2020 Virtual Fall Symposia Call for Abstracts - Closed


IDEC invites educators from around the globe to submit abstracts that explore the foundations of interior design, its teaching and scholarship. Abstracts are double blind reviewed by qualified reviewers who provide recommendation for accepted presentations at the IDEC 2020 Virtual Fall Symposia.

Authors are encouraged to submit scholarly and creative abstracts that celebrate the discipline of interior design in its many facets: pedagogy, history, theory, practice, interdisciplinary collaboration, and any other topic of current and/or continuing relevance to interior design. Several abstract formats will be considered for presentation, and many methods of inquiry are invited. All submissions are expected to be original research or ideas that have not been presented previously at other scholarly venues, including regional and previous IDEC conferences.



Presentation Categories

All abstracts submitted for review must be identified by at least one of the presentation categories outlined below.


Design as Idea: Projects in this category explore the entire spectrum of design. Submissions can be conceptual in character and/or completed projects, furniture design, lighting, product design, stage/set design, textile design, exhibition design, etc. Conceptual works can range from diagrammatic visual explorations of a theoretical design idea to illustrative design works.

Design as Interior: Projects in this category explore the entire spectrum of built or fabricated design. Submissions should be built work including commercial, residential, entertainment, institutional, or hospitality design. These will specifically consider an exploration or design intimately related to the interior built environment.

Design as Art: Projects in this category would be any works of art; either created as individual pieces or composed as a series consisting of multiple parts. Works may be produced in any media, including but not limited to all traditionally based mediums, as well as digital, multi-media, or installation.


Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) abstracts emphasize relevant teaching methods used in interior design. SOTL abstracts should identify the teaching issue or problem, instructional methods used to address the problem, student outcomes, work, or learning, and advances to teaching/learning pedagogy. It is expected that the scholarship presented will have reached preliminary conclusions and/or implications that can be shared with the audience. Project(s) should be complete at the time of abstract submission and be reflected in the abstract.

Scholarship of Design Research: Scholarship of Design Research (SODR) abstracts explore theoretical, historical, or practical aspects of the interior design discipline in both practice and education. Scholarship of Design Research abstracts should define the question or problem explored, place the question in context, present the method of investigation, highlight study conclusions, and be significant and relevant to the discipline.

Presentation Formats for SOTL and SODR

Presentation: Presentations provide a forum for the formal presentation of scholarly work. This category is best suited for scholarship that has reached conclusions and/or implications that can be shared with the audience. This format provides an opportunity for work to be offered for question and comment. Presentations are 20 minutes in length, followed by 10 minutes of discussion. When preparing your presentation please plan for the Q and A session. See rubrics for evaluation criteria.

Poster: This category is intended for scholarship that is preliminary, ongoing, or will benefit from this informal presentation and discussion format. Abstracts submitted in this category must include a description of/or information concerning the graphic presentation being proposed (medium, format, etc.). If accepted, poster presentations will be pre-recorded for our conference attendees, and primary authors' contact information will be shared for questions and feedback. The top two scoring submissions for each Virtual Fall Conference will also have the opportunity to share a live presentation during scheduled breaks between traditional presentation sessions. See rubrics for evaluation criteria.

Graduate Student Submissions

Graduate students will identify their status on the online submission form. Presentations of the accepted abstract will follow the formats listed above. Note:  Each non-member student submitting as lead author must upload documentation proving current student status. Documentation can be either 1) unofficial transcript for the current semester or 2) a signed letter by a faculty member on the school’s letterhead verifying the student’s status

Submission Requirements

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 other forms of identification (including photographs, curriculum vitae, or assignments in the appendix). Please ensure that identifying information is not included in the appendix and save the appendix using the title of the abstract (e.g., titleofabstractsyllabus.pdf or titleofabstractproject.pdf).


All abstract submissions must include the following:

  • Presentation category: Creative Scholarship, Scholarship of Design Research or Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
  • Presentation format: Presentation or Poster
  • Title of abstract: Maximum 120 characters with spacing limit.
  • 4,000 character abstract including spaces: Maximum 4,000 characters with spacing limit.
  • References: One reference is required for SODR and SOTL formats. Include up to five (maximum) references; Authors may utilize APA, MLA, Chicago Style, or any nationally recognized format that best represents the author’s style of scholarship.
  • Appendix: An Appendix of up to 5 pages or images including tables/charts and/or other appropriate supplemental material may be included as a PDF. SOTL abstracts of any format and Creative Scholarship must include an Appendix. No identifying information (author name, school name, author photo, etc.) is allowed in the appendix. SODR abstracts do not require an appendix but may be included.


All Creative Scholarship entries must include the following:

  • 2-10 images of your project, in a single PDF file (10 page maximum, 10 MB maximum)
  • Design or artist statement for each submission, not to exceed 4000 characters including spaces
  • 25 word summary of abstract to be used in conference program


  1. My submitted abstract and appendices (if included) have no identifying information.
  2. I have only submitted my abstract to one presentation format and one Fall Symposium.
  3. I have not submitted my abstract to another conference or venue, nor has my abstract been published or presented previously.
  4. Does your abstract promote health, safety, and wellness? If yes, please check the box.
  5. If accepted to a Virtual Fall Symposium, are you interested in developing a paper (2500 word maximum, due January 15, 2021) for publication? If yes, please check the box.


Submission fees are nonrefundable. Rates are as follows:

  • IDEC members: maximum of 2 as first author are free to IDEC members across any presentation format or category. Member must supply membership number.
  • Non-members or additional submissions: $50.00 for each submission.
  • Non-member Students: $15.00 for each submission

Click here to save on submission fees by becoming a member of IDEC. Don't forget, Graduate students at institutions with a valid Institutional Membership are eligible for free Institutional Graduate Student Memberships. Email info@idec.org to determine if you qualify.


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 (e.g., same abstract accepted to regional conference, submitted to annual conference).


For technical questions or difficulties submitting your abstract, contact Kirsten Lew at IDEC at: klew@idec.org

Click here to review the rubrics.

Symposia Themes

Teach to Reach: Strategies for the New Reality

Online education is synonymous with teaching remotely. On its face, it refers to the use of teleconferencing platforms to work with students at distant locations; that is, being physically remote.  However, when we speak of individuals as remote, it’s not a compliment. It means they are distant, unengaged, and hard-to-reach.

When a professor presents material to a class, what aspects of students’ reactions may be harder to perceive and address online? Is there a loss of feedback in the online environment? Are students more likely to ask questions in person? Are they more likely to express emotional reactions in person? Or does the distance of virtual learning help (some) students to communicate the ideas and feelings that the educator needs to know about in order to teach effectively?

The student-to-student dynamic also changes when students no longer share a physical space. Again, our pedagogical question is how the educator can harness the new dynamic to teach more effectively. For example, how do students’ contacts with each other on social media compare to their in-person contacts before, during, and after an in-person class? Should those who teach adjust their methods to reflect the new reality?

Long before the introduction of online learning, there was a tradition of leaving the classroom on a fine spring day, to conduct class on a campus lawn. That experience, for both teachers and students, suggests some of the effects of our immediate surroundings on our teaching and learning process. We still need to consider the experiential aspects of education, even when the surroundings are intangible.


Reaching Through the Screen: Reflecting Upon Physicality in a Time of Virtuality

Interior scale ranges from the intimate to the grand. For many humans, much of daily life is lived engaging the body with spaces, furnishings and objects appropriately scaled for a smaller range of movements such as working within an office environment or learning within a school. The beginning and end of our days are spent in the home where the occupant exercises agency within his, her, or their surroundings.

Physicality of the spaces we inhabit as well as contact with one another have taken on new meanings in the past months as people find themselves confined to a smaller radius of movement than ever lived in modern history. Experience of our physical surroundings intensifies. Awareness of the ordinary heightens. Humans who live outside of our households appear then disappear from our screens. The foreign quality of communication with flattened human heads continues to be unsettling.

How do we imagine the impact this extraordinary experience within the ordinariness of our own homes will have on how humans relate to both home and to public spaces?

What questions do these experiences bring forth for our students as we move (in-person or virtually) into fall classes?

How might the questions we ask within the design studio differ from a year ago?

How do we engage students with physicality in the “design studio” if we continue to be physically removed from one-another?

What can we learn from the past as well as the present conditions as we look toward the future of design of the built environment?

This conference asks presenters and attendees to reflect upon implications of the recent past as well as the current state of affairs on design of the built environment from psychological, pedagogical, and professional practice-viewpoints.


Connecting for Change: Designing for the Actual Impact of Virtual Inequities

When the old rules no longer apply, how can design be a catalyst for change in a virtual environment? In the new web of interconnections and landscapes, how do we shift the paradigm of traditional educational experiences to expand the opportunities for quality as the prerequisite for achieving the fundamental goal of equity?
 Design education has the opportunity to reframe the existing disparities and inequities, bringing a change to the creation of knowledge and design connections that break a digital divide between uneven access to use or the impact of learning environments, generating virtual platforms to highlight creativity and innovation. Act with self-efficacy and refuse mediocrity, show the ability to take risks and ignore the fears that inhibit creation and challenge the existing paradigm. To impart real impact and ignite change, design with a sense of self-efficacy and make an impact.

We invite presentations that explore all perspectives of the unbuilt virtual environment with implications for creative scholarship, pedagogy, design, and practice.

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