CIDA Award for Excellence Winners Announced

The Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Award for Excellence. This award recognizes and celebrates outstanding practices that advance the cause of excellence in interior design education.

The first place winner is Sarah Strauss, Visiting Associate Professor in the Interior Design Department at Pratt Institute. Professor Strauss’ entry, “Tools, Tactility, and Technology,” made a lasting impression on the awards panel. The entry embodied an in-depth study of tactile surfaces and the integration of sound, movement, and touch. It required students to dig deep into the study of principles and elements and how this relates to their ability to see complexity. “The CIDA Board congratulates Professor Strauss for recognizing an underutilized design element in sound and tactility and creating an environment where students are engaged, having fun, encouraged to explore, and are fully immersed in the design process – from concept to fruition,” states Dr. Pamela K. Evans, Board Chair. Professor Strauss received a $5,000 award in recognition of this honor.

One entry was recognized with a $2,000 merit award. Shelly Duff, Associate Professor in Interior Design, California State University, Sacramento received a merit award for her entry, “2015 Solar Decathlon.” Tilanka Chandrasekera, Assistant Professor, in the Department of Design, Housing, and Merchandising, Oklahoma State University received an honorable mention for his submission, “Connecting Creativity.” Jessica Senne, Assistant Professor of Interior Design, Maryville University, also received an honorable mention for her submission, “Suburban Modernism – The Architecture and Interior Design of Ralph and Mary Jane Fournier.” CIDA is proud to honor these design educators for their exceptional work.

Numerous submissions were received for the second annual 2015 Award for Excellence. Winning entries are available for viewing at:

The Council for Interior Design Accreditation is an independent, non-profit, accrediting organization responsible for setting standards and evaluating degree granting interior design programs. Learn more at

For more information:
Holly Mattson, Executive Director ()
Telephone 616.458.0400