University of Nebraska-Lincoln Interior Design Professor Mark Hinchman and interior design alum and former UCARE student Elyssa Yoneda have recently published a book titled “Interior Design Masters”. To honor this work, the College of Architecture invites the public to attend a book signing scheduled April 23rd from 12:30 to 1:30pm in the Architecture Hall Link.
This book is a product of a remarkable mentor/mentee collaboration that began as an undergraduate UCARE project for Yoneda as she helped Hinchman conduct research for “The Dictionary of Interior Design” appendix which listed brief bios of designers and architects. In 2013, an acquisitions editor approached Hinchman with a book idea that was essentially a “who’s who of design”. Daunted by the number of entries, the editor suggested working with a co-author, and he immediately thought of Yoneda.
The pair began their journey to authorship and after countless surveys, hundreds of interviews and thousands of hours of research, they published their book this year. The resulting publication, “Interior Design Masters”, contains 300 biographical entries of people who have significantly impacted design. Entries start in the late renaissance, with a focus on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Deciding who to cover and which time periods to concentrate on could be a formidable task without a content development strategy. Hinchman explains they selected the renaissance as a starting point due to the availability of historical records. “We had thought about covering ancient Rome and Egypt, but this was after all an alphabetical directory of interior design masters,” Hinchman said. “So we needed names - that made the renaissance an ideal starting point.”
Yoneda and Hinchman wanted a list of contemporary designers that was global in nature, encompassing at least some designers from every continent. In addition to conducting focus group surveys on who to cover, they reached out to their peers from other countries for references. Assembling a representative sampling of interior designers that is international in scope requires extensive networking.
“One of our best strategies was to ask designers from specific countries, ‘who are the top designers in your country whose work you admire that you think we should include’ ”. Their contacts included former students, colleagues and Hyde speakers who because of their location naturally have their finger on the pulse of design in their given area.
Highly regarded as a historian of design history, African architectural history and global modernism, this book adds to Hinchman’s list of authored publications. Hinchman’s other publications include two interior design textbooks “History of Furniture: a Global View” and “Fairchild Books Dictionary of Interior Design”. His doctoral dissertation led to a monograph on Afro-French domestic architecture: Portrait of an Island: the Architecture and Material Culture of Gorée, Senegal, 1758-1837.
Additionally, he has contributed chapters to edited volumes including “Seeing Across Cultures: Visuality in the Early Modern Period”; “African Urbanism”; “Hotel Lobbies and Lounges”; and “The Human Tradition in the Atlantic World: 1500-1850”. He has also written for the Journal of Interior Design, Interior Design, the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, the International Journal of African Historical Studies and the Société Voltaire.