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The IIDA Foundation, in partnership with Interior Design Educators Council Foundation (IDECF), is pleased to present the IIDA Educator Diversity Award, recognizing and celebrating educators that contribute to the advancement of racial and ethnic diversity in the interior design industry.

This program awards one recipient a $5,000 cash award from the IIDA Foundation.


Full-time educators who have made recognized contributions to advance and expand racial and ethnic diversity in the interior design industry are encouraged to apply. To nominate an educator other than yourself, email foundation@iida.org with the name and a brief description of the educator that you are nominating, and IIDA Foundation staff will contact the nominated educator to invite them to apply.


The 2023 IIDA Educator Diversity Award is a $5,000 cash prize. The recipient will be honored at the 2024 IDEC Annual Conference. Winners will receive official digital assets, and mention on IIDA's website, social media accounts, and in an official press release distributed to leading industry outlets and media partners.

For questions or more information, contact IIDA Foundation at foundation@iida.org

2024 Educator Diversity Award Recipient

Dr. Asha Kutty
Assistant Professor, Interior Architecture at the University of North Carolina Greensboro

Through her work, Kutty has exposed students to the importance of designing through a wide lens, and investigating how different communities and diverse peoples might interact with the spaces once designed. She shows students how leaning on communities can provide better design solutions that serve the needs of the people who will occupy the spaces. Learn more

2022 Educator Diversity Award Recipient

Tina Patel

The 2022 Educator Diversity Awardee, presented by the IIDA Foundation, in partnership with Interior Design Educators Council Foundation (IDECF), is Tina Patel. As Assistant Professor of Interior Design in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, at Kent State University, Patel encourages students to consider realities and experiences divergent from their own, and teaches to center empathy in design methodologies. Learn more

2021 Educator Diversity Award Recipient

Milagros Zingoni Phielipp, IIDA, ASID, AIA

The 2021 IIDA Educator Diversity awardee is Associate Professor and Director of the School of Interior Architecture, and Director of Diversity Relations for the College of Architecture and Design University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK). Read more here.

2020 Educator Diversity Award Recipient

Tasoulla Hadjiyanni, Ph.D

The Northrop Professor of Interior Design at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Hadjiyanni has spent over 20 years advancing racial and ethnic diversity in the interior design industry and encouraging interior designers to become partners in eliminating racial disparities in health, income, and education. Read more here.

Learn more about becoming and IIDA Educator member here