SPOKANE, Wash. — Two faculty members from Washington State University’s interior design program have been named to leadership roles with the discipline’s leading scholarly journal, the Journal of Interior Design. The appointments were announced recently by the board of the Interior Design Educators Council, which publishes the journal.

Nancy Blossom, professor and director of WSU’s interior design program, and assistant director of the Interdisciplinary Design Institute at WSU Spokane, has been appointed chair of the board of directors of the journal.

Jo Ann Thompson, senior associate dean at WSU Spokane and a professor of interior design, has been named editor in chief of the journal. In the academic world, the editor-in-chief position at a leading peer-reviewed journal reflects recognition as one of the top scholars in the field.

Thompson said the position brings her full circle in her professional career. She worked on the inaugural issues of the publication as a graduate student with Kate E. Rogers, the professor who directed her doctoral dissertation work and founded the journal.

“We’ve just launched the e-Journal and will take that to the next level as an interactive space where we engage in dialogue and do more to show the visual side of design as well as the scholarly studies,” Thompson said in describing her vision for the journal during the next two years. “The editorial scope will broaden to draw a wider audience of practicing professionals, but without diluting the rigor of its scholarly content.”

Blossom notes that it is highly unusual for two such positions to be held by faculty from the same university, which she said is a reflection of the esteem in which the WSU interior design program is held nationwide by the profession’s leadership. The journal is distributed to members of IDEC and other professional interior design organizations.

The Journal of Interior Design is the only scholarly, refereed publication dedicated to issues related to the design of the interior environment. The journal publishes original papers that represent the entire spectrum of interior design theory, research, education, and practice. Articles are written by educators, designers, anthropologists, architects, historians, psychologists, sociologists, and others interested in interior design. The Journal celebrated its 30-year anniversary in March at the annual conference of the Interior Design Educators Council.

Blossom holds a master’s degree from University of Missouri-Columbia, and is certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification. She has won awards for her teaching, campus leadership, design and service to the interior design profession. Recognized as a leader in national and international interior design associations, Blossom has been named a Fellow of the Interior Design Educators Council and chairs the IDEC Council of Fellows.

Thompson has served as chair of the department of apparel merchandising and interior design and as vice provost/acting vice provost for WSU. A founding member of the committee that created the Interdisciplinary Design Institute, she holds a doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Iowa State University. She is a Fellow of the Interior Design Educators Council and the International Interior Design Association. In 2002, the IIDA named her Tatum Design Educator of the Year.

WSU’s interior design program is the only one in Washington state accredited by the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research. The program offers both a bachelor and master of arts in interior design, with what is believed to be the nation’s only articulated program that allows completion of both degrees in five years with an accelerated course of study. The program was identified in December 1997 as one of the 10 best in North America by the International Interior Design Association for preparing students to enter the commercial interior design field and is supported by an award-winning faculty. Students in interior design regularly win state and national honors for their design work and are sought after by employers upon graduation.

The Interdisciplinary Design Institute at WSU Spokane advances knowledge to enhance the quality of people’s lives in the built and natural environment through interdisciplinary instruction, research and community service. At the Design Institute students and faculty from all the design disciplines work side by side in studio facilities that provide opportunities for collaborative learning, research and scholarship in a professional work environment. Their community design charrettes and studio projects exemplify the Spokane campus’s connection to the urban context for learning, with projects that examine real-world design challenges.

Related Web Links:

Interior Design Program: www.spokane.wsu.edu/academic/design/interior_design_overview.asp
Interdisciplinary Design Institute: www.idi.spokane.wsu.edu
WSU Spokane Faculty Honors and Awards
Jo Ann Thompson profile: www.spokane.wsu.edu/aboutWSUSpokane/profiles/JoAnnThompson.asp