“Designers today need to combine an understanding of what motivates a design project with an understanding of the context in which a problem occurs.” (Tatjana Leblanc, Design and Designing, p33.)

In the most recent issue of the Exchange, Tasoulla Hadjiyanni shared a model of six principles applicable across all building types, “Communities where everyone can thrive, are homed, safe, healthy, educated, productive, and connected” (Hadjiyanni, Toward communities where everyone can thrive, IDEC EXCHANGE, Fall 2022, p14-15 https://idec.org/idec-exchange/fall-2022-exchange/).

Using the Culturally Rich Communities model as a springboard (see IDEC Exchange Fall 2002 link above), the spring 2023 issue of the Exchange is a dialogue about design in context…of community, of race-class-gender, of geography, of politics, of difference, of connection. We are particularly interested in content on how interior designers are shifting from a “us versus them” paradigm toward connected, safe, healthy, educated, and productive communities.  This includes but is not limited to:

  • Home as fundamental to human existence and the ability to thrive.
  • Homemaking and housing as a contributor to connected, thriving communities.
  • The importance of safety (and the impact of its absence) in built environments.
  • Elements of the built environment that can contribute to health.
  • Educational environments that embrace differences and meet human needs.
  • Employment, demographics, wages, and work opportunities.
  • Connections across racial, socioeconomic, and cultural divides.


The IDEC Exchange seeks innovative and critically focused statements, design, and research that engage these questions through rich and rigorous investigation. The Exchange also seeks letters responding to previous IDEC Exchange content or highlighting a timely and engaging topic.

Each submission should make a clear claim about how the community in interior design—as a profession or an academic field—has impacted or has the potential to impact the field. The claim should be linked to an equally clear example from research scholarship, teaching or practice.

Submissions may be:

  • Letters
  • Original essays addressing the issue theme
  • Original images or creative works addressing the issue theme
  • Interviews addressing the issue theme or a timely and engaging topic; or
  • Another format discussed in advance with the Editor-in-Chief.

Please note the intended category of your submission in your word document (i.e., letter, essay, visual essay, creative work, etc.…). Submissions must follow the guidelines below. Submissions that do not follow the guidelines will not be considered for publication. (Note: word count does not include references.)

  • Requirements: Letters may be up to 350-words maximum without images. Essay submissions may be up to 550-words maximum with one image OR 350-words maximum with three or more images. Use the following file naming guidelines: lastname_title.doc (if more than one author, please use one name only for the file). Submissions should be in Word (.doc, .docx) format. PDFs will not be accepted.
  • Images: 5×7, 300dpi, jpg format. Each image should be accompanied by a caption (including reference; original work should indicate creator credit). Captions should be provided in a separate document. Use the following naming guidelines: lastname_01.jpg, lastname_02.jpg, etc. Images should be in .jpg format. PDFs will not be accepted. Authors are responsible for securing copyright clearance from image creators.

Questions should be directed to:

Dana E. Vaux, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, IDEC Exchange

University of Nebraska – Kearney




Submit here