The idea of IDEC originates on November 10, 1962 in Chicago at the Central Region Meeting of the American Institute of Interior Designers (AID), Education Committee Seminar

(AID, Central Region, 1962, Summary of 2nd Educators’ Conference; R. J. Stevens, April 29, 1963, communication to interior design educators; A. Brightman, 1972, summary documents related to IDEC’s history.)


The first IDEC annual conference is held in Philadelphia, PA at the Philadelphia Museum College of Art on May 28-29, 1963. About 27 members attend.

(IDEC, 1963, Minutes, p.1; IDEC, 1963-1964, Constitution, Article II, p.1.)


The “Chart of 15 Schools Offering Interior Design” is distributed to members. IDEC has 61 members spread across the United States and two members from Canada.

(Catherine Heller, March 26, 1964, “Chart of 15 Schools Offering Interior Design”; IDEC, May 2, 1964, Minutes, p.3.)

IDEC circulates among its members a proposal for a standard 4-year interior design curriculum.

(IDEC, April 29, 1965, Minutes, p. 1; IDEC, June 25, 1965, Proposed standard curriculum, p. 1-2.)


IDEC issues a white paper with the title “Professional Recognition of the Need for a Study of Interior Design Education.”

IDEC members discuss in-school internships with design firms, apprenticeships with design firms after graduation, and a licensing exam for admission into professional interior design associations.

IDEC distributes the first IDEC Newsletter, which is typed like the minutes, to 38 members who are from universities and design schools.

(IDEC, 1966, “Professional Recognition of the Need for a Study of Interior Design Education,” p. 1-4; Lyman Johnson, May 12-15, 1966, report of the IDEC Committee on Research and Advanced Degrees, p. 7-8; Robert Stevens, May 12-15, 1966, report of the IDEC Committee on Placement and Apprenticeship, p. 1-2; Richard Rankin, May 12, 1966, “Agenda Summary” from the Secretary-Treasurer, p.1.)


A Certificate of Incorporation of the Interior Design Educators Council is witnessed by a state official on May 18, 1967 in the Department of State in Albany, New York.


IDEC publishes the first Directory, Institutions Offering Interior Design Education, listing 286 schools throughout the United States and Canada.

A Critical Study of Interior Design Education, the first comprehensive study of interior design education, follows the publication of the Directory. This study resulted in the formation of FIDER/CIDA, NCIDQ, and the Interior Design Issues Forum.

IDEC holds the first regional meeting and produces the first Bibliography.


IDEC publishes the first bound copy of the IDEC Newsletter.


IDEC publishes the Guidelines for the Accrediting of Interior Design Educational Programs.

IDEC votes to join the International Federation of Interior Designers (IFI; later referred to as the International Federation of Interior Architects/Interior Designers).


The Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER) is formed by AID, NSID, and IDEC, and formalized on March 19, 1971.

(IDEC, 1972, Annual Report, p. 27; ASID, 2005, The History of ASID, p. 25.)

IDEC establishes the first slide library as a resource for members.


FIDER accredits the first six interior design programs that include the University of Cincinnati, the University of Texas at Austin, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Georgia, University of Missouri, and Texas Tech University. All programs have IDEC members.

The first keynote address is given at the IDEC annual conference.


At the IDEC annual conference, IDEC inducts the first Honorary Members and seven members give the first scholarly presentations.

The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ; founded in 1972) is incorporated, administers its first qualifying examination for interior designers in North America, and develops guidelines for model legislation/licensing in interior design. IDEC member representation on the NCIDQ Board begins in the mid-late 1970s.

(IDEC, 1974, Conference Proceedings, p. 15; NCIDQ, 2005, NCIDQ/Denver 2005, p. 70; NCIDQ, 1994, “NCIDQ Celebrates 20th Anniversary”, NCIDQ’s – Letter).


Vol. 1, No. 1 of the Journal of Interior Design Education and Research (JIDER) comes out on December 29, 1975.

(IDEC, April 22, 1976, Reports, p. 9-10; IDEC, 1973-1975, Minutes.)


In April 1977, the Bylaws reflect the addition of a new Fellow category.

In Fall 1977, the IDEC Newsletter gets a formal title – UPDATE.

By summer 1979, it is printed as a bound copy with the new IDEC logo; it remains in this form until 1982.

On October 12, 1977, the Interior Design Education Foundation, Inc. (now referred to as the IDEC Foundation) is incorporated in Virginia.

(IDEC, 1977, Bylaws, Article III, Section II, Qualification of membership.)


IDEC corporate members can use the IDEC designation after their name for the first time.

At the IDEC annual conference, IDEC inducts four past IDEC Presidents as the first IDEC Fellows (pictured below).

The first IDEC descriptive brochure with the first IDEC logo is distributed to the membership.


The IDEC annual conference hosts the first town hall meeting allowing open discussion on important topics.

IDEC’s “Enrollment and Statistical Data Survey” reveals that 207 schools have major programs in interior design.

IDEC members participate as instructors in the first ASID-STEP program.

The Journal of Interior Design Education and Research (JIDER) debuts in a new graphic format.


IDEC forms the first Tenure and Promotion Committee to address guidelines for tenure, promotion, degrees, and scholarly/creative activity appropriate for interior design educators.


IDEC initiates a new graduate membership category.

The first edition of the “IDEC Operations Manual,” now called the “IDEC Policy and Procedures Manual,” is distributed to the Executive Board. 


In September 1982, the IDEC RECORD replaces the IDEC Newsletter; the first issue is distributed to the membership.

IDEC produces the first Career Guide for interior design.

IDEC adopts the new definition of an interior designer posed by NCIDQ.


IDEC celebrates its 20th anniversary with a presentation of its history by Doris Burton.

The first annual IDEC Juried Design Exhibition is held in concert with the annual conference.

The Forum on Continuing Education in Interior Design, the forerunner to the Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC), is founded. An IDEC member serves as Chair.


In April 1984, the IDEC Fellows host the first “Fun with the Fellows” to welcome new members and first-time participants to the IDEC conference

The first IDEC Comprehensive Bibliography for Interior Design is published.

IDEC members participate with leaders from FIDER, ASID, IBD, NCIDQ, AIA/IC, and ASID/NSC in the development of “The 1995 Hypothesis,” which is a prognostication to shape the future of interior design.

(Stanley Abercombie, 1986, Interior Design magazine, “The Leaders’ Vision,” p. 171.)


IDEC publishes the first “Appointment, Tenure, and Promotion” document, a position paper on the criteria for the evaluation of interior design educators in post-secondary institutions in North America.

New to IDEC are networks, composed of small groups of members who begin to “investigate special interests that will advance education and research in interior design.”

IDEC members participate in the first Issues Forum hosted by Interior Design magazine in New York City.


IDEC Bylaws are revised to emphasize “the advancement of education and research in interior design” as IDEC’s sole purpose.


IDEC establishes its first central office in Irvine, CA. There are 388 members.


IDEC members participate in the “Accord Agreement” meetings between ASID, IBD, and AIA to address a unified approach to title registration of interior designers, which includes a minimum 4-year professional degree accredited by FIDER.

JIDER forms a new Publications Board.

IDEC celebrates its 25th anniversary with a presentation of its history.

IDEC members participate in the update of the “Definition of an Interior Designer” hosted by NCIDQ.


IDEC members serve NCIDQ as officers on the Board, design problem authors, test bank authors, exam jurors, and jury-site coordinators. 


IDEC members participate in the Unified Voice discussions to address the concept of one professional association in North America.

The Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC) replaces the Continuing Education Forum. An IDEC member continues to serve as Chair.


The IDEC Board finalizes a “Declaration of Trust” creating and governing the Interior Design Educators Foundation. Norman Polsky donates $20,000 to the Foundation and the IDEC Board matches the contribution. The Foundation establishes the Anna Brightman Endowment Fund, with an emphasis on supporting the Journal of Interior Design.

IDEC adds a part-time Executive Assistant to handle IDEC business.


IDEC celebrates its 30th year anniversary with a presentation of its history.

The infamous ceramic cake, derived from the San Francisco conference, debuts and becomes an auction novelty.


IDEC updates the “Appointment, Tenure, and Promotion” document. (Must log-in as IDEC member to view password protected document)

At the IDEC annual conference, the town hall meeting focuses on a discussion of two-year and/or associate degree programs based on “The Higher Education Continuum and The 1995 Hypothesis” report, prepared by two-year program representatives. Subsequently, the FIDER Standards Committee conducts a study of two-year programs and eventually stops accrediting them.

IDEC publishes the Innovative Teaching Manual.

The Journal of Interior Design (JID), which replaces JIDER, debuts a new issue with a new graphic image.

In March, various IDEC members participate in the International Leadership Symposium in Washington, D. C. to hear discussions about creating a single, unified professional association.


FIDER hosts the Futures Roundtable to assess social, technological, and global trends in interior design. IDEC members participate in leadership roles and as discussion participants.

The Polsky Forum focuses on the importance of research and graduate education in defining a vision for the profession in the 21st century. IDEC members participate in leadership roles.

After four years of research, the research team for the Interior Design Experience Program (IDEP) issues its final IDEP Research Report to the professional associations in North America, and later turns the IDEP materials over to NCIDQ for implementation.

(Buie Harwood, Dianne Jackman, and Ronald Veitch, 1994, IDEP Research Report, Project Purpose, p. 4 and Forward, p.3.)


IDEC votes to remain as an independent association rather than join with other professional interior design associations.


The IDEC Board hires the Raybourn Group International to handle the management services for IDEC.

NCIDQ starts an “Analysis of the Interior Design Profession” with IDEC members as advisors.


The IDEC Board restructures the organization to enhance efficiency and provide a greater opportunity for member involvement.


IDEC participates in the World Congress on Environmental Design for the New Millennium in South Korea.


IDEC strengthens ties with professional and educator partners at the Korean Global Conference on interior design.

IDEC finalizes and approves its statement related to legal regulation of the interior design profession.


IDEC partners with other professional interior design associations on a joint website about careers in interior design, with the intent of assisting high school students who are interested in interior design.

IDEC members and representatives from other professional design organizations participate in the Common Body of Knowledge meeting in Washington, D.C.

IDEC begins the Norman & Elaine Polsky Family Supporting Foundation.

InformeDesign, a searchable database of research summaries is born.


IDEC activates its organizational website and career guide.

IDEC activates the IDEC Academy to facilitate continuing education for design professionals and to liaison with IDCEC. Typically, design professionals take continuing education courses after graduation from college.


IDEC passes a sustainability resolution to support socially responsible design, including the Cradle-to-Cradle paradigm, as an integral part of interior design education.


At the IDEC annual conference, the first Fellow’s Forum addresses the Body of Knowledge in interior design.

IDEC White Papers on graduate education and on creative endeavors reflect discussions and concerns expressed at conferences.

IDEC activates a new logo as part of its branding campaign.

The Council on Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) replaces FIDER, and numerous IDEC members continue to be involved with the accreditation, standards, and site visits.

IDEC e-News is introduced. 


At the IDEC annual conference, the Fellow’s Forum focuses on graduate education and the lack of qualified interior design educators.


IDEC celebrates its 45th anniversary with a presentation of its history and accomplishments.

Held just prior to the annual conference, the first Design History Symposium showcases a wide diversity of research and contributes to a comprehensive history of the profession of interior design.

At the IDEC annual conference, the Fellow’s Forum continues discussion on graduate education in interior design with an emphasis on enhancing the pool of qualified educators.

JID joins with Wiley/Blackwell to publish the Journal online.

IDEC posts “The Value of Including Creative Endeavors in the Tenure and Promotion Process” on its website.

A new Director of Communications is added to the IDEC Executive Board.

IDEC offers the first Leadership Orientation Seminar.

At the IDEC annual conference, Kimball Office presents IDEC with a check for $10,000 to support activity on sustaining the future of interior design education.


The Interior Design Education Video Competition enjoys its first successful year. In 2010, AAHID and Interiors & Sources magazine partners with IDEC in addition to CIDA and NCIDQ.

IDEC implements a Reogranization Plan of Volunteer Groups to reinforce existing IDEC values and priorities and to improve and enhance volunteer activities.

The IDEC Minute is posted on the website for the first time.


The 2nd Design History Symposium showcases a wide diversity of research.

IDEC is represented at events at the National Academy of Environmental Design (NAED) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), and also for the first time at the International Design Education Association (IDEA) and the U.S. Design Policy Initiative.

IDEC activates the first Cyber Cafe at the annual conference.

IDEC’s President participates in the IFI World Congress in Dubai and assists in the execution of the IFI Thinktanks Initiative.

IDEC revises its Mission Statement.

IDEC develops resolution supporting formalized, accredited education.

IDEC Twitter stream starts.

IDEC Blog launches.

IDEC Fellows vote in favor of the color bilberry to represent interior design on academic hoods and gowns.

IDEC changes its legal domicile from New York to Indiana to improve business transactions.

IDEC Facebook page begins.


President Shashi Caan presents IFI Summit Recommendations on its World-wide Global Think Tanks addressing the interior design profession’s Identity, Relevance, Value, and Responsibility at IDEC’s annual conference. This is the first time an IFI President has presented at the conference.

IDEC expands other awards to include Book/Media, Teaching Excellence, Community Service, and Partners in Education.

IDEC presents the first Arnold Friedmann Educator of Distinction Award, with IDEC’s 2nd President Arnold Friedmann as the first recipient.

IDEC History Minutes (videotaped oral history interviews of members) and IDEC History Highlights (articles on important interior design issues and activities) are posted on the website for the first time, in recognition of IDEC’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2012.

IDEC launches a sustaining interior design education white paper “Pathway from Practice to Professor” on its website.

IDEC E-Record becomes the IDEC:Exchange.


IDEC’s 50th anniversary annual conference theme is “Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future,” which celebrates the rich history of the organization and all that it has accomplished over the decades.

The conference features videos and a memorabilia display highlighting significant historical memories and milestones, as well as presentations offering a glimpse into the future of interior design.

The Fellows Forum at the conference focuses on advocacy of the profession and how we can share the value of interior design with our university, our community, and the public at large.

Village Square Critical Issues Session and Pecha Kucha Night (short teaching segments) are added to the annual conference activities.



Following the annual conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, the 3rd Design History Symposium, Raison D’Etre 2: Crafting a Global History of Interior Decoration and Design, centers on the history and devlopment of interior design as a profession and discipline around the world.  

IDEC chooses Kellen Company to provide full-service association management to the Council, and changes its legal domicile from Indiana to Illinois. 

Note to viewers: The IDEC history will be added to as more research is completed. If you have any information or images to contribute, please send them to the IDEC office. Thanks!