The IACC was founded in Hilversum, Holland in 1957 by architects, designers, educators, scientists and artists from 12 countries. Their motivation was the understanding that many design dilettantes hid behind the unprotected professional name of Color Consultant, and that there existed an absence of competent training and education in the field as well as an acute shortage of true professionals. To bring attention to the differentiation of the IACC’s training curriculum Frank Mahnke made “designer” an inclusive part of the title.
The IACC’s first President, Dr. Heinrich Frieling, founder of the Color Psychology Institute of Germany, was given the assignment of creating an interdisciplinary training program leading to an IACC diploma. Frieling collaborated with national and international experts from the fields of architecture, interior architecture, design, environmental psychology, art and lighting engineering.
These individuals became the permanent lecturers of the IACC curriculum in Salzburg, with the addition of guest lecturers who brought their special expertise to the training program. The IACC training program began in 1958 as the “Independent International College for Color and Environment of the IACC.” The program’s name was later changed to “Salzburg Seminars for Color and Environment” and is known today as “IACC Academy: Salzburg Seminars for Color and Environment.”
After becoming a widely respected resource for color training in Europe, Frank Mahnke expanded IACC’s reach by establishing the “IACC Seminars for Color and Environment” in San Diego, California in 1991, which are now known as the “IACC Academy Branch USA: Seminars for Color and Environment.” The USA seminars are open to all English-speaking participants world-wide. In 2000 the “IACC School of Japan for Color and Interior Design” was established in Nagoya; in 2004 a branch was opened in Fukuoka and in the following years an additional branch was established in Tokyo. The IACC-Italy Seminars is the most recent addition, established in Milan 2011.
Because of its unique training, high professional standards and international scope, IACC-NA continues to grow. In addition to members from across the United States and Canada, IACC-NA members also live and work in such diverse locales as in Europe: Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and South Africa.