Being a faculty member at FSU means engaging not only in teaching and research, but also service to others. Two of FSU’s Interior Architecture and Design Professors, Steven Webber and Stephanie Sickler, serve in key national-level capacities with the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC), bringing innovative teaching practices and resources to the IA&D Department at FSU. IDEC is the professionally recognized association for interior design educators in North America and was established in 1962. The largest interior design academic organization in the world, IDEC strives to be dedicated to the development and improvement of design education, to establish and strengthen lines of communication between individuals, educational institutions and organizations concerned with interior design, and to to improve teaching of interior design, and through it the professional level of interior design. This broad purpose enabled IDEC’s founders to lay the foundation for a long and significant history, one that has had a major impact on the interior design profession.
Florida State University associate professor Steven Webber serve as the Director of Teaching for IDEC and also on the IDEC Board of Directors. He works closely with the Teaching Collaborative Coordinator Seyeon Lee at Syracuse University, and oversees the strategies and efforts of the Teaching Collaborative. Webber notes that the Collaborative’s work “seeks to bring key members together and to create relationships withdesign practitioners and professional organizations in an effort to strengthen both the academic and practicing arms of our profession.”
The IDEC develops several resources for educators that provides members with resources to support their teaching craft and the Teaching Collaborative also offers members the opportunity to disseminate their teaching innovations through online publications and presentations at conferences.
Teaching Collaborative resources have proven important in the current fast pivot to online course delivery, such as a published resource for online course delivery available from the IDEC website. “This was especially timely as faculty across the country were preparing their fall courses,” said Webber. “Many of our existing initiatives, such as Pecha Kucha and Teaching in the Round presentations now require a new tactic in reaching our members due to the evolution towards online conferences. Bringing educators together in a remote fashion that is meaningful, engaging, and productive towards the exchange of innovative teaching strategies is at the forefront our current efforts.”
Stephanie Sickler, Assistant Professor in the Interior Architecture and Design Department brings her energy and commitment to the Board of Directors as the Director of Service, and provides visioning on matters of IDEC service both within the organization as well as externally to the larger design community. She oversees IDEC Networks, Awards, the Student Video Competition, and Annual Service Charrette.
Under Sickler’s management, the Service Collaborative has experienced important growth. “We have bolstered the effectiveness and reach of IDEC Networks by offering members a new communication platform and conference activities,” said Sickler. “We have refined the Awards program to elevate the impact of the program both internally and externally, we developed the Annual Service Charrette, and most recently have developed programming during the Annual Conference specifically geared toward student attendees.”
The Service Collaborative offers nine annual awards designed to recognize and celebrate educator and community partner achievements in the interior design field. Networks allow educators to connect and collaborate at conference events and throughout the year, serving as a conduit for partnerships and research collaborations. The Charrette provides members with an opportunity to give back to the conference site host community during the Annual Conference. Each effort provides a means to connect members across state and national boarders, increasing the reach of their scholarship and creative endeavors.
Sickler was introduced to IDEC as a graduate student. “My experience presenting at a regional conference helped me secure my first teaching position after grad school,” recalled Sickler. “I highly value the organization as it has very much been a part of my career from the beginning. I take great pride in being able to serve an organization that has given so much to me over the years.”
The Service Collaborative’s newest initiative, student-focused programming during the Annual Conference will serve as scaffolding for the pathway to education by supporting graduate students as they define the trajectory of their career beyond graduate education. By fostering relationships between emerging educators and seasoned faculty, this programming intends to support the growth and future of interior design education.