SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington State University faculty member Nancy Blossom, chair of the interior design program and director of the interdisciplinary design program, has been named director of the Interdisciplinary Design Institute at WSU Spokane. Blossom has served as assistant director of the institute since 2002, when she joined WSU Spokane.

“I’m looking forward to the exciting opportunity to lead the design institute,” Blossom said. “Engaging faculty as collaborative, interdisciplinary thinkers is immensely rewarding for us as scholars and provides students with a rich learning experience that makes them better designers.”

In naming Blossom to the position, interim chancellor Nicholas Lovrich said, “Nancy’s proven leadership and creative vision will take the design institute to new heights as a vital resource for the community and a one-of-a-kind place to study design. We have something here in Spokane that is available nowhere else in the country, and with the addition of the Doctor of Design, we are a destination campus for design studies.”

Recognized as a leader in national and international interior design associations, Blossom is a Fellow of the Interior Design Educators Council. She chairs the board of directors for the Journal of Interior Design, the only scholarly publication in the interior design discipline, and was instrumental in bringing the management, editing and publication of the journal to WSU.

Under her leadership, the interior design program became a department and moved its administrative headquarters from the Pullman campus to Spokane as the first fully co-located department. The undergraduate degree program in interior design recently received a six-year renewal of its accreditation by the Foundation for Interior Design Education and Research. WSU has the only FIDER-accredited interior design program in the state.

The university recently approved the creation of a Doctor of Design, only the second such degree in the nation. The degree is offered through the program in interdisciplinary design headed by Blossom.

Blossom received 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.

Blossom’s research and published works have focused on design of health care facilities for children and design education. She has worked as a professional designer for 25 years, with clients in higher education, the corporate world, health care and local government, as well as residential and historic projects. She serves on the board of Leadership Spokane and represents WSU Spokane on the WSU President’s Teaching Academy.

She is looking forward to the next major activity of the Design Institute: a design research focus week to be hosted on the Spokane campus Oct. 4-8. With the theme “Implications of the Built Environment for Health,” the week’s scholarship will focus on models for thinking about the relationship between health and the built environment.

Blossom said, “This is a wonderful opportunity to bring together separate areas of scholarship in environment, behavior and health, to take advantage of what WSU Spokane offers in design and health sciences and what Spokane offers as a regional medical center. This kind of scholarly discussion, in this context, demonstrates the rich potential for the Doctor of Design here.”

The weeklong symposium is expected to become a regular event, with the next one focusing on another strength at the Design Institute: design history, theory and criticism.

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 in design and construction. Students in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, construction management and design-build management study at the institute.

Related Web sites:
Interdisciplinary Design Institute:
WSU Spokane: www.spokane.wsu.edu
News release on Doctor of Design: http://wsunews.wsu.edu/detail.asp?StoryID=4619
(June 23, 2004)

News release on Blossom’s appointment as assistant director: http://wsunews.wsu.edu/detail.asp?StoryID=3316
(Sept. 24, 2002)