NCIDQ Headquarters



Washington, D.C.


Program  The National Council for Interior Design Qualification wanted to showcase the interior design profession’s historical progression within their new, sustainably designed headquarters, while creating a collaborative working environment for volunteers and staff. 

Firm  Perkins + Will

Principal   Tama Duffy Day, FASID, LEED AP



Design Lead: David Cordell, ASID

Team: Lauren Frank

Jamie Huffcut, Allied Member ASID

Marian Danowski

Gretchen Leigh

Harris Lokmanhakim


After 10 years in a cramped space, NCIDQ nearly doubled its office size to provide adequate room and privacy for its staff, board of directors and volunteers. The design team formed the space to create separate but connected domains for each of the user groups.




The office is used by staff during normal working hours and for board and volunteer meetings in the evenings and on weekends.  The organization needed a functional, efficient, collaborative, and healthy office environment that would work for all the different uses to which it is put.  In keeping with NCIDQ’s mission, the staff wanted the space to serve as an “educational tool” where visitors would experience the history and breadth of the interior design profession.  Sustainability was essential as well.





Discrete work areas were created by grouping the large conference room, work room and pantry away from the staff workspaces, thus providing a visually and acoustically separate area for volunteers and board members.  Rolling tables and stools allow groups to come together as needed.


Historical moments in the profession are celebrated throughout the office, such as using iconic chairs to represent advancing technology and innovative designers that helped shape the profession.  The reception area features a Florence Knoll oval table from Knoll Studio and refurbished Louis XIV chairs. Pantone graphics representing the use of color theory in interior design are located in the primary corridor.


The designers are seeking LEED-CI silver certification. In addition to incorporating daylighting and views, specific innovation credits focusing on an ergonomic work environment and the space as an “educational” tool were instrumental in helping to shape design solutions. The project reduces water use by 30 percent, 75 percent of the construction waste was diverted, and 90 percent of the seated spaces have views to the exterior. Product applications that address LEED credits include recycled content, local manufacturing, low VOCs, FSC-certified wood and formaldehyde-free adhesives. The facility also features a demountable wall system for offices, has individual lighting controls in all offices, and is located in a building that is accessible via public transportation.