IFI President's Update: IFI GIEOF
DFIE Asia Region Interiors Education Symposium

Design for Life Education for a Lifetime of Interior Design/Interior Architecture in the Asia Pacific Region
3-4 October 2013

This Symposium was the second event of its type following the IFI DFIE Exploration of Interiors Educational Strategies in North America publication resulting from IFI Institutional Member, IDEC, and thier Fellows Action Forum held 2011 in Baltimore.


Growing expectations of design's problem-solving abilities have resulted in designers tackling unprecedented assignments that challenge them to adapt to the constantly changing dynamics of today’s world. Bearing in mind the weight and presence of design, it seems necessary to expose the defining qualities of design through emerging pedagogy.

Our immediate challenge remains the interpretation and actualization of the language of the historic Interiors Declaration into a process for crafting the built environment. The IFI Global Interior Educators Open Forum (GIEOF) was instituted to align contemporary interiors education with the foundational tenets of Interiors at a grassroots level. The ultimate goal of this global committee will be to determine appropriate guidelines and eventual accreditation for an elevated state of Interiors education worldwide.

Building upon the seminal work undertaken by IFI in North America and documented in Exploration of Interiors Educational Strategies in North America, GIEOF worked in collaboration with regional organizations including APSDA (Asia Pacific Space Designers Alliance) and IDEA (Interior Design/Interior Architecture Educators Association) to deliver IFI GIEOF – DFIE Asia Region Interiors Education Symposium on 3-4 October 2013, in Sydney Australia, to further explore the tenets of the Interiors Declaration in relation to Interiors Architecture/Design education and its impacts on future practice and research in the Asia Pacific Region and beyond.

Lord Mayor
Clover Moore

Sydney, Australia

The first city in the Oceanic region to proclaim the Interiors Declaration!


(L-R) Past-Past President Ex-Officio Madeline Lester,Current IFI President Shashi Caan, and IFI Board Member Joanne Cys, with the new proclimation in Sydney

Even before the symposium began, the City of Sydney, Australia, led by Lord Mayor Clover Moore, proclaimed the Interiors Declaration. This momentous event marked the addition of Sydney Australia to the growing list of leading world cities that have adopted the Declaration. A big thank you to Madeline Lester for her amazing effort and guidance.

The Symposium, hosted at the University of New South Wales commenced with a welcome address by IFI President Shashi Caan and followed by two keynote speakers, Associate Professor at RMIT and immediate past IDEA Chair, Suzie Attiwill and Assistant Professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and IFI Executive Board Member, Horace Pan. The Design For Life Symposium presentations explored the current and future directions of interior design/interior architecture education in an attempt to identify opportunities to harness the values of the Interiors Declaration.


IFI Declaration AdoptionKeynote Speaker Horace Pan, Assistant Professor, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and IFI Executive Board Member (Courtesy of Joanne Cys)

IFI Declaration AdoptionSoo Yin Tang, Deputy Director, Singapore Polytechnic (Courtesy of Joanne Cys)

IFI Declaration AdoptionAntony Pelosi, Lecturer, Massey University, New Zealand (Courtesy of Joanne Cys)

“Interior Design: A Creative Practice – Contemporary and Future Interior Pedagogy”

“How to teach now”

“Future Scenarios for Interior Design: learning now and into the future”

“Patterning (and) The Interior Design Studio”

“Design for Life: Education for a Lifetime of Interior Design”

“Creative Methodologies to Interior Education”

“Learning to learn”

“Sustainability as an integral component of pedagogy for interior design”

“Exposing the defining qualities of interior design/interior architecture through emerging design pedagogy”

“Design for Life: Education for a Lifetime of Interior Design/Interior Architecture in the Asian Pacific Region”

Abstracts now Avaliable
on the IFI Website!


To conclude day one, the Australian and New Zealand interiors educator’s peak body, IDEA (Interior Design/ Interior Architecture Educators Association) presented a panel session in which senior academics from New Zealand and Australia presented student projects that addressed public heritage, community development for groups located in remote areas and service to marginalised members of society. In all, over 45 interior design/interior architecture programs from the Asia Pacific were represented in the Symposium.

IFI Declaration AdoptionIDEA panel (L-R) Sue Gallagher (Chair) Senior Lecturer Auckland University of Technology, Jane Lawrence Senior Lecturer and Program Director University of South Australia, Sing Darcy Lecturer University of New South Wales and Keynote Speaker Suzie Attiwill Associate Professor RMIT University (Courtesy of Joanne Cys)

The overwhelming congruence that emerged amongst the Symposium presentations was one of the teaching of future interiors practitioners as highly specialised (in various modes of practice) and creative professionals willing toaccept the responsibility of service to humanity. The many and varied projects presented at the Symposium demonstrated that interiors academics in the Asia Pacific region are creating learning activities for their students that reinforce the tenets of the Interiors Declaration and as such, help to instill its values in the next generation of interior designers.

Our deepest thanks to GIEOF Committee Chair, Joanne Cys and her team for their careful planning and relentless work to promote design knowledge and to promoting them across different spheres of society. I also want to recognize regional organizations including APSDA and IDEA for their support in this important program. Thank you to all who came out to make this a huge sucess!


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