IIDA Expands Design Your World Program Nationally with Miami Launch and Return of Chicago Session

South Florida and Chicago High School Students Benefit from Access to Education Pipeline Program

Following a successful Chicago launch in 2021, IIDA, the International Interior Design Association, announced today the expansion of its Design Your World (DYW) education pipeline program. With support from Black Architects in the Making (BAM) and the IIDA South Florida chapter (IIDA SFC), the program will debut in Miami on June 14 and run through July 8, 2022. In conjunction, the Chicago DYW program will return for its second session, which will run during the summer of 2022.

This launch, as well as the return to Chicago for the second year, supports the program’s nationwide trajectory and goal to support individual chapters and regions with unique resources. It also positions design as a viable career option for a diverse group of high school students and emerging professionals through its curriculum. Program supporters include presenting sponsor OFS as well as additional sponsors 3form, DIRTT, Mannington Commercial, Material Bank, Sherwin-Williams, and Configura, with interiors+sources serving as the media partner.

“The vibrancy of a multi-cultural city, its energy as a design capital, and a serious dedication to the power of education, all contribute to making Miami the ideal location for the next iteration of this program, and we are honored to join forces with BAM and IIDA SFC to expand the scope and reach of Design Your World,” said IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO, Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA. “Design is such a powerful catalyst for change and for demonstrating human potential. Through DYW, a diverse group of students will be empowered to fully realize that careers in design and the creative arts offer unlimited potential. Perhaps most importantly, they will realize—through a curriculum and instructors that represent them—that design is truly ‘accessible’, meaningful and relevant in their lives.”

BAM’s acclaimed Florida program introduces architecture as a valuable and achievable career option through mentorships, internships, scholarships, and employment opportunities for prospective architecture students of color.

“If we are not satisfied with the present and we’re not willing to endure what is to come, we must act intentionally today to design the future we would like to see tomorrow,” said Craig Aquart, BAM Founder and MC Harry & Associates Principal, AIA, NOMA. “The BAM program does just that, it invests in K-12 students today, equipping them to become conscientious designers of tomorrow, and the DYW program shares that vision.”

Kenzie Leon Perry

Under the instruction of Ze Haus Interior Design Studio Creative Director, Kenzie Leon Perry, 15-20 high school students based in South Florida will be selected to participate in the four-week Design Your World Miami program, where they will gain insight into design and architecture as a profession through initiatives such as material selection, color theory, and space plan creation, while also working with various types of design firms and industry sectors.

“It is a privilege to be a part of a program that makes a direct impact on how emerging youth and professionals view design and architecture,” said Leon Perry. “I’m looking forward to gaining as much knowledge from the students and their journeys as I impart on them and broadening their outlook of what’s possible for a future career in this profession.”

Design Your World Miami will officially launch June 14 and run through July 8, 2022. Design Your World Chicago will return for its second year in partnership with After School Matters in the summer of 2022.

“After School Matters is excited to partner with IIDA again this summer on commercial design programming for our teens, helping them to learn how an environment can affect the way we interact, work, and thrive with each other,” said ASM Chief Programs Officer, Melissa Mister. “Last summer was so successful, we will be expanding our curriculum to include more program hours in 2022.”


IIDA is the commercial interior design association with 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. IIDA.org


After School Matters is a nonprofit organization that provides world class, after-school, and summer opportunities to Chicago public high school teens to explore their passions and develop their talents, while gaining critical skills for work, college, and beyond. After School Matters programs are project-based, led by industry experts, and provide a pathway to progress in skills development and independence. Teens earn a stipend while participating in programs in the arts, communications and leadership, sports, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Over the span of three decades, After School Matters has engaged more than 350,000 teens throughout the city of Chicago. www.afterschoolmatters.org


The Black Architects in the Making (BAM) program enhances students’ knowledge about the architecture profession. BAM was started in Miami and has since planted a program in Orlando and is working on planting other programs in Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Tallahassee, and Jacksonville. BAM informs, mentors, interns, provide scholarships, and opportunities for employment to students of color who are interested in pursuing an architecture career. www.bammiami.org


Founding program sponsor OFS offers further insight:

“Design Your World enables us to bring equity into action by exposing a diverse generation of students to the design industry. It has been an honor to witness the excitement and engagement of students as they experience the transformational power of design,” said OFS District Sales Manager, Maria VanDeman, Ind. IIDA. “As Design Your World grows in Chicago and now Miami, we are bringing access and opportunity that will shape a strong future as we continue to design for a diverse world.”

Additional industry sponsors and the media partner weigh in on the significance of this program to the industry at large:

“We are excited to see the program expand this year and hope that the momentum continues,” said 3form Senior Vice President of Sales, Jennifer Ruckel, Ind. IIDA. “With each new program, we’re able to nurture the next generation of diverse architects and designers with access to a field and a future that otherwise may have been out of reach.”

“At DIRTT, we know that intentionally designed spaces cultivate creativity, connection and diverse perspectives,” said DIRTT Chief Commercial Officer, Jennifer Warawa. “We believe the needs of the community are key to shaping environments that empower people to flourish. Partnering with IIDA and the Design Your World program is an honor and an opportunity for DIRTT to listen to, and learn from, the next generation of designers and builders as they shape the future of space.”

“It’s exciting to see the success of Design Your World open doors for the next generation of designers and creatives,” said Mannington Vice President of Commercial Design, Roby Isaac, Ind. IIDA. “I was given a similar opportunity growing up in Philadelphia and understand the value of a program like this first-hand. As Design Your World continues to expand and evolve, it’s my hope that the kids will bring perspectives that challenge the way we think and design.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of IIDA’s Design Your World program to share our love of design with an incredible group of students,” said Material Bank Managing Director, U.S. and Canada, Mark Oliver. “We believe everyone should have the opportunity to chase their dreams and we’re confident this program will help develop incredible architecture and design talent. We look forward to seeing the amazing designs these students create in the years to come.”

“We understand how important after school programs are in providing safe community spaces for students to learn and thrive,” said Sherwin-Williams Architectural Account Executive, Dawn Cenowa, Ind. IIDA. “Our partnership with IIDA and the Design Your World Program reflects our ongoing commitment to advance a culture of inclusion, diversity and equity where underrepresented students in the field of architecture and design are welcomed and celebrated.”

“We are thrilled to play a role in shaping the minds of high school students,” said Configura Global Head of User Community and Events, Kelsey Debruin. “This program helps to demolish barriers that leave our profession without equal representation, and we support every effort to broaden its reach.”

i+s is proud to be the official media partner of IIDA’s Design Your World pipeline program to create exposure and opportunity for diverse students in the fields of interior design and architecture,” saidi+s Chief Content Director, Robert Nieminen. “As a media brand, we believe in the power of design to positively impact lives, and by working with IIDA and its partners, we are helping to ensure the industry is more diverse and equitable for everyone.”


OFS is a family-owned contract furniture manufacturer dedicated to crafting experiences and products that contribute to places where people want to be. Founded in 1937, OFS provides furniture and logistics solutions for office, healthcare, education, lifestyle, hospitality, government, and home office markets worldwide, offering seating, tables, casegoods, and open plan products. The brands, Carolina and Bryan Ashley are OFS companies. OFS is based in Huntingburg, Indiana. www.ofs.com


3form is a design-driven materials solutions company offering breakthrough sustainable products that help bring projects to life. Their approach promotes craftsmanship, community, sustainability, and respect for the environments where we work and live.3form’s product portfolio ranges from simple resin and glass materials to sophisticated solutions. www.3-form.com


Founded in Galesburg, Illinois in 1911, Blick Art Materials is the largest and oldest provider of art supplies in the United States. Its products cater to the full spectrum of artists. A long-time advocate of art education in the U.S., Blick also provides support for scholastic, collegiate, and professional art shows, both financially and through a variety of materials that emphasize the benefits of art education. The company’s corporate office is located in Highland Park, Illinois, and its main operations are located in Galesburg, Illinois. Blick acquired Utrecht’s paint manufacturing facility and 40 retail stores in 2013. DickBlick.com


DIRTT is a global leader in industrialized construction. Its system of physical products and digital tools empowers organizations, together with construction and design leaders, to build high-performing, adaptable, interior environments. Operating in the commercial, healthcare, education and public sector markets, DIRTT’s system provides total design freedom, and greater certainty in cost, schedule and outcomes. DIRTT is headquartered in the US and Canada. www.dirtt.com


Mannington Commercial crafts flooring with purpose. The company offers a full range of products designed to inspire creativity and deliver advanced performance in all types of commercial spaces. Across modular carpet, broadloom, LVT, resilient sheet and rubber, customers receive coordinated solutions to meet their specific goals. The fifth generation, family-owned company is guided by this dedication to its customers and to making a positive impact on the environment and local communities. www.manningtoncommercial.com


Material Bank is a marketplace for design professionals and brands in the architecture and design industry, providing the fastest and most powerful way to discover and sample materials. The revolutionary platform powers complex searches across hundreds of brands in seconds. Samples ordered by midnight (ET) are delivered in a single box by 10:30 AM the next day—always free for design professionals. With a rapidly growing community of members, Material Bank is the easiest way for brands to connect with thousands of vetted design professionals in the specification process. www.materialbank.com


Founded in 1866, The Sherwin-Williams Company is a global leader in the manufacture, development, distribution, and sale of paints, coatings and related products to professional, industrial, commercial, and retail customers. Sherwin-Williams manufactures products under well-known brands such as Sherwin-Williams®, Valspar®, HGTV HOME® by Sherwin-Williams, Dutch Boy®, Krylon®, Minwax®, Thompson’s® WaterSeal®, Cabot® and many more. With global headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, Sherwin-Williams® branded products are sold exclusively through a chain of more than 5,000 Company-operated stores and facilities, while the Company’s other brands are sold through leading mass merchandisers, home centers, independent paint dealers, hardware stores, automotive retailers, and industrial distributors. The Sherwin-Williams Performance Coatings Group supplies a broad range of highly-engineered solutions for the construction, industrial, packaging and transportation markets in more than 120 countries around the world. Sherwin-Williams shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: SHW). www.sherwin.com


Configura creates intelligent space-planning software for the Commercial Interiors, Kitchen & Bath, and Material Handling industries. The company’s software products, including CET are used by more than 13,000 people around the world. Configura Sverige AB, the parent company, is headquartered in Linköping, Sweden, with commercial operations in; Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Shenzhen, China; Berlin, Germany and Tokyo, Japan. Founded in 1990, Configura is privately owned with over 300 employees worldwide and annual sales of more than $18 million USD. www.configura.com