Call for Papers - Journal of Interior Design


An Exploratory Journey of Spirituality in Design and Architecture

Special Journal Issue
Sponsored by the Journal of Interior Design

Under the auspices of Interior Design Educators Council

Spirituality is defined as “… the search for transcendent meaning” – can be expressed in religious practice or … expressed exclusively in their relationship to nature, music, the arts, a set of philosophical beliefs, or relationships with friends and family” (Astrow et al. 2001).

What is spirituality?  Whether from a historical or modern perspective, spirituality develops around a universal human experience that resonates with each of us in some way. While contemporary interpretations of spirituality focus around a deep sense of vitality or interconnectedness, historical accounts of spirituality discuss religious interpretations such as Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, to poet Rumi’s definition which centers spirituality around creativity that evolves within the inner self rather than from external sources (Paintener, 2007). Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) advocated spirituality as an independent scholarly area of transcendentalism and modernists such as Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) and Jackson Pollack (1912-1956) believed spirituality centered on art and creative expressions.

The National Center for Cultural Competence promotes spirituality as a means of expression through religious or secular practices of creativity, the arts, music, philosophy or relationships with family or friends.  Regardless of one’s personal definition of spirituality, compilations of definitions of spiritualty focus upon such concepts as higher purpose, sacred transcendence, deep sense of aliveness, contemplative spaces, interconnectedness with oneself, search for meaning and strong senses of self-actualization.  Accounts of spirituality also discuss the importance of adaptability of spirituality to one’s time in life, the family life cycle, one’s relationship through art or nature and search for meaning in life.  According to Parker (2014), Stanford anthropologist Tayna Luhrmann’s research claims that spirituality evolves through cultural understanding and therefore impacts interior spaces (Parker, 2014).

Today, issues of population shift, conflict, technology, natural resources, intercultural competence and a more interconnected world has manifested a global exploration and broad curiosity about spirituality.  People across the world, in response to a complex, interconnected world, are seeking spirituality in many different forms.  This special issue of the Journal of Interior Design welcomes visual essays, research papers, or case studies that explore the breadth and meaning of spirituality in the context of interior space.  Examples of themes for submissions include, but are not limited to:

  • Contemplative spaces and healing
  • Sacred space as cultural/individual identity
  • Designing for transcendence
  • Cultural, social and/or geographic influences upon spirituality
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to designing spiritual places
  • Historical definitions of spirituality throughout time in architecture and interiors
  • Critical analysis of spiritual spaces through the lens of the designer, architect, artist and/or end user(s)

The list of topics is not all-inclusive and all research should be original and demonstrate exceptional rigor in the search for new knowledge/ideas.

Astrow, A., Pulchalski, C., and Sulmasy, D. (2001). Religion, Spirituality, and Health Care: Social, Ethical, and Practical Considerations. American Journal of Medicine. 110: 283-287 as cited in National Center for Cultural Competence (2017), Body, mind, spirit, retrieved April 26, 2017 from

Paintener, C. (2007).  The relationship between spirituality and artistic expression:  Cultivating the capacity for imagining.  Spirituality in Higher Education Newsletter, 3, (2), 1 – 6.

Parker, C. (December 16, 2014).  Spirituality shaped through cultural understandings, Stanford Report, Retrieved April 20, 2017 from


Visual essays are understood to communicate the ideas by using visual and verbal language. They will often also have written elements that are integrated and linked with the visual elements of the text. While demonstrating and presenting speculative research and practice-based visual media, the visual elements of the essay form an integral part of an argument, interpretation, reading or idea expressed in an interior design. Rather than rely on the authority of textual language, images, photographs, drawings, sketches and diagrams that play a pivotal role in shaping an intellectual inquiry; it is important that the visual essay maintains a level of criticality. Visual essays should target one to eight high-resolution images and 2000-4000 words depending on the image-word relationship at play. Examples abound in recent years, though explicit to interior design/architecture and offering a range of approaches and strategies, one might refer to:

•     Julieanna Preston, “Dear Rosa”. IDEA Journal: Design Activism, guest edited by Dr. Lorella Di Cintio, 2014, pp. 4-13. (

•     Chapters 4-8, by Hammond, Preston, Leski, Weinthal and Chee respectively in Lori Brown (ed.), Feminist Practices: Interdisciplinary approaches to women in architecture, Ashgate, 2001, pp. 83-168.

Research papers are those that demonstrate development and engagement centered upon the theme of spirituality within the built environment.  Interior design/interior architecture history, theory and practice through analysis, critique and synthesis are methods to explore the themed topic of spirituality under discussion. It is important that such research papers also reach to generate new understandings of spirituality and have the potential to build strong relationships between the theme and built environment and offer trajectories for its future as a making-thinking-doing practice. This mode of contribution should be between 5,000 – 7,000 words and include one to eight high-quality images.

  • Walker, S. (2017).  Design for life:  Creating meaning in a distracted world.  New York:  Routledge.
  • Hariri, S. (March, 2017).  How do you build a sacred space? TED Ideas worth spreading.  Retrieved April 26, 2017 from:

Case Studies are in-depth and holistic approaches to investigating interior and architectural spaces within a specific context.  Through critical investigation and process, case studies present the real-life context for spirituality and explain the many players and behavioral conditions of the space.  Authors of case studies present analysis of the space through observation of the end-user within the space, identify and analyze real-life situations that document their analysis of the space that evokes the interpretation of spirituality that is being presented.  Process and outcomes are important to case studies which may be:

  • exploratory in nature by presenting an idea or theory of spirituality through the investigation of a space and presenting questions for further inquiry;
  • descriptive by documenting an established model of spirituality through space, or
  • interpretive by utilizing a single or multiple case studies to support or challenge models/theories of spirituality. 

There are other types of case studies that may be utilized.  The critical piece for this submission category is an in-depth process to evaluate spirituality in a specific context.  Further information on case studies is available through Zainal (2007) work on this particular research method. This mode of contribution should be between 5,000 – 7,000 words and include one to eight high-quality images.

Zainal, Z. (2007).  Case study as research method.  Journal Kemanusiann, 9, 1-6.  Retrieved April 20, 2017 from

Examples of Case Studies:

  • Schwarz, B. & Brent, R. (1997).  Eero Saarinen's firestone baars chapel: Poetics of a sacred place, Journal of Interior Design, 23. (1), 1997, 37-47.
  • Asojo, A, & Asojo, T. (2015).   The influence of indigenous forms, art, and symbols on sacred spaces: A study of two Catholic churches in Nigeria, Journal of Interior Design, 40, (1), 1-17.

Note: The Journal of Interior Design has a print and online presence. The latter can host videos.


May 15, 2017      Call for papers

July 1, 2017         Registration of Interest
Authors are asked to register their intent to submit a paper by sending a 150-word abstract to Jane Kucko at Please put your surname and “JID On Spirituality Issue” in the subject line.  Registration of interest is not refereed, nor is it requirement to submit. However, the acknowledgement of registration facilitates development of a proposal to full research paper by providing confirmation of fit with the special issue. Recognition of fit does not guarantee publication.

March 1, 2018     Full visual essays, research papers, and case studies are due. See submission guidelines below.

March 2019         Publication of JID Special issue: An Exploratory Journey of Spiritualty in Design and Architecture

For questions regarding the call for papers, submission deadlines, or anything related to the content of the Special Issue contact Jane Kucko at   Please put your surname and “JID On Spirituality Issue” in the subject line.


Authors should follow the author guidelines found on JID’s website at Wiley Blackwell. (

Technical questions regarding the submission of documents through the ScholarOne website should be addressed to Claire Hicks at

In addition to the visual essay, research paper, or case study, contributions should also include a 250-word abstract formatted in APA or Chicago Manual of Style. The paper should be aligned with the topic of the special issue and comply with the descriptors above. Authors must submit papers via the ScholarOne Manuscripts system on the JID website (

Papers must be original work of the author or authors and are not being considered for publication in other journals. Submissions may be checked for originality using plagiarism-detection software.

The Journal of Interior Design is a scholarly, refereed publication dedicated to issues related to the design of the interior environment. Scholarly inquiry representing the entire spectrum of interior design theory, research, education and practice is invited. Submissions are encouraged from educators, designers, anthropologists, architects, historians, psychologists, sociologists, or others interested in interior design and environments.


Jane Kucko, Ph.D., FIDEC
Vice Provost for Global Education
University of Tulsa
Emeritus Faculty, Texas Christian University

Jane Kucko serves as the Vice Provost for Global Education at the University of Tulsa where she oversees comprehensive internationalization across TU.  TU’s internationalization plan includes such initiatives as study abroad, TU Global Scholars, a staff global development program and internationalization grants for faculty.  Kucko was previously at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth where she served as Director for the Center for International Studies and was on faculty of interior design.  As a faculty member, her research focused upon critical thinking and design concept.  Of particular note is her research on Fay Jones resulting in the co-authorship of Thorncrown and the Mildred B. Cooper Chapels: Sacred Structures Designed by Fay Jones (Watson & Kucko, 2001).  Her narrative research has focused upon North Texas quiltmakers and her current focus is upon global citizenship.  She holds a Ph.D. from Texas Woman’s University, a Master’s from Oklahoma State, and her B.S. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Watson, S., Kucko, J. (2001).  Thorncrown and the Mildred B. Cooper chapels:  Sacred structures designed by Fay Jones, Journal of Interior Design, 27, (2), 14-25.



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