Interior Design News

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.

More Interior Design Schools:

MSU’s interior design students sweep competition

Interior Design Students Show-Off at Gallery Night

Interior Design News

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.

More Interior Design School News:

MSU’s interior design students sweep competition

UC design majors test skills on East End


How Interior Design Schools are changing the Working World

Going to an interior design school might be a personal goal for students, but when it comes to world’s workforce – such a decision can lead to an unintended consequence: participating in positive projects that change the world for the better. Interior designers are among the world’s most influential people, impacting employee performance, patient wellness, and economy.

In a recent study by the American Society for Interior Designers (ASID), the industry association spells out the influence of interior design on the working world and gives a sneak peek into the role of future interior designers on society as whole.

In the report, ASID president Kathy Montgomery notes that efficient interior designs are an important part of workplace productivity. She wrote:

“This paper demonstrates that interior designers can help companies improve employee productivity and overall corporate efficiency by developing office spaces that work. Interior designers also can help companies integrate interior design into their strategic plan. Interior designers are the experts who can develop “productive solutions” that help companies boost their bottom line.”

Read the full report from the American Society of Interior Designers here.

Hospitals have long understood the benefit of hiring interior designers that graduated from an accredited interior design school. Not only can an appropriate interior design change the mood and productivity of employees, it can change the behavior and psychological stress experienced by patients, too.

A report by the College of Architecture at the University of Texas A & M summarizes a study conducted on the implications that interior designs can have in a hospital environment. They wrote:

“To promote wellness, healthcare facilities should be designed to support patients in coping with stress. As general compass points for designers, scientific research suggests that healthcare environments will support coping with stress and promote wellness if they are designed to foster: 1. Sense of control; 2. Access to social support; 3. Access to positive distractions, and lack of exposure to negative distractions; A growing amount of scientific evidence suggests that nature elements or views can be effective as stress-reducing, positive distractions that promote wellness in healthcare environments.

In considering the needs of different types of users of healthcare facilities–patients, visitors, staff–it should be kept in mind that these groups sometimes have conflicting needs or orientations with respect to control, social support, and positive distractions. It is important for designers to recognize such differing orientations as potential sources of conflict and stress in health facilities… “

Read the report abstract or purchase it from the National Library of Health.

Many other organizations have conducted research into the ways that interior design schools are influencing the world through the skills they are teaching to student designers.  But breaking it down to economic value can be tough. Interior design students learn to solve problems and stimulate the economy surrounding their industry. When more students graduate with an education that involves solving consumer and company problems, more economic stimulation occurs for the industry and for the client being served.

In their interior design school brochure, the University of Kentucky presents some of the residual effects of productive interior design:

“In addition to interior design services positively impacting the client’s bottom line, the economic impact of these services can also be viewed from the perspective of how the practice of interior design stimulates associated industries such as, furnishings, fixtures and equipment. In 2008 the top 100 firms were responsible for 750,308,533 square feet and $58,375,277,937 in furnishings, fixtures, and construction (Interior Design Magazine, January 2010).” (See the brochure.)

Interior Design News

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.

More News on Interior Design Schools:

IIDA Inducts Two Members Into Prestigious College of Fellows

Interior Design Students in New York Cutting Edge Show


Interior Design School Graduates Can Work Outside, Too

Interior design students that love the outdoors can learn landscaping at an interior design school and work on outside projects, as well as inside design. In fact, a portion of the interior design profession chooses to specialize in exterior designs.

As of 2008, there were 71,000 registered interior designers in the United States. According to the recent estimates by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 30% of interior design school graduates work in a specialize field of interior design. They also estimate that 14% of those are working in architectural and landscape architectural roles.  (Another 9% work in furnishings as a specialty, including outdoor furniture.)

Interior designers get to choose the way a room accomplishes a certain goal or aesthetic feel. They can manipulate moods, behaviors, and productivity. The job of an interior designer doesn’t have to stop there, however. Many interiors overlook an outside landscape, so it seems fitting that the interior designer should have a voice in what that part of a design looks like, too. Interior design and landscaping are closely related fields of study and it only takes a few extra classes to be qualified to do both.

At an interior design school, the curriculum to become an interior designer is fairly standard. It includes design principles and techniques, as well as learning to choose interior materials, finishes, furnishing, colors, lighting, and energy use and conservation. Interior design schools teach students to also provide consultation services, manage projects, and work with other allied professionals in architecture, construction, and electricity. Architecture is a big part of an interior design education, and it is one of the commonalities between interior design classes and landscape design.

Landscaping classes at an interior design school also focus on the principles of design and the techniques utilized to bring designs to life. These classes will often focus more on the sustainable aspects of design and proposes unique processes for carrying out the function of landscape designers in the bigger project. Community landscaping, commercial landscaping, and private landscaping consultations and project management skills are also a core part of a school’s course curriculum.

Both interior design classes and landscape classes teach students to use technology such as software programs to draw up conceptual ideas of how a space should look. Professions delve into the way an environment will feel to the inhabitants, how they may behave in the space, and how the design of the space will influence the purpose of the space. For example, an interior design for a home and an interior design for a busy hospital waiting room will have a similar function: to provide relaxation and a place of rest that is away from the critical operations that need to occur nearby. (No living rooms with openly adjacent laundry rooms.)

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 School Professor Tells Home Owners to Think Green

Graphic Design School Software As interior design schools focus more on sustainable designs and younger generations of students make their mark on history by being more aware of energy consumption as it related to aesthetic appeal, at least one company is stepping up to tell home owners that a remodel may be all they need to start being “green”.

Owner of Ryan Architecture and professor of interior design and construction at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland; Mike Ryan recently stood in front of an audience at Wilson College to discuss how each individual impacts the global environment.

According to Ryan, who talked to the audience about the American Society of Interior Design and the RE-GREEN program form the U.S. Green Building Council, Americans spend all but 10% of their time indoors. He also pointed out that, thanks to climate control methods inside our homes, architects and interior designers spend much less time thinking about the layout and design of our building. It is in a structures layout and interior design that energy consumption can be increased or decreased when given thoughtful consideration.

Interior design schools are already on board, but Ryan is attempting to get homeowners on the same page. Struggling with energy costs and unfinished interior design projects, such as an unfinished basement, can benefit a home owner financially and positively impact the environment by considering which products and how far the product has to be shipped to get to them when they think about home projects.

Interior design students can help by taking more time to learn about what is truly considered a “sustainable” interior design, to include products and the sources of those products. Arrangement, natural lighting, heat conduction, blocking out unwanted heat, and other energy consumption techniques can be implemented within the realm of interior design to help minimize the impact of a space on the environment.

Interior Design News

Interior Design Schools and Green Designs

Interior design schools might be looking at more changes soon if they want to keep their students competitive in the job market.

The desire for sustainable interior designs from ever-more environmentally conscious consumers is creating a growing demand for designers that specialize in this type of design according to government job experts.

According to the United States’ Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook report on interior designers, sustainable design is one the interior design specialties that are gaining momentum and will continue to do so. “Three areas of design that are becoming increasingly popular are ergonomic design, elder design, and environmental—or green—design,” according the BLS website.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics defines sustainable interior design as those that involve “selecting furniture and carpets that are free of chemicals and hypoallergenic and selecting construction materials that are energy-efficient or are made from renewable resources.”

Interior designs schools will need to revamp existing curriculum to get students ahead of the curve in the trending market place, where officials expect that green designs will become increasingly popular. Sustainable interior design classes are offered at some interior design schools already. Those that are in-tune with the marketplace are teaching student designers about how to choose environmentally friendly materials.

Another aspect of the “green” movement in interior design addresses environmentally friendly methods, too. Interior design students need to know not only which materials are eco-friendly, but how to create designs that are aligned with the newest energy codes – such as lighting options, air conditioning, and waste management.

An example of a completely sustainable, environmentally interior design might include chemical free paints, wood extracted from reforestation companies, ventilation systems that take advantage of natural airflow, and production methods that emit less carbon into the atmosphere. Because the demand for sustainable design is growing, and to remain competitive with other schools, more interior design academies may soon need to offer specialized degrees in this discipline.