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Boehm, S and Kopec, D (2016) Interior design as a post-disaster team partner. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 7(03), 276-89.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: natural disasters; disaster response; built environment; interior design; inter-disciplinary working; temporary shelter
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJDRBE-10-2014-0075
  • Abstract:
    Purpose This purpose of this paper is to promote the potential for utilizing interior designers as partners on multidisciplinary teams that deal with natural disaster recovery efforts. Interior design, an often-misunderstood profession, focuses on the health, safety and welfare of all who utilize interior spaces. Members of this profession bring a unique and relevant perspective to design and problem-solving. Design/methodology/approach A self-selecting international student design call supplied the data for illustrating how interior designers’ training prepares these multifaceted professionals to practice within diverse cultural contexts to create region-specific temporary housing units. Findings The designs submitted indeed, demonstrated an understanding of the holistic process necessary for creating effective temporary shelters. Research limitations/implications A limitation of the research is that the design call involved interior design students only. A broader invitation might also solicit entries from practicing interior design professionals. Originality/value The acknowledgement traditionally accorded interior designers as essential contributors to multidisciplinary disaster relief teams is tenuous at best. This paper suggests that interior designers have the potential to assume an important role in disaster relief planning and shelter creation. Attention must now be directed toward promoting a universal appreciation of the relevant skills training, and holistic perspectives of interior designers.