Member Spotlight: Whitney Dooley, Student IIDA


Name: Whitney Dooley
School/Year: Marylhurst University / Senior
IIDA Member Since: 2013

Favorite IIDA event: As a student, I love both the IIDA Oregon Chapter Student Symposium and the IIDA Western Region Student Design Charette – Oregon Finals. Participating in these events as a student has been invaluable for learning about the local design community, networking, and practicing teamwork and design skills in unique environments. I’m especially excited for this year’s IIDA Oregon Chapter Student Symposium coming up on November 5th, where a number of local firms will be presenting in Pecha Kucha format about topics such as portfolio tips and a day in the life of an interior designer.

What are you currently working on? I’m currently working on the research phase of my thesis project, which is still taking shape, but will be a resource and education center for dense urban horticulture and botany. Thesis year projects at IDMU are self-directed, so I was immediately drawn to the issues of ecological urbanism and urban agriculture, and their social, economic, and environmental impacts. By 2050, 66% of the world’s population will live in cities, and maintaining a connection between urban residents and nature will be more important and beneficial than ever. Empowering citizens through horticultural and botanical education are at the core of my proposed project for this year. Finding ways to address these issues in an interiors-focused project will be challenging, but also be a huge opportunity to practice biophilic design principles, and various techniques that blur the boundary between nature and the built environment.

What does interior design legislation mean to you? Interior design legislation means recognition of the fact that the work that I hope to do throughout my career will impact the public’s health and safety. I recently joined the Interior Design Collaborative – Oregon Board of Directors, and have learned that the voluntary commercial interior design registration bill that will be introduced during the 2017 legislative session will empower women- and minority-owned small businesses, stimulate economic growth and diversification, and set a platform for qualified professionals to practice to the fullest extent of their knowledge. I’m excited about contributing to this effort and the opportunities it provides current and future interior designers who are committed to safe, sustainable, and energy-efficient practices that create beautiful and healthy environments for occupants!

On a typical Saturday where can we find you? In a perfect world, I would be out hiking with my dog. In reality, I am doing homework all day, and hopefully getting enough done so I can watch a movie with my husband.

Interesting fact? I am a Portland native, but my mother is an international school teacher, so from ages 6-18 I lived in Ethiopia, Laos, Nigeria, Venezuela, and Switzerland. This experience impacted my life in countless ways, allowing me to have multiple perspectives on the world. I look forward to continuing to travel for the rest of my life!