Cindy V. Beacham, Ph.D., IIDA
Personal Narrative

By staying awake to the events and experiences in our lives, we can be changed and lead in directions never dreamed of. These life experiences were the catalyst that led Cindy to her commitment to make a difference in the lives of children through their near environment.

Cindy has more than 21 years of experience in the interior design field that includes interior design, project management, construction management, budget projections, and regulatory compliance (i.e. ADA). The types of projects she has been responsible for throughout her career include:

  • Residential spaces
  • Small to mid-sized offices
  • Banks
  • Mental health facilities
  • Pediatric clinics
  • Daycare facilities
  • Multi-million dollar corporate facilities

Her journey within the interior design industry has taken many turns, but has become focused on supporting a better life experience for children through the environment as a result of her personal experiences with her daughter. Emily was born with severe disabilities and provided the gift of redirecting Cindy's career as a result. Children, especially children with special needs, rarely have a voice in their surroundings. However, those surroundings play a significant part in their growth and development. Cindy, through Odyssey Design Group, has committed herself to providing a voice for children about the importance of the near environment in their lives, including children in the design process whenever possible, and educating anyone working with children about this issue.

Cindy has studied interior design and architecture, and has both undergraduate and graduate degrees in those fields. As part of her commitment to children, she realized the importance of understanding their developmental and behavioral issues, and completed her Ph.D. in child development. In addition to her graduate work, she has also studied at the Child Care Design Institute at Harvard. This education, coupled with both personal and professional experience, provides a well-balanced view of the needs of children when designing environments.

During her graduate work, she also experienced the wonders of intergenerational interactions through the children's day care and adult day care facilities co-located within her program. This experience deepened her commitment to a holistic view of children's lives, and the importance of intergenerational interactions to both children and to the adults involved.

Teaching and presenting are important methods of enlightening others about issues. Cindy has given numerous conference presentations, classroom lectures, and workshops on a regional, national, and international level to provide information to others about topics involving children's spaces. She has also taught college level courses for the past 12 years.

Cindy brings a unique combination of personal understanding, educational background, teaching, and professional experience to her projects. This combination provides clients with a final project that addresses both their needs and their philosophy, and translates them into functional, successful, creative environments.

Cindy can be reached via email at

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