Marsha Cuddeback Presents Research at Sustainability Conference in Denmark and IDEC Conferences

marsha cuddebackMarsha Cuddeback, Ruth Z. McCoy Professor of Interior Design, presented her paper, “Sustainable Design Education in the Twenty-First Century: Reconceptualizing Course Content and Pedagogy,” at the Eleventh International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability, January 21–23, 2015, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The conference is hosted by the On Sustainability Knowledge Community, an organization dedicated to the concept of independent, peer led groups of scholars, researchers, and practitioners working together to build bodies of academic knowledge related to topics of critical importance to society at large. Focusing on the intersection of academia and social impact, the community brings an interdisciplinary, international perspective to discussions of new developments in the field including research, practice, policy, and teaching. Cuddeback’s travel was funded, in part, through the School of Interior Design and the LSU Office of Research & Economic Development.

Cuddeback’s paper describes an approach to course design for professional interior design undergraduate students that responds to the challenges and opportunities emerging designers face as they move further into the 21st century. Merging expanded course content with innovative instructional methods attempts to emulate the dynamic and complementary relationship between the natural and constructed environments and acknowledges the urgent need to fully integrate a sustainable design pedagogy in higher education design courses and curricula. Doing so creates a learning environment where students expand their knowledge base and develop a responsive design ethic that can be applied and tested in course assignments, design problems, and creative activities. This approach advances a process for synthesizing traditionally disparate course content with new content and significant learning methods as a means to foster a paradigm shift in the way we live, learn, design, and make.

Also within the past year, Cuddeback, along with Associate Professor TL Ritchie, presented their paper, “Expanding a Self-Learning Model in Interior Design,” at the IDEC Southwest Regional Conference. This paper describes the opportunities for traditional service-learning pedagogy to evolve and extend its impact and level of engagement to other forms of experiential education while maintaining rigorous academic outcomes. Cuddeback and Ritchie received one of two Best Paper awards during the conference.

This spring, Cuddeback will host a workshop at the IDEC 2015 Annual Conference entitled, “Dynamic Balance: Crafting an Immersive Approach to Interdisciplinary Course Design.” The workshop is an opportunity to examine a dynamic and balanced teaching pedagogy and learn how to develop, implement, and assess a short-term, off-campus, interdisciplinary, and vertically integrated course based on experiential learning. The workshop will help develop the “behind-the-scenes” framework educators need to gain institutional support.

At the same conference, Cuddeback and Ritchie will present another paper, “Cultural Agency: Exploring Perception, Product and Approach.” This paper integrates research and analysis informed by cultural diversity in the design studio to provide opportunities to understand the interior environment as both a product and expression of culture.

In June 2014, Cuddeback was appointed as an IDEC National Teaching Collaborative Coordinator. IDEC will launch a new online resource for educators during the IDEC 2015 Annual Conference, which includes innovative teaching ideas, online Pecha Kucha, K-12 teaching modules, and workshop webinars. These are the first of a series of offerings that IDEC will be providing to members and non-members.