Caren Martin


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Caren S. Martin, PhD, CID, FASID, FIDEC, is an associate professor emeritus of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. Her scholarship primarily addresses evidence-based design (EBD), pre-design and post-occupancy evaluations, and the professionalization of interior design. Martin is principal of Martin & Guerin Design Research, LLC and a co-creator and principal of InformeDesign® ( She also has nearly 20 years of institutional, workplace, and healthcare interior design/project management experience gained in multidisciplinary firms in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Martin has degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University (BFA, interior design) and the University of Minnesota (MA, PhD).

Martin has co-authored three studies that define and document the interior design profession’s body of knowledge (2001, 2005, 2010) and has co-edited The State of the Interior Design Profession (Fairchild Books, 2010), which is a compilation of 76 essays authored by practitioners and educators across the United States and Canada. Martin was inducted as a Fellow by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID, 2009) and the Interior Design Educators Council’s Council (IDEC, 2018) and has received Presidential Citations from both ASID (2003, 2008) and the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC, 2008). In 2010 she received the Education Leadership Award from the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO). In 2011, she was appointed by IDEC to the National Academy of Environmental Design (NAED) to serve as that organization’s representative (through 2014). CIDQ presented Martin with the Louis Tregre Award in 2012 and in 2016 she was awarded the Nancy Vincent McClelland Merit Award by ASID for her advocacy for the interior design profession.

Martin was a two-term, governor appointee on Minnesota’s Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience, and Interior Design, (AELSLAGID, 2000-2008). She served as a member of the Rules Committee for the duration of her time on the board and chaired the committee for two of those years. She has also served on the Steering Committee of the Minnesota Interior Design Legislative Action Committee (MIDLAC; 2002-2014) and worked consistently to craft bill language.

Martin was the Delegate to CIDQ from Minnesota’s Board of AELSLAGID for eight years. She has served on the CIDQ Board of Directors (2015-2018), the Finance Committee, Bylaws and Policy and Procedures Task Forces as the Board Liaison and committee member; the Item Writing, Multiple Choice, and Practicum Committees; the CIDQ/IDEC Resource Review Task Force and the Educators’ Task Force; Nominations Committee; and the Blueprint Workshop. In 2018 she chaired the Definition of Interior Design Task Force.


University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
St. Paul
PhD, 1999
1995 To 1999
Dissertation: The Public's Opinion of Architecture, Interior Decoration, and Interior Design

Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia, United States
Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1978
Interior Design
1974 To 1978

Job History

InformeDesign, LLC
October 2013 - present

Martin & Guerin Design Research, LLC
May 2013 - present

College of Design, University of Minnesota
Associate Professor
May 2010 - present

National Academy of Environmental Design
Interior Design Educators Council Representative
September 2011 - January 2014

American Society of Interior Designers
Member, Legislative and Codes Advisory Council
January 2009 - January 2011

Certified Since

  • 4/15/1979