IIDA Hawaii Pacific Chapter would like to acknowledge and congratulate Joan Riggs on receiving the 2021 Community Service Award from IDEC, the Interior Design Educators Council.
The IDEC awards committee had reflected praise on the impact of Joan’s service to the design community at large mentioning that “this applicant has an outstanding number of community services where interior design played a very important role”. Over the last 12 years as Chaminade University’s Environmental + Interior Design program director, Joan has challenged students to incorporate interior design skills in projects that benefited the community. Community service projects ranged from women and youth correctional (rehabilitative) facilities, nursing homes and assisted living for the elderly, safe houses for victims of human trafficking to healthcare facilities just to name a few. Joan mentions that “ when integrated with service-learning and community service, students exponentially gain awareness and compassion.” For the students, Joan believes that “ in partnerships, they deepen their ability to adapt- their thinking, their perspective and their understanding- with respect to how diversity is a strength and problem-solving is a gift to be shared.” This type of community integrated design education really gives students an awareness and first hand experience as to how design work can positively impact lives and serve the public. For Joan, “as an educator, what greater award than to see students emerge as skilled, compassionate and successful designers.” It truly is a blessing for the design community to have a mentor like Joan who is a part of this process and having the recognition from IDEC for her many years of service to the University is, as Joan says, “ icing on a marvelous multi-layered cake”.