Design Thinking for Interiors: Inquiry, Experience, Impact
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More About This Title Design Thinking for Interiors: Inquiry, Experience, Impact


Take a holistic approach to contemporary interior design.

The interior design process is changing. In order to create truly engaging work, designers are developing a deeper and broader understanding of how design theory, research, and existing practice can help them make better decisions. This inquiry provides answers on how design is experienced, and its impact over time.

At the same time, the profession is becoming increasingly collaborative. Designers today work closely with other professionals—such as architects, landscape designers, product designers, anthropologists, and business consultants—in new ways, engaging an expanding network of experts in the design process more than ever before.

Written by renowned scholars Joy Dohr and Margaret Portillo, the book brings interior design theory and research to life utilizing a narrative inquiry approach that offers highly accessible coverage of the interior design world as it exists today. By looking at real-life stories that demonstrate what makes a memorable design, coupled with photographs and drawings to further illustrate these concepts, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in keeping abreast of interior design in the twenty-first century.


JOY DOHR, PhD, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she also was chair of design studies and an associate dean of academic affairs. Dohr presents, writes, and consults on interior design education at graduate and undergraduate levels. She is past president and a Fellow of the Interior Design Educators Council, and has served on the boards of CIDA, the IIDA Foundation, and InformeDesign, among others. She is a recipient of numerous awards recognizing leadership and excellence in design education.

MARGARET PORTILLO, PhD, is Research Foundation Professor and Chair of the Department of Interior Design at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Portillo is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Interior Design (JID). As guest editor for a special issue of the journal, she helped introduce the JID readership to the potential of narrative inquiry in the field of interior design. As chair of the FIDER Research Council, Portillo spearheaded a major study exploring creativity, leadership, and technology strategies vis-à-vis narratives of designers, clients, and key stakeholders. She is a member of the Interior Design Educators Council and has served on the CIDA Standards Committee. Dr. Portillo is the author of Color Planning for Interiors, published by Wiley.


Preface ix

Acknowledgments xv

List of Narratives xvii

Chapter 1 Introduction to Design Engagement 1

A Starting Point 1

Design Engagement Framework 4

Design Engagement as Relational Explained Further 8

From Framework to Markers of Impact 9

Schools of Thought 16

Looking Back . . . Looking Forward 20

Summary 21

Chapter 2 Why Narrative Inquiry? 27

Arriving at Narrative 27

Defining Narrative Inquiry 29

Guiding Narrative Structure 30

Holistic Systems Approach 32

Supporting Evidence-Based Design 35

Premises of Design Narratives 37

Types of Design Narratives 39

Anecdotal Stories 40

Initiating Narratives 42

Research Narratives 44

Visual Communication Narratives 48

Narrative Inquiry for Design Learning, Research, and Practice 52

Summary 53

Chapter 3 Impact Marker: Process of Engagement 57

Engaging the Self 66

Ways of Seeing 66

Ways of Design Thinking 67

Creative Thinking 67

Critical Thinking 69

Consequential Thinking 70

Visualizing, Forming, and Construction 71

Engaging as a Design Team 71

Committing to a Common Purpose 77

Mutual Accountability 79

Understanding Design Tensions 80

Summary 82

Chapter 4 Impact Marker: Contextual Civility 85

Introducing Contextual Civility 85

Related Themes from the Literature 92

Security and Safety 106

Community Service, Nonprofits, and Service Learning 111

Final Thoughts on Contextual Civility 116

Summary 117

Chapter 5 Impact Marker: Empathy 121

Origins of Empathy 122

Related Themes from the Literature 137

Design Sensibilities 142

Final Thoughts on Empathy 149

Summary 150

Chapter 6 Impact Marker: Place Identity 153

Exploring Place Identity 153

Range of Authenticity 159

Vernacular Design 161

Related Themes from the Literature 163

Place Identity beyond Geographic Context 164

Exploring Historically Significant Places 168

Place Identity in Thematic Design 173

Summary 176

Chapter 7 Impact Marker: Innovation 179

Exploring Innovation 179

Related Themes from the Literature 185

Leaps and Adaptations 188

Forms of Creative Engagement 194

Individual Creativity and Innovation 196

Team Creativity and Innovation 197

Environments for Creativity and Innovation 198

Summary 203

Chapter 8 Impact Marker: Maturation 207

Origins of Design Maturation 207

Users and Public Influence 222

Developmental Issues for Beginning Designers 226

Summary 230

Chapter 9 An Epilogue Integrating Impact Markers 233

Where Do We Go from Here? 233

Summing Up Impact Markers 234

Achieving Balance while Embracing Opposites 237

Emerging Issues and Gaps 238

Summing Up Design Thinking 242

Ten Ways of Advancing the Discipline 243

Summary 245

Chapter 10 Using a Narrative Approach 249

Review of Narrative Types 250

Finding a Topic 257

Criteria for Case Selection 258

Employing Mixed Methods 259

Crafting Well-Grounded Narratives 261

Critically Engaging the Literature 264

Summary 265

Endnotes 269

Bibliography 275

Index 285