Call for Papers - Pushed to the Edge? Marginalization and the Constructed Interior

 Special Issue for the Journal of Interior Design

Under the auspices of Interior Design Educators Council
Pushed to the Edge? Marginalization and the Constructed Interior

Many humans live on the edge each day, pushed to where the possibility of success or simply a small step forward is unattainable. For these individuals, families, and cultures, life on the edge or in the margin does not represent the thrill of stepping into the unknown but is instead simply the unknown. Where will they sleep, when will the next meal occur, what violence might they face?

Marginalization is an outcome of discrimination, social stigma, and stereotype, resulting in “persistent inequality and adversity” (NDI, 2018). The World Health Organization further explains that marginalization as “dynamic, multi-dimensional processes driven by unequal power relationships interacting across four main dimensions - economic, political, social and cultural - and at different levels including individual, household, group, community, country and global levels. It results in a continuum of inclusion/exclusion characterised by unequal access to resources, capabilities and rights” (WHO, 2018). It is significant to our broader understanding of marginaliation to identify two distinctly different perspectives. First, marginalization is the intentional outcome arising from discriminatory attitudes and beliefs. Second, and most often overlooked, marginalization is born in a vacuum where the attitudes and beliefs fostering inclusion have not been intentionally incorporated.

Framed by both historic and contemporary social values, marginalization is entrenched such that victims find themselves unable to engage in community activities, participate in political processes, or achieve parity in matters such as educational attainment, home mortgage rates, and quality healthcare access. The people impacted are as diverse as the limitations themselves. Women, children, immigrants and migrants, individuals with different political or religious views, victims of human trafficking or having different sexual orientation, people with developmental, physical or mental differences, and individuals who are incarcerated or unemployed are just a few of those impacted by these laws and practices. Many individuals find themselves, because of the intertwined nature of these demographic characteristics, confronting double or triple exclusion (APA, 2018).

There is no better time to explore issues of marginalization in the made environment. Though the topics of design activism, social design, and public interest design among others have been discussed for over a half century, the need for thoughtful, responsive, and visionary design has never been stronger (Lasky, 2013). Economic divides, political unrest, cultural conflict, and gender-based abuse continue to feed existing power inequities around the world. This Special Issue of the Journal of Interior Design challenges you to explore the margins of human existence and to imagine where individuals, families, and entire cultures can live, work, and play without fear or discrimination. Visual essays, research papers, design education projects, or case studies that advance understanding about the inclusion or marginalization of people in the constructed interior are welcome. Examples of themes for submissions include, but are not limited to:

  • Analyses of constructed interiors fostering inclusion or perpetuating exclusion for individuals and cultures.
  • Ethical responsibilities of interior designers in professional firms, educational settings, and communities to promote inclusion.
  • Studio-based or service learning projects informed by new ways of learning, knowing, and making that unite the designer/s with the community served.
  • Visual essays exploring the inclusion or marginalization of people in constructed interiors.
  • Investigations of building codes and standards or institutionalized practices that perpetuate marginalization.

Submissions should expand and question our understanding of constructed interiors as economic, political, social and cultural constructs limiting or expanding opportunity and equality. All work must demonstrate exceptional rigor in the search for new knowledge and ideas. 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.


May 1, 2018    Call for papers

July 1, 2018     Registration of Interest – Authors are asked to register their intent to submit a paper by sending a 150-word abstract to Jennifer Webb at Please put your surname and “JID Marginalization” 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, 2019   Full submissions are due. See author guidelines found on JID’s website at Wiley Blackwell. 

March 2020     Publication of JID Special issue

For questions regarding the call for papers, submission deadlines, or anything related to the content of the Special Issue contact Jennifer Webb at Please put your surname and “JID Marginalization” 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 Utley,Editorial Assistant, (

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.


Jennifer Webb, Ph.D., is an associate professor of interior design in the Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design at the University of Arkansas. Her professional work has been in the corporate and healthcare sectors and this experience has directly influenced her teaching and research efforts. Dr. Webb has written journal articles, books, and book chapters about the interaction of the interior environment on human behavior, particularly that of people experiencing a diverse range of human functioning. She was recognized with the Joel Polsky Prize for contributions to Just Below the Line: Disability, Housing, and Equity in the South (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2010). Dr. Webb has also made contributions to the Universal Design Handbook (2010). She is a passionate advocate of design and its role in improving lives and works with non-profit entities to create inclusive spaces for all people. Her goal is to improve interior environments through her teaching and research.

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