Interior design schools with strictly traditional objectives in their design classes are being faced with a new challenge in recent years – students who want to learn more than how to pander to the highest paying clients they can find.
Thanks to a generation of young design students who are coming of age in an era of economic uncertainty and glaring gaps in income levels in the country, forward thinking art and design schools are revamping curricula to accommodate the growing desire to make interior design a more socially conscious profession.
Once upon a time (less than two decades ago), interior designers were thought of as a group of professionals hired primarily to fulfill the needs of the world’s wealthiest consumers. It was a common concept among the general population that only those with enough money to pay top dollar for aesthetically pleasing architecture and interior design needed the services of an interior designer.
Thanks to the help of some heavy-hitting, widely recognized players in the industry however, interior design is now on a path to become part of a growing trend in socially conscious professionals that are beginning to take over architecture and design industries.
A famous example is the Rural Studio Program at Auburn University. Sambo Mockbee started the program in the 90’s and died a decade ago, but his humanitarian ideals are perpetuated at Auburn and other schools of interior design and architecture throughout the country.
With a new generation of students keenly aware of the potential to make a positive impact on society bolstering this concept, these programs are becoming exceedingly popular at interior design schools. And while interior design classes still educate students on the finer things in life when it comes to architectural design, aesthetics, and sustainable systems, the landscape of interior design education is changing to match the industry’s desire to take a more active role in humanitarian efforts.