IA Interior Architects has selected the winners of the IIDA Foundation’s IA Interior Architects Diversity in Design Scholarship. This inaugural scholarship program was established to recognize that promoting diversity in design is paramount in making the industry a more inclusive and innovative place. As the IIDA Foundation’s primary mission is to advance the interior design profession through education, research, and knowledge, the five-year partnership is an exciting opportunity to enrich the industry by recognizing outstanding students.
“As the largest global architectural firm practicing interior design, we value and embrace the power of diversity; our design solutions become more impactful when we consider not only the diversity of the team creating a space but also its occupants and users. We are excited to be partnering with the IIDA Foundation on a scholarship program that fosters these ideals. It was extremely encouraging to see all of the entries from around the country, and we offer our hearty congratulations to the winners, whose essays we found engaging,” shares Tom Powers and David Bourke, IA’s co-CEOs/Presidents.
The two winners and four honorable mentions were selected by a review committee that included members from IA’s leadership and the IIDA Foundation’s Board of Trustees. The scholarship program was open to all students currently enrolled in a design or architecture program; entry requirements were a 500-word essay that expresses the applicants’ point of view on the world of design through different lenses and how diversity and innovation are interrelated. Each year for the duration of the partnership, six students will be awarded scholarships ranging from $500 to $5,000.
This year’s first place winner is Daniel Twum of Savannah College of Art and Design. Daniel will be awarded $5000. The second place winner is Kelia Todd of Ohio State University.
“We must actively embrace, accurately represent, and enthusiastically amplify the voices and ideas of design professionals with diverse backgrounds and identities to ensure the industry remains inclusive, well-rounded, and authentic,” says IIDA EVP and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA. “The creative, enlightened points of view demonstrated in our first group of submissions are a true testament to the power and perspective the future leaders of our industry hold.”
All IA Interior Architects Diversity in Design Scholarship Fund recipients will be featured in the Design Matters and Quad newsletters. The winning essays can be viewed here.