Kendra Ordia

Kendra Ordia

Kendra Ordia

Assistant Professor - Interior Design

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MID, University of Texas Austin, 2012

BSD, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, 2006


Kendra Locklear Ordia earned a Master of Interior Design from the School of Architecture at The University of Texas Austin where she focused on biophilic interior design guidelines for healthcare environments. Her undergraduate degree is in Interior Design from the College of Architecture at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. She is a registered interior designer in the State of Texas, holds an NCIDQ certification and is a LEED BD+C accredited professional. Prior to UNL, Ordia has held academic positions in the Interior Architecture and Product Design Department at Kansas State University as well as in the Interior Design Program at Texas State University. Her professional work at renowned firms like Perkins & Will, Gensler and CallisonRTKL allowed exposure to projects ranging from large scale healthcare to workplace design with focuses on environmental and occupant wellbeing. 

Her research explores nature-integration in interior environments through theory, narrative, and designed solutions for increased wellbeing, equity, and delight. Her approach to the topic spans student inquiry, focused research, and designed solutions.  Her writing has been featured in publications including Interiors: Design/Architecture/Culture.  Her creative, biophilic-inspired work has been exhibited at several national and international exhibitions including Public Interiority, DesignLAB Next Nest Exhibition and at Curtains: The Center for American Architecture and Design Symposium.

In 2020, she was recognized as one of eight American Society of Interior Design (ASID) Ones to Watch scholars. In 2023 she was awarded the IDEC Teaching Excellence Award. She serves on the Interior Design Educator Council (IDEC) Foundation board as a director and is a member of the IIDA Equity Council and Education Subcommittee. Her passion for resilient design and material health is reinforced in her roles as a research team lead around the topic of Promoting Holistic Health for the ASID Committee on Climate, Health, and Equity since 2023. As an NCIDQ certified designer, she is actively involved in Interior Design licensing advocacy in the state and Nebraska.

Publications, Conference Proceedings, Presentations, and Juried Exhibitions (selected)

  • 2023 | Ordia, K. L., “Nature-Centered Interiority as an Urban Social-Spatial Ecology”

Interiors: Design + Art + Culture; Special Issue: Openness

DOI: 10.1080/20419112.2023.2177047        

  • 2023 | Ordia, K. L., The Future of Nature Integration in The Urban Interior: Education, Growth, and Food Resiliency                                                               

Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) National Conference; Identified as Top 5 Abstract in SoTL Category; Vancouver, BC / March 8-11, 2023

  • 2023 | Ordia, K. L., Bicak, N., Andrews, J. BioMateriality and the Interior Built Environment

Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) National Conference; Vancouver, BC / March 8-11, 2023

  • 2023 | Ordia, K.L., (re)wild

Juried Exhibition: Public Interiority Exhibition and Symposium (International)

Knoxville, Tennessee / January 17 - February 18, 2023                                                 

  • 2022 | Ordia, K. L., Nature Integration, Biophilic Design, and Equity in the Urban Interior           

Environmental Design Research Association Conference (EDRA53 Greenville)

Greenville, South Carolina / June 1-4, 2022                                                          

  • 2022 | Invited Thought Leader, Committee on Climate, Health, and Equity

ASID Design Summit; Sonoma, CA / November 15 - 17, 2022

  • 2022 | Ordia, K.L., & Stoner, A. Invited Speakers, Health and Equity Through Biophilic Design

EdSpaces 2022; Portland, OR / Nov 2-4, 2022

  • 2022 | Ordia, K.L., Invited Speaker, Framing Urban Biophilic Interiors Through Design Ethics

NeoCon 2022; Chicago, IL / June 13 - 15, 2022

  • 2022 | Ordia, K. L., Biophilic Interior Spatial Ecologies                                                                  

Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) National Conference; Received Members Choice Award; Virtual due to Covid-19 / March 1-4, 2022

  • 2021 | Ordia, K. L., DE-SCRIPTION: Framing Urban Biophilic Interiors Through Design Ethics

Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) National Conference; Virtual due to Covid-19 / March 1-4, 2021

Areas of Interests & Research

As a designer and researcher, her endeavors are rooted within the broader interdisciplinary topic of human behavior and the built environment expressed in the themes of biophilic design, health and well-being, environmental quality, and spatial ecologies. Specific areas of study and interest are:

  • Spatial narratives in biophilic interior design
  • Biophilia for the nature-deprived
  • Inclusivity and nature-influenced spatial experiences
  • Role of beauty, wonder, and play in the context of biophilic design
  • Connection to Nature theories and Sense of Place
  • Micro and material spatial ecologies