The Department of Design is pleased to announce the arrival of Mary Anne Beecher, Ph.D., who assumed the position of Chairperson on August 1, 2013.
Dr. Beecher has extensive experience as a scholar, a design educator and an administrator in both the United States and Canada. Her educational background includes a B.A. (1986) and M.A. (1988) in Interior Design from Iowa State University and an M.A. (1998) and a Ph.D. (2003) in American Studies from the University of Iowa. She has taught at Iowa State, the University of Oregon, and the University of Manitoba, where she was also the Department Head of the Interior Design Department from 2008-2013 and the Associate Dean-Research in the Faculty of Architecture from 2011-2013.
Dr. Beecher's research interests have included an examination of a diverse array of American vernacular interior spaces, including early twentieth century farmhouses, mid-century roadside motels, as well as the kitchens, basements, attics, garages, sheds, and perhaps most importantly, the closets that make up the repertoire of storage spaces in evolving twentieth-century modern American living environments. She has written critical essays on such wide-ranging topics as the shifting ethical terrain of today's interior design practice; the political nature of interior space; the significance of naming practices in interior design education; and Martha Stewart's contribution to the shaping of attitudes toward craft and quality in popular American culture.
As an educator, Dr. Beecher has taught in both undergraduate and graduate programs. She has taught design studios at all levels, has an extensive background teaching the history of design, design research methods, and design criticism, and has advised several graduate theses. She has published a number of articles on teaching design history, design criticism and methods of interpreting the cultural attributes of design spaces.
Dr. Beecher's most recent work at the University of Manitoba included heading the only English-based graduate program in interior design in Canada, chairing a professional group of Canadian interior design educators, and serving on the Council of the Professional Interior Design Institute of Manitoba for five years. Now in Columbus, she is looking forward to supporting the faculty and students in the Department of Design and hopes to establish strong connections to our many alumni and friends.