The Appalachian State Department of Applied Design hosted the 2017 South Regional Conference for the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) this month. Hessam Ghamari, Assistant Professor, and Jeanne Mercer-Ballard, Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Design served as conference co-chairs.
Interior Design graduate students and educators from across the southern region visited Boone for three days of networking, professional development, and educational sessions covering topics ranging from Strategies for Transformative Retail to Interior Design Enhancement Opportunities in Waiting Areas for Patients with Neurological Disorders.
“IDEC South Regional Conference here at Appalachian State was an excellent opportunity to create dialogues among educators, professionals, and students around the design discipline,” said Ghamari. “This conference aimed to add to the ongoing discourse of interior/environmental design research and education by highlighting on what we can gain by creating a robust connection between the inhabited and natural environments.”
Faculty and graduate student presenters from all across the southern region and beyond were selected by the Interior Design Educators Council through a juried review process.
Joining the conference as a keynote speaker was co-founder and owner of The Bark House, Chris McCurry. The Bark House is a manufacturing-retail business that creates wall coverings from reclaimed bark. The company earned the world’s first and only Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute Platinum level certification for their innovation in creating sustainable manufacturing processes that are regenerative for the planet as well as people.
Also in attendance was well-known designer, speaker and author, Mary Knackstedt. Knackstedt is the founder and president of Knackstedt Inc., an interior design firm located in both Harrisburg, PA and New York City with several award-winning clients such as Hershey Medical Association and the Hershey Public Library.
Undergraduate students in Appalachian’s Department of Interior Design had the opportunity to participate by attending keynote eventsandgreen building tours as well as serve as student ambassadors for the program.
Ghamari and Mercer-Ballard both feel that the conference was incredibly important for exposure and visibility of the Interior Design program at Appalachian State, as it highlighted some of the best and brightest minds in the discipline.
About the Department of Applied Design
One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Department Applied Design at Appalachian State University fosters excellence in design education, design research and professional placement. The department balances theoretical and pragmatic approaches while exploring an awareness of impact through design decisions on the global community. Faculty focus on a holistic approach to creative problem-solving by integrating sustainability and ethical responsibility in teaching and practice. The department offers bachelor’s degrees in apparel design and merchandising, industrial design and interior design.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to- faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.