ARE WE SPEAKING THE SAME LANGUAGE? Practitioners' Perceptions of Research and the State of the Profession

Ann W. Dickson, Allison Carll White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to ascertain from the leaders of interior design practitioner organizations their perceptions regarding the purpose, need, and role of research and the types and sources of research used in practice. RESEARCH DESIGN: Using a modified DELPHI technique, two successive surveys were designed and sent to leaders in the Unified Voice Task Force. The first survey solicited responses from all participating organizations on the task force. The second survey, which was generated from responses to the first survey, obtained perceptions regarding research from leaders in only the design practitioner organizations. ANALYSIS: Cross‐tabular presentation of the data was used in the analysis. Statistical significance was determined using chi‐square where possible. For tables with too few observations per cell, the Fisher Exact Test was used to determine statistical significance. KEY FINDINGS: Analysis of the data reveals that there is dichotomy of language within the profession. Practitioners' perceptions of research are multifaceted and pragmatic in nature. The findings indicated that practitioners have a preference for “soft” types and sources of information in their design problem‐solving process. CONCLUSIONS: Lack of attention to developing a body of knowledge from within is threatening the existence of interior design as a separate and distinct profession. Interior design educators, practitioners, and industry representatives need to hold discussions to address the language differences that exist as well as the purpose, need, and role of research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Interior Design
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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