SPOKANE, Wash. — An expert in the effects of design on performance, creativity and stress has joined the faculty of the interior design program at Washington State University Spokane.

Janetta McCoy, associate professor and graduate interior design program coordinator, comes to WSU Spokane from Arizona State University, considered to be among the top design programs in the nation.

In her research and design work, McCoy examines workplace design and its impact on the intellectual and physical performance, creativity and creative leadership and stress levels of people within organizations. Her work in “places of creativity” incorporates the disciplines of design, social psychology, and environment and behavior studies.

In the next phase of her research, she will investigate places of creative leadership, including university faculty, corporate CEOs, university presidents, and governors. She notes of her work on stress that it is an outcome for individuals whose expectations are not met or who cannot perform assigned tasks at work.  The physical environment may be one source of stress, adding to other sources.

She also examines design issues for children with autism and developmental disabilities, who are often hypersensitive and strongly impacted by attributes and properties of the physical environment.

Nancy Blossom, director of the Interdisciplinary Design Institute, said, “Professor McCoy brings great depth to our expertise in the interactions of people and place, one of the particular strengths of the Interdisciplinary Design Institute. Her work is internationally recognized, and her reputation will draw students to both the master’s program and the Doctor of Design program.”

McCoy received her doctoral degree in architecture, environment and behavior studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She holds a master’s in design and environmental analysis from Cornell University and a bachelor’s in liberal studies from St. Edwards University, Austin, Tex.

Prior to her position as an associate professor at ASU, she taught at Oklahoma State University, lectured at Cornell, served as a visiting scholar at the University of Sydney, Australia, and conducted research at Johnson Controls Institute for Environmental Quality in Architecture, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

In 2004, she was one of two faculty named ASASU Centennial Professor of the Year, Arizona State University, an honor for which she was nominated and selected by students for commitment to teaching excellence and innovation. In 2003, she was named outstanding professor in interior design at ASU.

McCoy serves on the executive board of the Environmental Design and Research Association, has organized international conferences on the work environment for EDRA for a number of years, and chairs the research council of the Foundation for Interior Design Education and Research. She has over 14 years of experience as a professional designer, and is the author of a number of peer-reviewed articles and presentations.

About the WSU Interior Design Program and the Interdisciplinary Design Institute

The interior design program at WSU was ranked eighth in the nation in 2005 by Design Intelligence magazine in their annual survey of design professionals. The program is the only undergraduate program in Washington accredited by the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research. It was also named one of the top ten programs in the nation in 1997 by the International Interior Design Association for preparing students to enter the commercial interior design field.

WSU offers what is believed to be the nation’s only articulated bachelor’s/master’s degree program in interior design, allowing students to complete both degrees in five years with an intensive course of study. Undergraduate interior design students begin their studies at the Pullman campus, and complete the third and fourth years of their program in Spokane.

There they study with students in architecture, construction management and landscape architecture at the Interdisciplinary Design Institute. The Design Institute 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.

The Design Institute’s scholarship focuses particularly on the interactions of people and place; history, theory, and criticism; and service learning through community design projects. Faculty and students at the Design Institute regularly win state, national, and international design competitions for their work.

Additional information:

Interior Design: www.bainteriordesign.spokane.wsu.edu
Interdisciplinary Design Institute: www.idi.spokane.wsu.edu
WSU Interior Design Program Ranked Among Nation’s Top 10 (Jan. 6, 2005): http://wsunews.wsu.edu/detail.asp?StoryID=4960