Strength In Numbers – The Interior Design Profession’s Body of Knowledge
Reality 11 years ago No Comments


strength_bok-title.gifJust last month the six leading interior design organizations — ASID, CIDA, IDC, IDEC, IIDA, NCIDQ — issued a industry research report highlighting a growing body of evidence that supports the positive impact of interior design on public health, safety and welfare. The Interior Design Profession’s Body of Knowledge and Its Relationship to People’s Health, Safety and Welfare is based on research led by Denise A. Guerin, PhD, and Caren S. Martin, PhD, professors at the University of Minnesota’s College of Design. The report, which updates a 2005 study, represents the most current and comprehensive resource for helping design practitioners, educators, researchers, accreditors, students, and the public understand the broad and diverse knowledge interior designers employ in their work.

The study asked a sample of 1,578 experienced interior designers to rate their potential contribution to health, safety and welfare across 65 knowledge areas, including day lighting, indoor air quality, ergonomics, and material, equipment and product specifying. Those knowledge areas were grouped, for purposes of comparison, into six categories:

  1. human environment needs
  2. interior construction, codes and regulations
  3. products and materials
  4. design theory and process
  5. communication
  6. professional practice

Research highlights include:

  • The highest contributions to health, safety and welfare were found in the human environment needs, interior construction and products and materials categories.
  • Human environment needs contributes the highest to health and welfare, whereas interior construction contributes highest to safety.
  • All categories contribute at the substantial level to health, safety and welfare.
  • Overall, contributions to welfare are higher than to health and safety.

“Continued research and applied knowledge and documentation are essential to advancing the profession and increasing the health and safety of the built environment,” said Jeffrey Beachum, executive director of the Interior Design Educators Council [IDEC]. “The unified body of knowledge outlined in this report is both a practical and encouraging step forward for the design industry and the public at large.”

The report also includes a series of recommendations and a roadmap for advancing the interior design profession through the continued identification, documentation and measure of health, safety and welfare performance standards to provide meaningful benchmarks.

An executive summary of the report, along with a feedback survey and a full copy of the report are available online at

About ASID
The American Society of Interior Designers [ASID] is a community of people—designers, industry representatives, educators and students—committed to interior design. Through education, knowledge sharing, advocacy, community building and outreach, the Society strives to advance the interior design profession and, in the process, to demonstrate and celebrate the power of design to positively change people’s lives. Its more than 30,000 members engage in a variety of professional programs and activities through a network of 48 chapters throughout the United States and Canada. Learn more at

About CIDA
The Council for Interior Design Acceditation [CIDA] is an independent, non-profit, accrediting organization responsible for setting standards and evaluating degree granting interior design programs. There are currently 172 CIDA-accredited programs in the U.S., Canada, and Qatar. Learn more at

About IDC
Interior Designers of Canada [IDC] is the national advocacy association for the interior design profession. As national representative for eight provincial associations, IDC represents more than 3,500 members including fully qualified interior designers, intern/provisional members (who have yet to pass their exams), student, educator and retired members as well as industry members.
Learn more at

About IDEC
The Interior Design Educators Council [IDEC] is an international organization with the mission of advancing interior design education, scholarship and service. Founded in 1963, IDEC has over 800 members in five regions throughout the United States and Canada. Learn more at

About IIDA
The International Interior Design Association [IIDA] is a professional networking and educational association with more than 13,000 Members practicing worldwide in more than 50 countries. IIDA is committed to enhancing the quality of life through excellence in interior design and advancing interior design through knowledge, value and community. IIDA advocates for interior design excellence; nurtures a global interior design community; maintains high educational standards; and supports its Members and the Profession with visionary leadership. For more than 37 years, IIDA has helped reveal new Design talent through a variety of education initiatives and Interior Design/Architecture competitions honoring local talent, including the Interior Design Competition, Smart Environments Awards and Sustainable Leadership Awards. Learn more at

The National Council for Interior Design Qualification, Inc. [NCIDQ] is an organization of regulatory boards and provincial associations in the United States and Canada whose core purpose is to be the global leader in establishing standards of competence for interior design/interior architecture professionals. More information about the organization may be found at