In the College of Design, Construction and Planning, Margaret Portillo, Professor of Interior Design, is serving as Associate Dean for Research + Strategic Initiatives. As a researcher, she leverages mixed methods, to explore human-centered design innovation. Recently, she was a co-recipient of an EDRA Research Excellence commendation on mixed-use learning zone spaces and typologies, a study, funded by ASID. This national award recognized the study’s translational significance and practice impact. Currently, she is collaborating on a study examining design transformation within university library, part of a larger Association of College and Research Libraries initiative. Through books, articles, and essays as well as academic and industry-invited presentations, her work has been shared nationally and internationally. Portillo also is committed to high impact scholarly service. For example, she chaired the CIDA standards development project that involved an extensive three-year process of exploring, evaluating, and testing societal influences that informed a major revision of international interior design accreditation standards. Portillo served two as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Interior Design (2006-2015), published under the auspices of IDEC, successfully moving to a quarterly publication schedule and a revisioning of the journal’s focus, reach, and readership that appreciably elevated the journal’s ranking.
In addition to advising MID and PhD students, Portillo developed a course on design innovation and also has taught applied color theory and environment and behavior at the undergraduate level. Portillo also created a graduate seminars on creativity seminar and has taught research methods. She regularly participates in studio reviews and gives guest lectures. Representing design education, IIDA invited her to jury for the IIDA MidAmerica and InWards competitions, in Kansas City and Seattle respectively.