Date of Award

5-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Major Professor

Gregory C. Petty

Committee Members

Ernest W. Brewer, June D. Gorski, Josette H. Rabun

Abstract

This research study created, piloted, and field tested a new instrument designed to collect perceptions toward an interior designer’s impact on the health, safety, and welfare of the public. It also established an initial profile of perceptions within building industry professionals, identified the salient factors within those perceptions, and determined the level of these factors through a factor analysis. The Health, Safety, & Welfare in the Built Environment instrument was developed using a Table of Specifications based on the subject content that interior designers must be familiar with in regards to protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public according to the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and the interior design Body of Knowledge (BoK). It was administered to members of the CSI Gulf States Region. Seventy-nine respondents, out of a possible 206, accounting for 38.3%, voluntarily and anonymously completed the survey. A Factor Analysis on the gathered data determined that there were four underlying thematic sub-groups or factors. They were labeled Codes & Materials, Design Strategies, Mechanical, and Supervision. Female respondents participating in the study self-reported higher overall perceptions toward the factors Codes & Materials, Design Strategy and Mechanical revealing that they put more value in the need for interior designers to have higher understanding and skills toward protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public than males. Interior designers participating in the study scored higher than builders/contractors and engineers on their responses to the items in the Design Strategy factor revealing that interior designers place more value in understanding and demonstrating skills related to anthropometrics, color psychology, the impact of color, lighting and finishes on a person’s vision, injury prevention and means of egress during fire than builders/contractors or engineers perceive to be necessary. Architects participating in this study scored higher than interior designers on the factor Supervision revealing that architects perceive a higher need for interior designers to be supervised by an architect than interior designers perceive to be needed.