We live through turbulent times. The pandemic forced profound changes to working, teaching and study methods. The invasion of Ukraine presents the widest range of challenges, not least of which (apart from the loss of life) are the impact of population displacement, an interrupted education for hundreds of thousands of children and students, and questions over eventual rebuilding and the relationship between identity, heritage and place.
These are challenges which confront all of us. Interior Educators (IE) is the national subject association which represents well-established Interior Design, Interior Architecture and Spatial Design degree programmes in the UK and Ireland. Established and run by academics as a charity, IE and the students we teach are all affected by these geopolitical and environmental shifts. Add climate change and on-going concerns with social justice and equality, we teach our students not only the art of design, but how to design for a changing and even dangerous world.Exhibiting at the Bargehouse
IE is a unique group; it provides a forum for debate and the exchange of ideas and practice effecting the education of designers of interior space. IE’s main objectives are to advance and promote Interiors education, to share and advocate best practice in Higher Education teaching, to represent Interiors education at national and international level, to link with other organisations with shared values, and to fund research and alleviate hardship within Interiors education.
As part of this mission, IE runs an annual exhibition of student work, as well as a student awards system to recognise outstanding achievement in both design and writing. This year, we consider the categories for student awards to be more important than ever, namely: collaboration; sustainability; social justice; craft & making; futures; and an award for writing.
Founded in 2006, IE represents more than 50 institutional members. We teach our students to design for people, as well as to use design as a problem-solving tool. Cultivating good design to make for a better world sits at the heart of what IE is and does. This attitude underpins the nature of the degree programmes IE represents. It also provides the framework for our student awards system.
Last year we adopted the theme “re-define” for the summer show and awards system; this year, building on this theme, we explore the idea of “re-form”. Through this year’s awards system, parallel exhibition and talks programme, IE explores how design can help to form and reform society through addressing shared problems head on; we explore form itself, and how form (shape, appearance, practice, convention) can be deployed to offer answers to the difficult questions and challenges we all face.