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College of Health and Human Sciences

Interior design students take first place in video competition focused on diversity and inclusion

Friday, July 31, 2020

Aubrey Koontz, Samantha Cordell and Rachel Eastman, seniors in the interior design program were awarded the first place prize for their video submission for the annual IDEC video competition. Each year, the Interior Design Educators Council hosts a video competition, asking participants to create a short video on a specified topic. This year’s competition explored the meaning of diversity and inclusion for interior designers. The competition sought videos that expand audience thinking about the practice and future of interior design in an increasingly diverse society.  Entries were judged on how well they address the topic, creativity/engagement, suitability for sharing with a non-designer audience and professional quality.

The team’s video addressed the assumptions and stereotypes that limit people in choosing to become professional interior designers. “In a world full of assumptions and stereotypes, the interior design profession is no stranger to the limitations these create,” explained the team. “A key distinction in the quest for diversity and inclusion is recognizing and appreciating diversity in all of its forms. We are striving to acknowledge a broader definition of diversity that includes age, religion, life experiences, worldviews, and cultural backgrounds which differ from one another.There are countless different perspectives design is missing out on due to the lack of diversity found among those being educated to enter the interior design profession. Design is seen as limitless; why then should there be limitations set on who can design?

An extremely productive way to expand the reach of interior design is simply broadening our own understanding of who can design and how to offer them the education they need. We are designing for the needs of diverse users, and design is limitless with the help of diverse designers.”

“Our experience during this competition was as typical as any other group or individual participating in the competition until we went solely online due to Covid-19”, said the team. “We now could only work virtually with one another; all the while trying to develop and communicate our intent. It put us in a completely different mindset than when we first started. We acknowledged that this experience makes ourselves even more diverse in our life experiences, because we were all going through the same event but in different contexts; it was the validity that worldwide experiences differ from person to person and create interesting individual perspectives--even when living in the same state.”

View the video submissions here.

This is the second time in two years that a K-State interior design student entry has won a top award in this competition. Last year’s team was awarded second place for their submission focused on the aging population.

K-State’s interior design program, located in the College of Health and Human Sciences, continues to be one of the top-ranked programs in the nation. DesignIntelligence, an independent company focused on the design and construction industry, ranked the program eighth among most admired interior design schools in the country for 2019-2020. K-State has the only accredited four-year interior design program in the state of Kansas.

This article was posted on Friday, July 31, 2020, and is filed under College News, Interior Design and Fashion Studies.