Interior Design News

No Boost for Interior Design Schools in OR

An Oregon Senate Bill that might have encouraged more aspiring interior designers to attend an accredited school in the state failed in the original committee meetings last month.

Senate Bill 1521 would have provided more regulation in the state around the interior design industry, requiring more rigid licensing and education requirements.

More opponents than supports showed up to the committee hearing on the bill that would require a state licensing program for interior design professionals. The opposition claimed that requiring interior design school, certifications and licensures would limit the public’s options unnecessarily and cause harm to current interior designer’s businesses.

The bill was discussed in town hall meetings throughout the past year, but supporters of the bill say that the opponents of the bill were not present in that part of the process. The Interior Design Collaborative is one of the primary supporters of the bill, which in their view protects small interior design businesses in the state. To the surprise of supporters at the committee hearing, many of the missing opponents showed up to voice their opposition to the bill. One of the more surprising opponents may have been another professional design organization, the Oregon Chapter of the American Institutes of Architects.

Because of the opposition turn-out, the bill never went to vote and is marked for further research and review. In a report by the Daily Journal of Commerce Oregon, Interior Design Collaborative Oregon’s president, Alicia Snyder-Carlson said they were surprised by the turnout of opponents.

“We did not expect there to be as much opposition as there was, which might have been a little naïve on our part; nevertheless, (the bill’s opponents) did appear,” she said after the meeting. “We hadn’t heard much from them all year. There was not a whole lot of attendance at the town halls we held to discuss the bill, so that was unfortunate.”

Interior Design News

Interior Design School Awards Firm with Coveted Award

An interior design school in New York recently awarded one interior designer firm with an award and prestigious recognition to a firm who notably created an exterior space on the roof of a New York building recently.

The Interior Design Department of the Fashion Institute of Technology has been awarding the Lawrence Israel Prize to professional interior designers for over a decade and this year’s winner is Diller Scofidio & Renfro.

The interior design school’s Lawrence Israel Prize is awarded to interior design firms that set good examples for the students and program at the school. Diller Scofidio & Renfro recently lead a famous project in New York known as New York’s High Line Park. The firm worked on the development and renovation of the rooftop at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where there now sites a garden created with slits in the roof’s surface and several areas for seating and relaxation.

As part of the award, the firm was afforded the opportunity to give a lecture to the students of the interior design school earlier this month. Charles Renfro, a principal in the firm, gave a presentation to students (and the public) about the firm’s work and their interior design business. The firm has participated in many design projects in New York City and it presently working on many other projects where they are developing the interior designs for museums, houses, restaurants, and other public venues.

According to a report by the interior design school and the prize committee, FIT awarded the firm with their prestigious Lawrence Israel Prize because the firm is “a keen role model for all students of design, particularly for our students at fit.” The school’s praises of the firm included how the interior design firm provides designs that are inspirational and thought-provoking.


Interior Design School Degrees: Earning a Master’s Degree

A master’s degree at an accredited interior design school is the highest form of education for interior designers. Known as an Interior Design MA (Master of Arts) or MFA (Master of Fine Arts) Degree, this program allows students to enter into their industry at the highest starting wages possible. A master’s degree in interior design clears the path for management level positions, business ownership, and even college-level teaching jobs for graduates holding the degree.

Interior design schools that offer the master’s level degree to graduate students typically focus on design theory, research, and studio work. All other preliminary skills are learned during lesser degree programs, including classes that are categorized under the liberal arts label such as English composition. Some states require that mathematics and science credits be obtained before completing lesser degrees as well, but interior design schools typically offer equitable classes that are centered on the fashion design industry.

In lesser degrees at an interior design school, students learn how to sketch fashion design ideas, use methodically steps within the design process, and effectively implement their design ideas into real-world scenarios where client satisfaction is critical. They learn about human behavior and how the interior environments in which we choose to spend our time will ultimately impact our moods and activities. Before entering into the master’s program at an interior design school, students are able to perform the job of “interior designer” at most levels of the industry and from genesis to project completion.

In the MFA or MA program at an interior design school, this foundation knowledge is leaned upon to teach the advanced principles, theories, and philosophies of design. Students in the graduate program at most schools are also tasked with a large thesis project, wherein they demonstrate their full understanding of all the combine skills they have obtained throughout the course of the program. This will often include innovative designs, solution to social and economical problems, environmental impact and sustainability, as well as client and design relationships.

Many of the interior design classes offered through MFA programs cover the techniques of advanced research on a given project, criticizing and critiquing the student’s own work and the works of others, and applying their project skills to the greater realm of the business. Additionally, graduate student are typically expected to thoroughly understand the importance of presentation and pitching interior design concepts to an audience; as this will be the bases of their success in the business in the future.

Interior design schools provide a depth of understanding into the industry as well. Historical moments and the evolution of interior design throughout the world’s history, including case studies in many schools, are integrated into the curriculum for a master’s degree.

Interior Design News

One Expert Thinks Interior Design Schooling Needs a Redesign

An expert in interior design education has had her eye on changing the game of interior design, focusing on the school system, for quite a while now.

In 2005, Shashi Caan – then chair of the interior design school at the nation’s oldest interior design school – told Metropolis Magazine that interior design should be a niche of its own and rely far less on the structures set forth by architecture in the nation.

Caan began the Shashi Caan Collective, a company focused on diversity in all aspects of interior and architectural design that brings together experts from all related arenas. The education and research elements of the organization work toward building a strong design network for the education of future designers.

In her 2005 interview, Caan told the publication that interior design education needed to get back to the business of interior design and focus less on the roles of architecture in interior design concepts. While it is true that the interior experience of the client needs to come first, there doesn’t seem to be much separation between interior design schools and schools of architecture nearly a decade later. Interior design schools are working more collaboratively with the architecture side of the industry in recent years and in some cases, blending the studies. This may be by design.

Caan is still an active community member in the interior design and architecture world, serving as a board member of the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers organization, executive committee member of the International Design Alliance, fellow at the Royal Society of Arts, and member of the editorial advisory board of Contract Magazine. She’s still rooted in her interests in the education and curriculum provided by interior design schools as a member of the Interior Design Educators Council.

Interior Design News

Incentives Lead to Green Interior Design for Students and Communities

According to a report released by an interior design and architecture industry leader in news and statistics, the incentives offered by counties and states are making a big difference in the way schools will be teaching interior design.

The “green initiative” that has been taking the country by storm in the last decade is gaining more momentum thanks to incentives that are appealing to consumers; bolstering the career prospects of students in interior design schools around the nation.

The report, a collaborative effort between the National Association of Counties and the American Institute of Architects, found that tax breaks and faster permitting turnaround times are very appealing to consumers who are engaging architects and interior designers for their remodel and construction projects. Counties have long been working to include the latest environmentally friendly energy codes into their own local building codes, but the process is arduous and it is a difficult task to keep up with changes.

The national energy codes dictate how states are supposed to respond to their own interior design and architect needs and have several years in which to implement those standards. However, the national codes are updates every couple of years and many areas have a hard time keeping up. The report from AIA found out that, regardless of the complexities of national codes, the simpler the guideline is, the more likely it is that it will work to incentivize consumers.

All of this hard work at the county level spells changes for interior design schools and professional designers and architects, as well. Interior design classes are already adjusting to a generation of students who are keenly interested in working on sustainable projects. However, as fast as the nation adjusts to new guidelines, interior design schools must adjust their curriculum readily to accommodate the latest expectation of the industry.

Interior Design News

Interior Design Students Help Rebuild Haiti

Interior design students from a Tennessee school helped rebuild in Haiti following the 2010 earthquakes that shook the region.

Students from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville worked together to design and build a brand new school for displaced students in the region shortly after the massive earthquake occurred.

The project, dubbed the Haiti Project, is ongoing and helps to get poverty stricken students off of the devastated streets and back into the area’s education system. Many of the school children’s families were also devastated by the earthquake in January of 2012.

The interior design students and others are dedicated to their project, which is based on research developments and properly planning a facility that fits the needs of those in the area. Professor John McRae is heading up the project at the school and his team helped produce the blueprints for the designs and construction of the new school.

The school will house 500 students and should be open to students in the area in the fall of this year. According to UT’s online newspaper, McCrae said that the school’s interior design and architecture students will work with the community in Haiti to design a school that will work best in their community.

“Our team seeks to improve and uplift Haitian lives, offering our commitment to education by providing the opportunity for betterment through learning,” he said.  He went on to say, “our intention is to work directly with the Haitian community, through a ‘boots on the ground’ approach by providing professional support and guidance while also collaborating with the country’s leaders as they and their Haitian colleagues implement their vision.”

Many of the students at UT are working on this project according to their article, including interior design, civil engineering, chemical engineering, landscaping, and architecture students.


Interior Design Classes: Learning Architecture & Design

Interior design classes about architecture and design are often part of an overall program goal for a degree in interior design. As students progress through interior design school, they learn the fundamentals and advanced principles of design. Interior design classes such as architecture and design bring together some of the advanced skills learned so far while leaning heavily on the foundation knowledge earned earlier in the degree program.

Interior design and architecture classes combine skills, concepts, and the experience of previous projects to help students understand how interior architecture design fits into the interior design discipline. Students in these classes learn how to design interior architecture using computer generated graphics as well as hand-drawn models. Classes also include principles and execution of interior design presentations and research.

Typical interior design and architecture classes begin with an introductory project outline on which students will work throughout the class duration. Project analysis skills learned earlier in the interior design schools program are put to heavy use during this phase of the class work. Usually, the classes will cover commercial interior design as the primary source for project work and includes concept designs and developing a plan for commercial interior architecture.

Planning for spaces in a commercial structure and designing all interior elements of a commercial structure will often be the foundation of the class work throughout the remainder of the class. Students are often broken into project groups and each group is tasked with creating a unique commercial design.

Details covered in the project include elevation, construction, documentation, materials, finishes, and presentation of the design to a “client”. The perspectives of each room will be discussed and the small, but critical details in the project design are often exhaustively critiqued and discussed by the entire class.

Class materials for this type of interior design class can be extensive. However, many of the items required to successfully complete the course are often purchased for earlier classes and do not need to be purchased again in most cases. These items include typical interior design tools such as rulers and triangles, mechanical colored pencils, cutting mats, and similar drawing tools.

Textbooks in the subject of design standards for commercial planning and efficiency standards are often required for class as well. Some schools may require software purchases, but most of the work conducted in the class is hands-on and interior design schools typically have the software on-hand for students in this class.

At the end of interior design and architecture classes, students are able to design medium- to large-scale commercial spaces, consider the architecture requirements and standards for doing so, and present design plans to a client. Complicated design concepts and drafting skills are fine-tuned, as are skills in selecting lighting, finishing materials, furniture, and fixtures. The interior design class will reinforce principles about project deadline management, self-critiques, and terminology used in interior design and architecture.

Interior Design News

Interior Design School to Host Open House

An interior design school in the United Kingdom is holding an open house event this weekend to encourage students to enroll in studies at the school.

The KLC School of Design will hold an open house event on March 17th for prospective students who are interested in the industry of interior design.

The interior design school is specifically promoting classes to other types of professionals who may be struggling and looking for a career change, much like many of the professionals in the United States and across other regions of the world. The school’s open house is running for a very short amount of time next Saturday, however, with the event running from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., local time.

During the limited time, the interior design school will allow guests and visitors to view samples of some of the project work completed by the existing and former design students that have passed through the school. Also on the agenda is an overview of the curriculum and impressions from students at the school. Interviews for application to the design school can be booked at the event or in advance.

Interviews are the very first step in the application process at the school and are described as an informal process. Interviews for application into an interior design school are a standard part of admissions into nearly all institutions in the UK and United States, where the purpose is to determine a student’s financial ability, time availability, and dedication to learning about interior design.

KLC School of Design is ranked among the top design schools in the region and is committed to training designers of the future. Students of the interior design school look forward to annual exhibitions, detailed immersion in the interior design industry, and networking with industry professionals.

Interior Design News

ASID Shows Evidence of Shifting Interior Design for Classes

A recent report by the American Society of Interior Designers shows more evidence that interior design is taking a sharper turn toward environmentalism.

The industry outlook remains optimistic for future graduates of interior design schools as the industry sees an increase in business despite years of uncertainty.

The 2012 Environmental Scanning Report is issued each year by the ASID to provide insight into the interior design’s demographics and trends. This year the report supported the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics predictions that there would be a slight increase in the business last year. The BLS reported that 25% more interior designers were employed in 2010 than 2008 earlier last year. The number of interior design firms also increased last year, but about 15%.

While designers are learning to use new technology that seems to be ever-changing in the industry, interior design schools are struggling to keep up with the same changes. However, interior design students are becoming more prepared to enter the workforce by “keeping up” with new technology as they pursue their degrees.

The ASID report correlates other claims in the industry that interior design classes will still lean more toward environmental and socially responsible design trends in the future. Interior design students are also learning more about healthcare design and maximizing energy resources to keep a client’s cost of living down to an acceptable level according to green energy codes in the country.

The big ticket item for interior design school graduates will remain the same, however. Being flexible and able to adapt their skills and business to the current market will make or break the success of an interior designer. Interior design classes about adapting to technology, trends, and socioeconomic statuses will be important in future curriculum updates.

Interior Design News

Interior Design Schools to Nominate IIDA Interior Design Educator of the Year

The International Interior Design Association is calling on interior design schools to submit their nominations for the IIDA Educator of the Year Award before April 10th of this year.

The award will recognize a full time teacher who is committed to the education of interior design students and has succeeded in superior accomplishments in the pursuit of education.

The award is open to any teacher at an interior design school or in an interior design program at a university or college. The winner of the IIDA Educator of the Year Award will receive $10,000 and a 2013 membership to the IIDA. While current membership is not required (but recommended), current members will receive complimentary membership for the following year.

The International Interior Design Association is a networking and education association consisting of more than 10,000 members across more than 30 international chapters. The association was created nearly two-decades ago for the purpose of creating an international association for interior designers, where interior design students and new professionals can seek and gain assistance from others in the industry as they grow in the industry.

The IIDA Educator of the Year Award will be awarded to a person with at least five-years invested in a post-secondary interior design school or program that is accredited.  Nominations may be submitted by teachers, staff, and students in an interior design program at an accredited school by visiting IIDA’s website.

Teachers may submit an application on their own behalf or be nominated by another person. In either case IIDA’s application instructs candidates to submit an application with documented accomplishments. While applications are due on April 10th, Letters of Recommendation from an interior design school are due by April 2nd. The Award will be presented on June 10th, 2012 and the winning nominee will be notified in May.