LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2017) — The School of Interiors (SOI) in the University of Kentucky College of Design was recently honored by IDEC (Interior Design Educators Council) with the IDEC Teaching Excellence Award for its revision of ID161/162: History and Theory Sequence.
Presented with this nationally competitive award in Chicago during the 2017 IDEC Annual Conference in March, the School of Interiors revamped its history and theory courses to better engage today’s college students. Where previously these courses were taught in a darkened room with projections on the front wall, the SOI faculty restructured the course to include a paradigm of both virtual and physical learning experiences. The sequence is both topical and chronological.
“Armed with strategies and approaches rather than dates and facts, students are able to use the pathways for exploring the built environment introduced in the sequence throughout their schooling and into the professional world,” said Patrick Lee Lucas, director of the School of Interiors in the UK College of Design.
This new mode of teaching history and theory has also allowed the voices of the entire SOI faculty to participate. Focusing on more of a thematic approach to instruction rather than chronologically, this allows faculty to adapt their area of specialization to the sequence, so students now get multiple perspectives in an immersive experience.
“With the current and rising cost of tuition, we have to think forward about how to give students the broadest and richest curricular experience,” Dean Mitzi Vernon said. “In the College of Design, we are experimenting with new definitions of 'class time.' The Interiors history sequence is the perfect example of that innovation.”
With the effort of more than 30 individuals — including students, faculty and staff — SOI was able to fund the new sequence with a grant through UK's eLearning Innovation Initiative (eLII).
The professionally recognized association for interior design educators in North America, IDEC was created in the early 1960s. As described in its first constitution, the organization's purpose was to be "dedicated to the development and improvement of interior design education," to establish and strengthen "lines of communication between individuals, educational institutions and organizations concerned with interior design," and to strive "to improve teaching of interior design, and through it the professional level of interior design."
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