Creating Community: IIDA at NeoConnect 2020

Included in the conversation

During this time of uncertainty and change, IIDA knows that it is more important than ever to have access to community and to be included. Continuing as a vital connector for the design industry, IIDA announces a slate of virtual programming next week at NeoConnect, June 8-11, 2020.

IIDA invites the design community to attend virtually and be included in the conversation with design thinkers across disciplines—driving culture, equity, and justice; sparking creativity and collaboration; and envisioning a better tomorrow.

IIDA events and engagements taking place during NeoConnect are as follows:

Monday, June 8, 2020

Design 2030: The Next Next
10 – 11 a.m. Central

We live in an increasingly visually literate society. There has been a significant shift in the public’s perception and expectation of design in all of its modes of expression, and an expansion of how we experience it in our daily lives. What’s next as we look ahead to the upcoming decade for design thinking and clear communication?

As we embark on a new decade, designers of all disciplines are shaping solutions that bring human- and brand-centric spaces to life. It is vital that we continue developing accessible language around design so that we may present clear ideas to clients at all levels of the process. Culture, brand, and visual literacy are key as we seek to think differently about narrative communication—from graphics and wayfinding to the meaning of space.

Join moderator IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, and panelists:

  • Dana Arnett, vice-chairman and founding partner, VSA Partners, Chicago
  • Ashleigh Axios, AIGA, chief experience officer and partner, &Partners, Washington, D.C.
  • Dina Griffin, IIDA, FAIA, NOMA, president, Interactive Design Architects, Chicago

Register for the webinar here.

SANDOW’s DesignTV | Design Giants with Cheryl S. Durst
11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Central

Join IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA and Interior Design’s Editor in Chief Cindy Allen as they discuss IIDA, design, career, community, inclusion, and equity.

Watch live on Interior Design’s Facebook page.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Experience: Art, Culture, Design
2 – 3 p.m. Central

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed almost everything about our daily lives—the way we shop, work, exercise, and even spend time with our loved ones. But how has it changed artistic expression and the ways that we experience art and design? Art is critical in spurring conversations on justice and equity, and artists play an important role in the narrative around our response to a global crisis. Now more than ever, society turns to visual culture in an effort to translate our current challenges and the visions of a better tomorrow.

Join moderator IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, and participants Amanda Williams, renowned Chicago-based artist and architect, and Madeleine Grynsztejn, Pritzker Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, for an enthralling discussion on art in the time of COVID; how museums, galleries, and DIY spaces will continue to adapt for the future; and the ways we can let society know that creativity can’t be canceled.

Register for the webinar here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Get to the Point: A Rapid-Fire Discussion About Careers in Design
2 – 3:30 p.m. Central

Join IIDA and a panel of industry veterans, human resource specialists, career counselors, and recruiters as they answer your questions about the state of the industry. Panelists will participate in a rapid-fire Q&A and respond to video submitted questions from students and emerging designers.


Ryan Ben, Student Engagement and Advancement Manager, IIDA, Chicago


  • Bill Bouchey, FIIDA, ASID, director of design, Interiors, HOK, Los Angeles
  • Brian Graham, IIDA, founder & creative director, Graham Design, New York
  • Tara Headley, Assoc. IIDA, interior designer, Hendrick, Atlanta
  • Sarah Kuchar, IIDA, Owner, creative director, Kuchar Studio, Chicago
  • Angie Lee, AIA, IIDA, partner, design director-interiors, FXCollaborative Architects, New York
  • Greg Silk, principal, API Partners, New York
  • Suzanne Tron, senior vice president, The Viscusi Group, Miami

Register for the webinar here.

Student Design Showcase
5 – 6 p.m. Central

Join IIDA for a student-focused celebration featuring IIDA’s Student of the Year and recipients of the John J. Nelson Sr. Legacy Scholarship and the IA Interior Architects Diversity in Design Scholarship. Up-and-coming designers will share some of their outstanding project, essay, and video work to inspire positive change in our industry, the world, and in ourselves.

Watch and congratulate these amazing student members who represent a bright future.

Register for the virtual celebration here.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Collective D(esign) the NeoConnect Edition: Women Lead Design
2 – 3 p.m. Central

Join IIDA CEO and Executive Vice President, Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, for a special edition of Collective D(esign) in dialogue with female design leaders, to discuss the urgency of this current moment, what’s next for design, and how a diversity of design thought is more crucial than ever.  Hear what they have to say about the importance of mentorship, inspiration, and the future of the profession.


  • Gabrielle Bullock, FAIA, IIDA, principal, director of global diversity, Perkins and Will
  • Robin Klehr Avia, FIIDA, regional managing principal, Gensler
  • Sarah Kuchar, IIDA, owner and creative director, Kuchar
  • Angie Lee, AIA, IIDA, partner, design director of interiors, FXCollaborative

Register for the webinar here.

Design Leaders Celebration and Happy Hour
5 p.m. Central

Join IIDA live in honoring the 2020 IIDA Member of the Year, Educator of the Year, Anna Hernandez/Luna Textiles Visionary Award Recipient, and College of Fellows inductees.

Each year IIDA celebrates individual leaders who are defining interior design excellence as they share words of wisdom, encouragement, and insight. Join IIDA for a happy (half) hour to toast the 2020 IIDA Fellows inductees, Board Members, and award recipients.

Attendees will network in small groups via virtual breakout rooms. To ensure live participation, we encourage you to sign in early. Participation is first-come, first-served, with a cap at 100 attendees. All registrants will receive a link to a live stream one hour before the program begins.

Register for the virtual celebration here.

About IIDA

IIDA is the commercial interior design association with a global reach. We support design professionals, industry affiliates, educators, students, firms, and their clients through our network of 15,000+ members across 58 countries. We advocate for advancements in education, design excellence, legislation, leadership, accreditation, and community outreach to increase the value and understanding of interior design as a profession that enhances business value and positively impacts the health and well-being of people’s lives every day.

About NeoCon

NeoCon is the world’s leading platform and most important event for the commercial interiors industry, held each year at theMART in Chicago. Since launching in 1969, NeoCon has served as the annual gathering place for the commercial design world’s manufacturers, dealers, architects, designers, end-users, design organizations and media. The three-day event showcases game-changing products and services from both leading companies and emerging talent—providing unparalleled access to the latest and most innovative solutions. A robust educational program of keynote presentations and CEU sessions offers world-class expertise and insight about today’s most relevant topics as well as the future of commercial design.

NeoCon® is a registered trademark of theMART, a Vornado Property.