Mar 11, 2022 By IIDA HQ
Member Spotlight: Viveca Bissonnette, FIIDA
We hear from 2022-2023 Chair of the College of Fellows Viveca Bissonnette, FIIDA, about her background, vision, and inspirations
By IIDA HQ Mar 11, 2022
Published in

(Above: Aya Healthcare interior, photo by Studio Maha)

The IIDA College of Fellows is not only a prestigious award, it highlights a dynamic group of designers at the forefront of innovation and thought leadership, who have made extraordinary impacts on the profession and industry— a cohort of the best and brightest in our membership serving as mentors, and contributing to initiatives and programs that move our industry forward.

2021 saw IIDA’s first-ever group of all women inductees, and 2022 highlights the exceptional leadership skills of Viveca Bissonnette, FIIDA who was named the 2022-24 Chair of the College of Fellows. Viveca is co-founder and design principal at Hollander Design Group (HDG), and began her involvement in IIDA as a student. She has served on the International Board of Directors beginning in 2008 and was elevated to President in 2010, and continued her work for seven years. She was inducted into the IIDA College of Fellows in 2011, and serves the greater design and creative community in San Diego with her work at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), San Diego Architectural Foundation (SDAF), and the California Council for Interior Design Certification (CCIDC) among others.

What is your professional and IIDA background/experience, and what made you want to serve in this role for a second time?

I have had the opportunity to be involved with IIDA since my student days. Over the years I have held many roles in the organization from City Center director to International President. I have grown and learned with each, and have made life-long connections along the way. As an IIDA Fellow it is my honor to represent the College and the individuals that have been elevated to the most prestigious honor IIDA can bestow to its membership. I look forward to continuing to give back to IIDA and the design community as a whole.

What do you hope to achieve in this role, and what is the legacy that you would like your tenure to create?

I am incredibly proud to be a part of an organization with such a rich history and tradition of celebrating diversity across all spectrums. This is more topical today than ever. Representing the College of Fellows and participating in the selection process of the next group of nominees is an incredible responsibility which I do not take lightly. It is my honor to elevate our deserving members who best represent IIDA’s mission, vision, and commitment to the design community.

2022-23 Chair of the IIDA College of Fellows Viveca Bissonnette, FIIDA
2022-23 Chair of the IIDA College of Fellows Viveca Bissonnette, FIIDA

How do you see the role of the IIDA College of Fellows both within IIDA and the industry at-large?

IIDA’s College of Fellows list of distinguished members represent the leaders in the global design community. These members, many of whom have been active as part of IIDA’s leadership should play an important role in shaping IIDA’s mission and provide much needed mentorship for the new generation of up-and-coming designers.

More specific to your experience, how do you apply ethnography to design, and can this practice be applied to the industry at-large to encourage building a more equitable future for design?

As both an Anthropologist and Interior Designer my design practice has always employed ethnography to inform our design recommendations. It is one of the best tools to better understand our environment and how to best support the culture of an organization through design. Unfortunately, this has been more difficult to employ during the pandemic. As organizations return to the office, we are excited to be able to resume this practice of gathering information and getting to know our clients on a truly meaningful level.

What have you recently been excited by or inspired by?

I have been most excited by the opportunity to venture out again…to travel, explore and meet in person with friends and colleagues.

Learn more the 2021 IIDA College of Fellows inductees in our three part one-on-one interview series: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.

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