Faculty Publications

Feeling WELL: COVID-19 and the Adoption of Wellness Themes in Interior Design Curricula

Document Type



human well-being, interior design pedagogy, post-pandemic teaching, theory of planned behavior, WELL Building Standard, wellness concepts

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Interior Design





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Interior design (ID) pedagogy should include theories and applications, which advance human health and wellness in the built environment. Design for wellness and well-being is referenced in 5 of the 13 Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) knowledge application standards. This focus on wellness was amplified during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic experience, which elevated our collective understanding of contagions, disease transmission, sanitation practices, vaccination efficacy, and immunity, as well as the devastating turmoil—social, economic, and psychological—of the pandemic’s tragic spread. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine ID educators’ attitudes, intentions, and behaviors related to teaching wellness and to determine if the pandemic impacted wellness pedagogy. For this mixed methods study, we employed an online survey (n = 86) followed by participant interviews (n = 11). Data from the questionnaire and interviews suggested that peer attitudes toward wellness were a significant factor that influenced teaching behavior. Teaching intentions were predicted by prior teaching, attitudes, and perceived behavioral control (ability to teach wellness). Although experience with the pandemic was not a predictor of teaching behavior, it did surface as a strong motivator for future teaching adjustments. Findings also showed wide-ranging understandings and definitions of wellness-related themes. Implications for design programs seeking to equip faculty with the tools needed to integrate wellness more deeply into ID curricula are discussed.


Department of Textiles & Apparel

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