IIDA Foundation and IDEC Foundation Announce Diversity Award Recipient

Kijeong Jeon

The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Foundation, in partnership with the Interior Design Educators Council Foundation, Inc., (IDECF), is pleased to announce Kijeong Jeon, professor and interior architecture program coordinator at California State University Chico, as the recipient of the inaugural IIDA Foundation Diversity Award. The Diversity Award recognizes and celebrates an educator who is representative of a diverse background and making a significant contribution to interior design education today. Jeon will receive $5,000 on behalf of the IIDA Foundation and be recognized during the IDEC Annual Conference, March 8-12, 2017, in Chicago.

“Not only does Kijeong encourage his students to demonstrate social responsibility through design, he is making his own mark by designing for people living with autism and other developmental disabilities,” said Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP, Executive Vice President and CEO of IIDA. “We are proud to honor Kijeong’s contributions to interior design education with the IIDA Foundation Diversity Award.”

Jeon’s career as an educator and interior designer reaches far beyond the classroom. As a professor, he emphasizes that good design should be available to everyone and contribute to people’s well-being regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or social status.

“If we simply teach our students to design, we are simply bringing more designers into the industry,” said Jeon. “However, if we teach our students to design as a means of healing, we are developing well-rounded designers that progress our industry by embracing diversity.”

In addition, Jeon’s interest and research in designing for people living with autism has driven his professional work as an interior designer. As principal of Kijeong Jeon Environmental Design for Special Needs, he designs interior environments for individuals with special needs, autism, and developmental disabilities. His recent projects include Redwood Residence, in Paradise, California, a residence for autistic clients; The SOAR, a center for clients with severe developmental disorders; and Amamiyoshima Autism Center MSE in Amamiyoshima, Japan, a multi-sensory therapeutic environment.

IIDA Foundation Diversity Award submissions were reviewed by a selection committee comprised of design educators and practitioners, including Gabrielle Bullock, IIDA, FAIA, NOMA, LEED AP BD+C (Principal and Director of Global Diversity, Perkins+Will); Cynthia Mohr, FIDEC (Professor and Chair Department of Design, College of Visual Arts and Design, University of North Texas); and Darrin Brooks, IIDA (Associate Professor, Interior Design, Department of Art and Design, Utah State University). For more information about the IIDA Foundation Diversity Award, please contact Aisha Williams at awilliams@iida.org.

About International Interior Design Association
The International Interior Design Association (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 advancement 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. www.iida.org