2017 [NEW] Call for Special Topics


New Scholarship Category



IDEC Call for Special Session Abstracts
2017 Annual Conference
Chicago, Illinois 

Deadline: Monday, October 10, 2016
Deadline Extended to Thursday, October 13 at 5 p.m. Central Time. 

The Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) invites design educators, practitioners, artists, and allied persons from around the globe to submit papers to a new scholarship category for 2017--Special Session Topics. Intended to stimulate discourse on contemporary design contexts across formats, special session topics have been crafted that reach beyond the current scholarship categories, stimulate discussion on a topic of importance to the membership, and provide space for emerging issues relevant to interior space.

All methods of inquiry are appropriate in the Special sessions. They may include but are not limited to collaboration, community outreach, history + theory, evidence-based design, design build, service learning, adaptive re-use, conceptual or built work, and innovative teaching models. Authors are encouraged to submit proposals that are provocative and encourage deep discussion by attendees.

For Special Sessions, abstracts will be blind reviewed by the Special Session Topic Chairs and identified experts in the area who will recommend acceptance for presentation at the IDEC 2017 Annual Conference to be held in Chicago, Illinois, March 8-12, 2017. The Special Session Topic Chairs will facilitate discussion during the scheduled presentation venues across presenters.

All submissions are expected to be original research that has not been presented previously at other scholarly venues.

NOTE: These Special Session Topics are under development. As such, presentation times and discussion will be extended beyond the traditional venues. Individuals accepted in this category will be informed of the presentation constraints following the review process.

Deadlines and Schedule

  • October 10, 2016: Abstracts received no later than 11:59 Pacific Standard Time
  • After December 1, 2016: Email notice of abstract acceptance/rejection with reviewer comments.
  • March 8-12, 2017: IDEC 2017 Annual Conference to be held in Chicago, Illinois.

Please note that the abstract and appendix submitted for the review process are the ones that will be printed in the Published Abstracts document following the conference. There will be no opportunity for additional edits. Those who do not present at the conference will not be included in the conference proceedings.

Special Session Topics

Text Box: Design Build



Special Topic Chair: Deborah Schneiderman (Questions: dschneid@pratt.edu)

Design/Build projects by design schools are one of the few places where design research and praxis can intersect. Work submitted to this session must have been built at full scale and have been inhabitable, in addition to being the product of an Interior Design/Interior Architecture curriculum. As proposals in this session will be diverse ranging from building in underserved communities to projects initiated as part of an exhibition, the questions addressed in papers will be broad and may include but are not limited to the following: What is the relationship between the “clients” and the student Design/Builders? Whose aesthetics and cultural values are embodied in the project? Should the community be active participants in the design of the project? What are the ethics of tuition-paying students providing free labor?  How can we explore the potentials of new materials, new fabrication technologies, and new digital tools while considering these innovations? Do political and/or social concerns affect choices related to fabrication?

This session solicits curriculum-based projects that demonstrate how faculty, students, schools, and communities realize innovative design-build projects embedded within interior Design/Interior Architecture curriculum.  Submissions of studio-based projects can encompasses a broad scope of Design/Build activities including, but not limited to, interior renovations, spatial installations, exhibition design, historic preservation, and adaptive reuse.  Curriculum-based Design/Build projects may encompass a diverse range of scale and context, but should demonstrate Design/Build student learning objectives from conceptual development through built form.  The Design/Build session encourages trans-disciplinary teams and collaborations.

To this end, the paper session invites submissions that critically engage the process and issues related to Design/Build projects in the Interior Design/Interior Architecture Studio and asks how did critical engagement in the Design/Build process affect the studio and its product?

Text Box: The Public Interior



Special Topic Chair: Gregory Marinic (Questions: gnmarini@syr.edu)

The public interior is primarily defined by the civic character spaces within buildings.  Developed throughout history and across cultures, the spatial and scalar parameters of public interiors express remarkable diversity.  In the East, the spatial conditions of ancient souks, bazaars, and medinas--networks of internal units, nodes, and districts--compose a civic experience which blurs the boundaries of interior and exterior.  In the West, a critical awareness of public interior space may be traced to Giambattista Nolli and his iconic Plan of Rome (1748) that visualized building interiors as an integral part of the city.  Unlike conventional urban plans that focused on streets, piazzas, and parks—while objectifying individual buildings—Nolli opened up an entirely new way of seeing and understanding the interface of public space and private domains.  Nolli acknowledged the inherent civitas of interior space.

By the twentieth century, metropolitan complexities and transformative social change gave rise to new perspectives on public interiority. A sublime view of the future was captured in cinematic culture by Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927) which characterized cities as increasingly interior and multi-leveled.  After 1945, master planned interior spaces rethought European and North American cities from the inside-out.  Contemporary “interior urbanism” addressed the desire for greater autonomy embodied in the interior hermetic environments of underground networks, skywalk systems, atria, and megastructures.  Responding to climatic, social, psychological, and economic concerns, these large-scale internal environments were vastly more extensive, complex, and indeed “public” than conventional interiors.  

Alongside theoretical postulations such as Archizoom’s limitless ‘No-Stop City’ (1970-71), Victor Gruen shaped American suburban mall culture at Southdale Center (1965), Arthur Erickson advanced megastructural forms with Simon Fraser University (1965) and Robson Square (1975), while Paolo Soleri envisioned a futuristic, megastructural interiors through speculative, multifunctional cylinder of residential, commercial, civic spaces housing 500,000 people within continuous interior environments, as well as built work at Arcosanti (1970).  Lateral airport-cities and speculative space settlements addressed the simultaneous rise of commercial air travel and space exploration.  More recently, the experimental works of many designers reveal landscape-urban-interior-exterior-surface-underground continuities primarily mobilized through public interiority.

Contrasting to master planned or purpose-built public interiors, organic forms have grown in the developing world by incremental, parasitic, and sometimes illegal means as platform circulation networks, appropriated structures, and informal settlements.  Together, these public interiors represent a broad range of urban space based on interiority—a semi-public realm of internally-focused environments, social experiences, and spatial configurations. 

In this session for IDEC 2017, the public interior will be examined, analyzed, and theorized by exploring its past, present, and future.  Engaging a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary lens, this session collects research and critical studio work in interior design that investigates the spatial, social, cultural, contextual, and theoretical parameters of the public interior.   The session seeks to engage a global survey of public interiorities from formal-to-informal and ancient-to-speculative--megastructuralincrementalplannedappropriated, or organic— ‘The Public Interior’ will reveal the full scope of potentialities for civic interiority in the twenty-first century.

Text Box: Design Diversity



Special Topic Chair: Kristi Gaines (Questions: kristi.gaines@ttu.edu)

In order to support present and future challenges, design professionals must consider a diverse population as they construct interior spaces and buildings. This presents a challenging ultimatum, as traditionally the built environment has been designed around averages. Individuals perceive and interact with the built environment through a variety of approaches depending on age, genetics, culture, variation in physical attributes, intellectual and developmental differences, etc.  In the past, diverse populations were considered exceptions in the field of interior design. However, research is expanding and informing the role of the interior designer, and the application of this new knowledge is essential to the profession.

The needs and preferences of intended users provide a challenge in every interior environment. A considerable amount of evidence shows that the physical environment can positively contribute to accessibility, utility, safety, comfort, and overall well-being. Multiple theories, models, and perspectives are needed to inform design solutions in a global and diverse society. Due to the complex nature of these issues, designers often need to consider research from multiple disciplines. Sociology, psychology, biology, public health, history and many other fields contribute to the body of knowledge when designing for inclusion.

This session recognizes papers and projects that promote diversity and inclusivity within interior design education, research, creative scholarship, curricular activities, schools, and communities.  Collaborative teams of colleagues, students, and/or professional practitioners are encouraged to pursue such initiatives through academic studio, research, creative projects, and service. Proposals for this session may encompass a broad range of activities including, but not limited to, empirical design research, speculative design research, academic curriculum, design-build, archive-based scholarship, faculty development, recruitment, etc. Submissions may address possible questions such as:

  • What theoretical frameworks are used for investigating inclusive design?
  • How can educators imbed design diversity into the interior design curriculum? 
  • How do variation in environmental perception and/or cognition impact the design of interior features?
  • How is multiculturalism engaged as we design for an increasingly globalized society?
  • What are new approaches to consider when implementing ADA into interior spaces? 
  • Historically, how have the needs of underrepresented groups and individuals been addressed through design?
  • What programming methods and design strategies ensure participation and inclusion for all people?
  • How can existing structures be designed/adapted to ensure inclusion for all people?

Student Submissions

Graduate students are encouraged to submit work individually or participate with a sponsoring faculty member. Students will identify their status on the online submission form. IDEC encourages individuals who aspire to enter the academy to submit abstracts so that they may receive feedback and helpful suggestions. Presentations of the accepted abstract will follow the formats listed above.

Submission Limits

Submissions to the Special Session Topics is limited to two as the primary author. 

Due to the exploratory nature of these special session topics, submissions in this category will not be counted toward the limit of two submissions as primary author with regard to the other calls for abstracts and for creative scholarship.

Submission Requirements

Authors may submit the same abstract/research to both the Special Session Topics and the open call for abstracts. If an abstract is selected for a Special Session Topics, it will be removed from review/presentation for conference presentation.

Submissions that do not satisfy all requirements will be disqualified from review.

Identification: To assure blind review, submissions must NOT include author(s) name(s), institutional affiliation(s), course numbers, or any other forms of identification (including identifying photographs, curriculum vitae, or assignments in the appendix).

Submission: All submissions must be made through the online submission form. The online submission process will provide further instructions regarding contact information, how to submit an abstract, and other important information. Only those abstracts submitted through the online process will be accepted for review.

Abstract Submission

The abstract submission must include the following:

  • Special Topic: Design Build, The Public Interior, Design Diversity
  • Title of Abstract: Copy & paste the abstract title into the online submission form.
  • 4,000 Character Abstract: Author(s) must copy & paste a 4,000 character (maximum - including spaces) abstract that follows the requirements for the specific presentation category and format. The online submission does not support footnotes or endnotes.
  • Appendix (Optional): An Appendix of up to 5 pages or images including tables/charts and/or other appropriate supplemental material may be included. Appendix items must be submitted in jpg or pdf format.

Additional information: The following information may be submitted with your abstract but is not part of the blind-review process. This information is required of all accepted abstracts.

  • Author(s): Use the online submission form to list author(s) and institution(s) in order.
  • 25-Word Summary: This summary will be published in the conference brochure exactly as submitted.
  • Author Bio & Photo: The primary author must include a bio and photo.


Submission requiring payment can be made online through the online submission system. Payment by credit card only is permitted. Submission fees are nonrefundable. Rates are as follows:

  • IDEC members (maximum of 2 as first author): Free
  • Non-members (maximum of 2 as first author): $40.00 for each submission
  • Non-member Students (maximum of 2 as first author): $15.00 for each submission

Each non-member student submitting as lead author must forward to the IDEC office a signed statement on the school’s letterhead verifying the student’s status. A photocopy of a current student ID with the Department Head’s signature will serve this purpose.

Original Work Statement

Scholarship submissions must be original work of the author or authors.  Existing precedent work of the author and/or of others that directly influenced the scholarship should be cited in the submission.  Scholarship previously published or presented must be significantly built upon for consideration. Submissions found in violation of this policy will be disqualified from review.

The submission period has concluded.

Join Renew Instagram Twitter Facebook LinkedIn
image widget