Cindy Bertoia and LaJuana Gill, students in Brenau’s master of Fine Arts in interior design terminal degree program, presented a joint research project during the past academic year at regional Interior Design Educator’s Conference (IDEC), at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. The program, titled, “Defining Meaningful Categories of the Body of Knowledge,” traces the expansion in knowledge that interior design has undergone since becoming a career path in the early 20th century.
The research stemmed from independent class projects directed by Lynn M. Jones, associate dean of Fine Arts & Humanities and chair of the interior design department. Although the students initially worked separately and took different approaches, Jones noticed the solutions were similar, and she encouraged the students to collaborate on an IDEC proposal.
“The competition for presentation is tough,” Jones said. “It is a double-blind review with three reviewers per submission. Only those receiving 26 out of 30 points possible in the reviewers’
The Brenau students’ presentation addresses the importance of defining the breadth of knowledge in interior design and suggests a flexible framework that will accommodate growth into the 21st century. This framework encompasses what interior designers know and do today, while supporting a growing, young profession that responds and reacts to future economic, cultural, and technical conditions. Bertoia approach, presented in a visual graphic, was more technical while Gill took a more literary approach to theory and analysis.
IDEC is the leading association of interior design educators and researchers. Each year IDEC members gather at national and regional conferences where professionals, educators and graduate students participate in forums and presentations that express a range of views on important issues and share research findings in the field. Jones said that the students’ selection as prersenters in such a venue “underscores the high level of academic achievement that has come to be expected of Brenau students and faculty.”
Bertoia credited the university’s rigorous preparation for the IDEC presentation. “The opportunity to present at the IDEC South Regional Conference is an honor,” she said. “a reflection of the quality of the Brenau Interior Design Program,”
– Candice Dyer