Interior Design News

Interior Design School Coordinates Seaport Show

The New York School of Interior Design recently helped organize a showcase of up and coming interior designers in New York. Along with the Museum of the City of New York, the school chose the designers to be featured at the event where designers discussed many facets of their trade.

( New York School of Interior Design and Museum of the City of New York organized “New New York: Interior Design on the Cutting Edge,” at the recently reopened South Street Seaport Museum (now run by MCNY). After a tour led by architect Chris Cooper, whose firm Cooper Joseph Studio heralded the Seaport Museum’s renovation, six up-and-coming design firms discussed their residential and commercial projects, their approach to design, and how the field is evolving as a result of technology and the economy. The firms, chosen by NYSID’s Judith Gura, included: Brooke Lichtenstein and Yiannos Vrousgos of Input Creative Studio; Britton Smith; Julie Torres Moskovitz of Fabrica718; Lyndsay Caleo and Fitzhugh Karol of the Brooklyn Home Company; Stefan Steil of MR Architecture + Décor; and Marie Aiello.

Lichtenstein and Vrousgos, who attended NYSID together, worked so well together as students on the school’s 2010 DIFFA Dining by Design table that they decided to form Input Creative Studio. The duo suggested that expertise in several areas, like a modern-day Renaissance man, and fluency in technology—both for one’s own work and to understand clients’ needs—were essential to success today.

Britton Smith, who just launched his own namesake firm, and Stefan Steil of MR, bring a unique perspective to interiors: They both studied fashion before switching to interiors. Steil cut his teeth at Selldorf Architects before joining MR, and explained how he pins up endless images to get inspiration for a project and distill its essence. Today, Smith noted, anyone anywhere can buy anything anywhere. The trick, however, is… read more at

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Interior Design Student’s Final Project a Hit

Businesses save thousands of dollars on concept designs each year by allowing interior design students the opportunity to develop a professional interior design for their physical establishments, but to the design students it’s one more chance to show that they have what it takes to succeed in their chosen profession.

It can feel like a make-it-or-break-it project, but at the end of the project the rewards can be enormous. Big interior design projects like this one (reported in the Chicago Tribune yesterday) are typically reserved for fourth year interior design students, but provide a lot of insight into the stress and rewards of finishing up a degree at an interior design school:

(Chicago Tribune) May 3rd, 2012 – Carly Branch’s first interior design project for a real client may involve creating a new look to an extension at Little India Restaurant & Lounge on Charleston’s East End.

For her senior capstone project, the University of Charleston interior design major created a professional-level interior design plan for the Indian restaurant.

To decorate the 3,000-square-foot space that co-owner Harish Anada purchased, Branch, 22, said she wanted to stick to a cheap budget while maintaining a sophisticated feel.

Anada might use the extra space to accommodate larger parties and a younger crowd, according to Branch.

Branch’s design included enough seating for 100 people, a 25-foot bar, a stage and black ceilings with the walls painted in red, orange and yellow accents.

Branch wanted to preserve the Indian culture in the design but also incorporate a firehouse atmosphere because the building that houses the current restaurant is an old firehouse.

When Anada said he wanted a game room with a pool table, Branch convinced him that having three additional seats at the bar would be a better design choice, she … read the full story.

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Interior Design Students Develop Temp Shelters

Interior designers are more than home decorators. In fact, they are more like architects and engineers that the general lay person might assume. Students from one interior design program challenged this common misconception by designing concepts and models for a project meant to provide temporary and inexpensive homes for those displaced by natural disasters and other temporary homelessness.

As reported by a local newspaper, when the students in this class displayed their work it became apparent that interior design is about solving problems – no matter the complexity:

(Isthmus) May 4th, 2012 A little house made almost entirely out of corrugated cardboard sheets and tubing is currently on display in the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s lobby as a part of the museum’s bi-annual Design MMOCA contest, in which artists of various fields are asked to use a piece in the museum’s permanent collection as inspiration for an original work of art.

Using the painting Abstraction, Belief, Desire by Pat Steir as creative catalyst, the structure was designed in five weeks by UW-Madison’s Interior Design I students. Entitled “Disaster Relief Shelter Project,” the work is both an art installation as well as a prototype living space for people affected and dislocated by natural disasters.

The project was conceived by UW-Madison faculty associate Lesley Sager and her interest in the works of Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, as well as the concept of “Design Thinking” in which designers investigate problems and devise solutions by working creatively within the context of a particular field. Requiring the acquisition of knowledge as well as the ability to creatively posit solutions for real-world dilemmas, Sager thought the endeavor would be a challenging and meaningful collaborative experience for her beginning interior design students.

Choosing the topic of temporary homelessness, Sager split her class of 21 into seven groups of three and asked each to conceive a living space made out of recyclable….Read more from Isthmus.

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College Showcases Interior Design Work at Job Fair

Interior design students looking toward graduation find job leads from networking events, school resources, and job fairs. Getting to know people (and allowing them to know you) is important to the success of an interior designer, so students spend much of their time learning how to network with members of the community – both as employers and as clients. For this reason, MSU College of Technology in Great Falls, Montana is hosting the job fair and exhibition for students and community members today.

(KFBB) Great Falls, MT – If you want to freshen up your home décor in time for summer you have a great chance to do that. People are invited to scope out the latest interior design and designers at the MSU-College of Technology.

Tomorrow the 2012 Interior Design Showcase will feature the newest home fashions created by MSU students.

Ten different categories of juried awards will be given out at a party on Thurday evening featuring appetizers, desserts and a silent auction.

“This gives people an opportunity who are interested in interior design,” said MSU Spokeswoman Lani Klasner. “They can come and look and try it out as a potential career. “Or if it’s an employer looking to hire an interior designer, this

The event will provide a sneak peek into the talents being cultivated at the college and might even inspire would-be interior designers enough to inquire into the school’s interior design program. Many states require education and licensing to practice interior design. Interior designers who graduate from an accredited college’s program are more likely to land a better paying job, faster than those with no formal education in the trade.

The program at MSU’s College of Technology is an Associate of Arts Program. According to MSU, “the Interior Design program has been developed to prepare students with a wide variety of skills and competencies for entry into various areas of the design field, ranging from residential to commercial design. MSU- Great Falls is a National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) Endorsed School.” (view .pdf)

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NC Interior Design Students Win at Competition

A North Carolina community college won bragging rights at a 2012 interior design competition. The students at Cape Fear Community College prove that you don’t need to be in a master’s level program to do really great things in interior design. Students from the college excelled at their profession and took home first, second, and third places at a student interior design competition, as reported by the Wilmington Business Journal:

Cape Fear Community College students captured the three top awards at a recent two-state interior design competition. The students, enrolled in CFCC’s two-year interior design program, saw their projects win first, second and third place in the 2012 Otto Zenke Student Design Competition. More than 90 students from two- and four-year colleges in North and South Carolina participated.

First place winner was Justin Nixon who won $1000 for himself and $1000 for the college. Jennifer Corson was second place winner and the recipient of $750, and Kately Thrailkill won $500 as third place winner. The competition is an annual event sponsored by the Carolinas Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). CFCC students competed against students from such institutions as the Art Institute of Charleston, Meredith College and Winthrop University.

The charge to students was to design an adaptive reuse of a fictional building in Raleigh to house at-risk youth. An eight-page document outlined the features and furnishings that had to be incorporated into the facility, as well as the ADA and other code requirements that had to be met.

“There were a lot of technical details that provided an opportunity for the students to show their skills in creating an environment that promotes the life, safety and welfare of the occupants,” said Patricia Battershill, lead instructor of CFCC’s interior design program. “It goes far beyond the decorative aspect of the design, and it needed to… read more at the Wilmington Business Journal.

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Interior Design Class to Design Eco-Friendly Library

Interior design schools around the world are packed with the youngest generation of designers and most of them are focusing on one important facet of their business: sustainable interior designs that are environmentally friendly and affordable. A public library in Michigan is getting to take advantage of this trend by recruiting area interior design students to help build a new library. Thanks to an honors interior design class, their design will be future friendly:

The village of Shepherd is creating a new public library with the help of some Central Michigan University students.

HON 321G: Design for Good is a special topic Honors class taught by Sue Bowlby, an adjunct instructor of interior design. It is a service learning class based on helping the residents of Shepherd renovate a building into their new library.

“They already have (a library), but it’s about 900 square feet — like a closet,” said Holly senior Amy Crockett. “So they have a new building, which was an old pharmacy building in downtown Shepherd, and will give them about 4,000 square feet.”

Though the class is an interior design class, it is comprised of students with a wide range of disciplines. Out of eight students, two are interior design majors; the others have majors ranging from integrative public relations to neuroscience and communications.

The class will come up with an idea and make a proposal, but the library officials have the final say on what is implemented, said Alpena senior Steve LaBrecque.

“We’re giving some options and doing the work for them so they can just decide,” he said.

Crockett is an integrative public relations major, so her role in the project has been promotion throughout the community, and she said response to the project has been positive… read the rest of the story at Central Michigan Life.

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Interior Design Student Draws on Experience at Competition

As a group of interior design students recently learned, design involves heavy problem solving skills and a mind for creativity. Sometimes it involves drawing from their experiences. Designers put a little piece of themselves into each interior design project they complete, but in the end it is the client’s style that counts. Students at MSU-Great Falls were afforded the unique opportunity to create interior designs that draw on their own, unique backgrounds:

Five interior design students from MSU-Great Falls College of Technology performed well in a recent national design competition, and their leader couldn’t be happier.”We may be small, but we really have a gem,” said Julie Myers, MSU-Great Falls interior design program director. The students took part in the National Kitchen & Bath Association Student Design Competition. KC Smelser placed third for his kitchen design and was awarded a $1,000 scholarship and a paid trip to the 2012 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Chicago on April 22.

According to the Power High School graduate, his design aptitude and imagination comes from his farming and ranching roots in Fairfield. “We have always had to be creative in a pinch,” Smelser said. “We build a lot from scratch.”

Smelser’s project required designing an open-area kitchen and dining room to meet the needs of a couple who has purchased a Federal-style row house. His project was called “Federalism for the 21st Century” and included an overall theme of old meets new. Smelser designed two rooms that featured an emphasis on symmetry and uncluttered lines that kept them modern. Two-toned cabinetry resembles inlaid marquetry and furniture of the late 18th century, while gray granite recalls stainless steel, giving the space a modern feel.

The floors are finished in golden oak parquet, the walls are a historical … read more from Great Falls Tribune.

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Interior Design Students Show off Their Work

Interior design schools help prepare students for their future career in the real world of interior design, but many of the works students will use as a base for their portfolio are critiqued by other students and college professors. It is common for an interior design class to show off their best handiwork in a year end expose’, where items that they have worked on throughout their time at a school are put on display for the world to see:

On Monday, April 16, the culmination of four years of hard work finally comes to fruition as Kwantlen’s Interior Design program’s graduating class presents their final projects to friends, family and industry.

Among the graduates is Carolyn Cuthbert, whose final project focuses on a youth centre for Richmond.

As a graduate of Hugh McRoberts Secondary School, Cuthbert found her niche by creating a conceptual project around the historic Gulf of Georgia Cannery in Steveston. As a young person who grew up in a suburb, and with two younger brothers, Carolyn saw the need for a gathering place for young people.

“I wanted to create a place where youth could meet, relate to each other, and of course stay out of trouble,” says Cuthbert.

With the cannery as her backdrop and inspiration, she created a youth centre that would preserve the historical structure while creating a modern, youthful design within. The conceptual driver for the design was the folding and unfolding of origami. This concept influenced the planning, volume development and ultimately sculpting of interior space… (Read more at the Richmond Review.)

End of the year or end of the program exhibits help students to hone their interior design skills and learn to understand how people react to spaces. Seeing how the public reacts to their work can be inspiring and nerve-wracking for students at interior design schools. Among the visitors at an exhibit may be future employers and others who can refer work to students once they enter into the profession.

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Interior Design Class Explores Special Population Projects

Interior design classes focus on many aspects of the business – from basic color schemes to advanced architecture possibilities. But some classes insert special project work that blends standard course material with real-life scenarios in an effort to help students grasp the intricacies of their future profession.

The interior design class in a recent story from Central Michigan Life, a college newspaper, illustrates how interior designers must learn skills to not only do the job of interior designer, but do it through the eyes of the client:

“Most people might assume interior designing consists only of picking out color schemes and pillows.

But according to the students in the IND 339: Interior Design Studio: Special Users class, the subject is much more complex.

Professor Jeanneane Wood-Nartker teaches students about designing for children, older adults and people with disabilities.

Wood-Nartker said the emphasis is to learn about special populations and to emphasize the design process.

“One design can’t work for all, but we try to develop a solution that works for most,” she said.

Students in the course focus on universal design and sustainability.

Manistee senior Emily Brooks said the class goes on visitations throughout the semester for research purposes to make informed decisions about designing.

“We go to child spaces and assisted living facilities to get a feel for what designs are good and what designs are bad,” she said. “We’ve seen spaces….” (Read the full story in this interior design class from Central Michigan Life.)

Interior design students who are subjected to project work that includes a specific demographic of their potential client base are better prepared for the challenges that are realistic in the profession. While it may be impossible to cover every possible scenario during the class time available in interior design colleges, just coming to an understanding about one challenge can instill critical thinking skills that can apply to all situations one might face as an interior designer.

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Interior Design School Symposia Offer Insight for Future Students

Future professionals who are still weighing their options about which type of school to which they should apply may benefit from looking up free seminars held by interior design schools in their area. Symposiums are usually free and open to the public. They also provide a great forum for would-be students to hear first-hand information from a school without all of the pressure of a one-on-one session with a school counselor.

As one man recently reported, there is much information to be gleaned from a free symposium at an interior design school:

One of the great things about living in a university town is the ability to attend educational lectures and symposia, which are almost always free and open to the public.

I recently went to a symposium at the University of Kentucky marking the 40th anniversary of the School of Interior Design. One reason I went was I knew very little about interior design or the education of interior designers.

I was like most people, school director Ann Dickson said: “They think it’s about teaching people how to choose the color of drapes.”

Modern interior design is about creating the environments where we spend most of our time. It is not just about making interior spaces more attractive, but more comfortable, efficient, functional, healthy and safe.

In an increasingly complex world, designers of all kinds are more problem-solvers than anything else. Many of the problem-solving approaches discussed by this symposium’s speakers and panelists are useful no matter your business.

Robin Guenther, a New York-based principal with the big architectural firm Perkins + Will, is a specialist in designing health care spaces. Why should anyone but health care professionals care about that?

Well, at 18 percent of gross domestic product and growing, health care is one of the nation’s biggest industries, Guenther noted. So much health care construction is being done that it is uniquely positioned to drive the research and innovation that eventually will influence virtually all construction.

Guenther gave a fascinating presentation about how the hospital building boom is leading to innovations in energy-efficiency, environmental sustainability, comfort and safety.

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