What is IIDA?

Interior Design responds to human need in the physical world. It is the business of creating functional, safe & healthy environments that integrate the architectural shell, functional & strategic requirements, technical & material components.

Interior Design creates the spaces where you live, work & play. The scope of services performed by a professional design practitioner, qualified by means of education, experience, and examination, including protecting and enhancing the health, life safety and welfare of the public.

The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) is the Commercial Interior Design Association with a global reach. We support design professionals, industry affiliates, educators, students, firms and their clients through our network of 15,000+ members across 58 countries. We advocate for advancements in education, design excellence, legislation, leadership, accreditation, and community outreach to increase the value and understanding of Interior Design as a profession that enhances business value and positively impacts the health and well-being of people’s lives every day. For additional information see the IIDA Story on the national website.

Letter from the President

Dear Members and Friends of IIDA, 

I am honored to serve as the new President of IIDA’s Northern California Chapter, and represent our incredibly dedicated board and committee members who tirelessly volunteer their time. 

It has been an unprecedented year so far, like none that we have ever experienced before, with a pandemic gripping our nation, movement to fight against systemic racism, and now historic scale wildfires raging across our regions. In these difficult times, it has given us the opportunity to reflect introspectively, and rethink what is important to our community and how to best support our industry, in order to continue to advance Commercial Interior Design as a Profession. 

It is my personal belief that our collective minds can overcome any obstacles, and together we can continue to make progress to come out stronger on the other side of this challenging time. This year, we will be focusing our efforts and resources in three ways:

1. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We believe that Interior Design plays a key role in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public, and that design has the power to heal and bring people together. However, we must all collectively take action in order to make progress. Therefore, we are launching a series of Equity Initiatives to fight against systemic racism in our society, and inequity in the interior design field. 

2. Mentorship, Training and Resources

In order for our industry to thrive, it is critical that each and every one of us takes the time to inspire, teach, and mentor the next generation of professionals.  For this reason, we are launching a brand new website and a virtual mentorship program this fall. Each of these will be new vehicles to generate opportunities for our community to connect and learn from one another.

3. Nurture the Culture of Innovations

Our industry is shifting as we have gone through many life changing experiences in the last several months. It is our responsibility to push the value of design beyond our current understanding, in order to make a positive transformation through innovations. 

The above work cannot happen without the continued support and involvement of our community.

Please join us in our effort and let’s make progress together. 

Yoko Ishihara IIDA

2020 | 2021 President of IIDA NC Chapter


Yoko Ishihara is a partner at Wilson Ishihara, a hospitality design firm based in Oakland California. She offers expertise in hotel & restaurant design, which spans 25 years of experience in the field. Her client base ranges from incredible local restaurateurs, wineries, and entrepreneurs to renowned chefs, and hotel owners.  

Prior to starting her own firm, Yoko directed multiple project teams for international design firms, and completed a wide range of workplace and hospitality projects in locations all over the world, many of them becoming award-winning projects.

Originally from Japan, Yoko greatly admires the design principles rooted in her native culture: the art of craftsmanship and striving for continual improvement. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from University of Cincinnati in 1995, and has taught Interior Design Studio at California College of the Arts as an adjunct faculty member.

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