessions occurring simultaneously, the sessions occurred at the end of a long day (perfect time for a nap) and quite frankly the topic of interior design legislation can be dauntingly complex and like any discussion pertaining to religion or politics, potentially disputatious (my new word for the day). I don’t blame conference attendees for avoiding our session. None the less, since I personally believe the effort to regulate the practice of interior design is one of the most important issues facing design educators and the profession in general, I was disappointed by the turnout.

There were several other sessions that I would have liked to attend as well. Hopefully others can post thoughts on the sessions here. My hope is that attendees can at least share their perceptions for those who were unable to attend the conference. Ideally others will be brave enough to offer assessments and opinions of the topics at hand- but I am not going to hold my breath that others will feel free, and/or have the time to do so.

Back to my point.

Do we as Interior Design educators have a responsibility to advocate for the profession beyond complying with accreditation and scholarly endeavor requirements? The answer to this question applies not only to the issue of Interior Design legislation but most of the other Critical Issue topics as well. Should we really care what our students call themselves? What responsibility do we have to ensure that graduates of our programs can in fact become vetted “professionals”? Should we follow academic trends that make it increasingly difficult to find and attract terminally degreed practitioners seeking a career change in order to fill needs amongst our ranks?

With that I welcome any answers to the above queries or comments on what attendees saw and heard.

IDEC: The Next 50 Years

John Turpin, Ph.D., FIDEC, posted a succinct homage to the first 50 years of IDEC on the 2012 Conference Website.


Does anybody care to speculate what a list of IDEC’s accomplishments may look like if written in 2062?

BIM vs. CAD & Interior Design Education

I just finished reading BIM & Integrated Design by Randy Deutsch http://bimandintegrateddesign.com/the-book-2/

I have to admit it rocked my world.

Personally I am struggling with the transition from CAD to BIM. However, as an educator with an irrelevance phobia I am forcing myself through it. Since I do not use it on a daily basis or within an integrated practice environment the transition is difficult. I am sure I am not the only digital immigrant ID educator facing this dilemma. Currently as a department we teach both 2-D ACAD and Revit. Our design process and our Construction Documents are still based on the traditional SD/DD/CD/CA process. I was thinking that the transition the  from 2-D CAD platform to the BIM platform might take 3-5 years.  After reading Deutsch’s book I think that is wishful thinking on my part. BIM appears to be here NOW.

Is there anybody out there that has jettisoned AutoCAD and is focusing entirely on BIM (Revit or other 3-D parametric programs) ?  If so how have you escaped the traditional academic silos to create a true multi-discipline cross collaboration BIM experience? If you are thinking that teaching REVIT as a 3-D design tool in isolation of other disciplines and the additional dimensions that BIM & IPD provide (I have seen as many as 4 additional dimensions) then you are doing your students a diservice. However, I acknowledge the difficulties in creating relevant theoretical projects utilizing BIM and not just pretty REVIT renderings.  

I have seen lots of discussion on the AEC side of this issue but very little that focuses on Interior Designs role in this new paradigm. I hope somebody with IDEC is taking this issue on and will be presenting in Baltimore.  We need to think about this deeply as it has enormous resource implications at a minimum. We also need to help eachother out as as quickly as possible because the trainsition is not going to wait for us to ponder it too deeply.


More on Technology and ID Pedagogy

Here are two press releases regarding the use of VR to invision interior space. One is in an academic setting and the other is in a retail setting.



While V.R.technology has been aroung for awhile it is not an inexpensive endeavor.  Now it seems to have gone mainstream as they say particularly if it is being used to assist buyers of residential furnishings.  Wow.  Are we prepared for this? What does this mean for helping students to visualize 3-D space? Are the days of Revit and SketchUp as 3-D design tools numbered?