Afraid things are much more complicated. Cryptic can't legally accept free work, and if they did, without a contract, they potentially could open themselves to massive lawsuits. That's why they don't accept things like Player Made designs, or why it took a very long time for Cryptic to go through the legal process of getting the Vesta in game.
And being paid with Dilithium or Zen, I believe there are laws that state people have to be paid in real currency for their work or services.
It's a nice idea, but Cryptic just can't take the easy road for this. Only way we could see it if one of the team works on their free time to make accurate interiors. Or the work was subcontracted.
Do you know a really good Trek environmental artist? We COULD get the community behind a "hire this guy for the next opening on Tacofangs' team" thing and show off the guy's portfolio.
I think it would be great if we knew some Trekkies with modding background.
Heck, I know a few designers that have applied. I know for a fact that they've interviewed Foundry authors.
Maybe what we need is a "Cryptic! Hire this guy!" thread where an OP maintains a list of Foundry authors, game designers, and mod community folks that would be good for STO.
Could be writers. (They've mentioned looking at getting Kestrel an assistant.) Could be folks like the guy who designed the Century class. Could be fan community voice actors to consider getting for VO, like some of the folks who have done the award winning Pendant audio fan series. Could be fan composers or people like Ron Jones (whose music I think would be the easiest to get of the Trek composers).