Kiejong Jeon Receives IIDA Foundation Diversity Award

Will Speros • January 11, 2017

The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Foundation has partnered with the Interior Design Educators Council Foundation (IDECF) to honor Kijeong Jeon, professor and interior architecture program coordinator at California State University Chico, with its first IIDA Foundation Diversity Award. The inaugural award recognizes and celebrates educators who represent a diverse background, while also making significant contributions to interior design education. Jeon will receive $5,000 on behalf of the IIDA Foundation and will be recognized during the IDEC Annual Conference in Chicago this March.

“If we simply teach our students to design, we are simply bringing more designers into the industry,” Jeon says. “However, if we teach our students to design as a means of healing, we are developing well-rounded designers that progress our industry by embracing diversity.”

In addition, Jeon is principal at Kijeong Jeon Environmental Design for Special Needs, where he designs interior environments for individuals with special needs, autism, and developmental disabilities. His recent projects include Redwood Residence in Paradise, California, a residence for autistic clients; the SOAR, a center for clients with severe developmental disorders; and Amamiyoshima Autism Center MSE in Amamiyoshima, Japan, a multisensory therapeutic environment.

“Not only does Kijeong encourage his students to demonstrate social responsibility through design, he is making his own mark by designing for people living with autism and other developmental disabilities,” says IIDA executive vice president and CEO Cheryl S. Durst.