Letter to the Profession

Sept. 1, 2004

Fall 2004

Dear Colleagues:

Commitment to durable principles inspired the founders of FIDER. We recall the words of one of the first board members, C. James Hewlett, who said in 1973, "Through FIDER . . . we can guide education . . . we can build a profession, and . . . from what we do the practitioners of the future may have a greater resilience so they can cope with changing needs and changing technology . . . and perhaps as practitioners we can introduce . . . a sense of social responsibility." Recalling the words of our founders is instructive today as we look forward to building a shared vision and preferred future for the profession, hopefully with a sense of "social responsibility."

From its beginning, FIDER has consistently collaborated with the community of stakeholders in the development of standards for interior design education as you will see in the article about FIDER Standards in this issue. Within our organization, educators and practitioners join together to carry out all aspects of our accreditation work, from research to support of our strategic planning to the site visits evaluating academic programs. Our directors represent the various constituents of interior design education, including the professional organizations, academic programs, industry and the public. We believe that our internal and external collaboration is effective; we do guide education and help to build the profession through quality academic programs.

The challenge now is to continue our broader collaborative activities in the interior design community. In the following articles, you will learn more about two successful joint ventures developed by the interior design organizations, exemplifying the sense of social responsibility Jim Hewlett encouraged. The Body of Knowledge and the career Web site projects will serve as models for future work.

Energy focused in collaborative action and development is clearly productive, but too often we are in the position of reacting to conditions created by others. For example, the career Web site grew out of concerns about misconceptions created by the home makeover shows on television. As a maturing profession, it is important that we look ahead to develop our shared vision and preferred future. Establishing a planning horizon and working together as a community is the most effective way to see the fastest results. This will require the volunteer leadership of the design associations to continue their dialogue to create the vision and for each organization to work both independently and collaboratively to achieve the vision. Together, we can build the profession.


Beth Harmon-Vaughan, FIIDA
2004 Chair
FIDER Board of Directors

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