Interior Design Professor Receives National Innovative Education Award

Lauren Baumbach (left) was recognized for her outstanding contributions to interior design education with the 2012 CIDA Innovation in Interior Design Education Merit Award.

Lauren Baumbach, associate professor and director of the interior design program, has been awarded the 2012 Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) Innovation in Interior Design Education Merit Award, a prestigious national award.

The award, granted to one or two professors from all CIDA-accredited design programs each year, celebrates innovative teaching and excellence in interior design education. Baumbach’s award entry highlighted a collaborative project between PhilaU students and TD Bank last year to design a sustainable bank of the future.

“The CIDA Board of Directors was thoroughly impressed with this integrated project exemplifying team work, continuous client engagement and brand articulation,” said Heather Robertson Corrigan, chair of the CIDA Board of Directors, in the award letter. Baumbach will receive $1,000 and will accept her merit award at the 2013 Interior Design Educators Council conference in February.

“I am honored to receive this award and delighted to bring national recognition to Philadelphia University’s Interior Design Program,” Baumbach said. “I would also like to express my appreciation to the great group of colleagues, students and TD Bank representatives who helped make this vision a success.  The experience was energizing, multifaceted and rich for all involved and unlike any other design studio.”

Baumbach has been a member of the Philadelphia University faculty since 1983, teaching in both the interior design and architecture programs. Under her leadership as director, the interior design program has gained prestige among practitioners in the field. She developed many courses in the program’s undergraduate curriculum, including design studios, research methodology, visualization, materials and building construction technology. Baumbach also was instrumental in obtaining and maintaining CIDA accreditation for the program.

Interior design students have won numerous awards, including most recently the top six awards at the annual KlingStubbins Student Design Competition in Philadelphia. A judge at the KlingStubbins contest said, “When a student or two wins from a particular program you figure it is partly based on the inherent talents of that student, but when a program wins six of eight awards then you know it is a testament to the excellence of the program.”

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