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.

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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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Are Online Interior Design Schools Worth It?

Whether you are interested in an online interior design school or an online class about a musical instrument, chances are you may have some concerns about the quality of an online education. This may be especially true if you are a parent helping your child decide on a college major or a college campus. The savings offered by online classes are tremendous, but you probably don’t want to risk sacrificing a superior education just to save a few grand.

What are the risks of online interior design classes?

The answer to this question has sparked debate for at least the last decade and it was, at one time, a common discrepancy among educators, professionals, and students. The conversation went something like this:

Student: I want to take five of my classes online. It costs less and I can do it at my own pace.
Parent: Online classes leave out the important parts of the class; like participation and group discussion.
Student: But….
Parent: …but, what?

The good news is that this isn’t such a common argument anymore.  Even educators at top universities agree that online classes, for many studies, are completely appropriate. The education industry has actually done a really good job at figuring out what type of courses are acceptable for online studies, including those taught in interior design schools.

The Academy of Art University, a well-respected design college, offers a full range of degree programs online for this reason. While it is unlikely that you or your child will be able to earn a master’s degree by taking a wholly online degree program, you might be surprised at how much of the curriculum doesn’t involve hands-on participation (especially while earning a lower degree).

The American Society of Interior Designers Weighs In

The ASID, an interior design industry group that keeps an eye on all things interior design endorses at least five online interior design school programs (including the Academy of Art university) and had this to say about online interior design schools and classes:

“When considering enrolling in an online learning program, you must conduct your research.  While a certificate from such a program, such as the Sheffield School of Interior Design, would probably provide you with a good introduction to interior design, it would not provide you with the credentials you will need to sit for the NCIDQ exam or to be licensed in most states or hired by most interior design or architecture firms.”

Read more about interior design school from ASID here.

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Interior Design School Project Brings Dose of Reality

Interior design students are rarely afforded an opportunity to work on a live interior design project. While many schools make way for projects that co-opt community resources, allowing students to get real-world experience, few are able to offer actual renovation projects to their students. When the opportunity does come up for an interior design school, it is great practice for students and can be a sobering experience.

As pointed out in an article recently, students working on this type of project become very aware that their dream is about to be a reality:

You could call it a friendly competition with satisfaction on a job well done as the ultimate prize.

Two groups of interior design students at the Centre for Arts and Technology Okanagan (CATO) in Kelowna unveiled their handy work Wednesday morning at the ‘Dwell’ development on Ambrosi Road.

The eight students, who will graduate in September, put their design skills to work on two show suites in the newly completed third phase of the Mission Group development project.

Mission Group President, Randy Shier says the students were asked to take on the task because they fit the age demographic of the development.

“We could not be happier with the results,” says Shier.

“The results have already exceeded our expectations.”

Each four member team was provided with one show suite to decorate from top to bottom including walls and furnishings.

One suite was designed for a single male the other for a young couple with no children.

Lauren Mason who worked on the suite designed for a single male says the concept came from a piece of fabric that contained green, black, a beige colour and some greys.

“We just fell in love with the fabric and everything sprouted from there. That’s where we came up with the stripes on the wall,” says Mason.

“We tried to incorporate everything from those colours. That’s why we have the black couch.”

She says it’s been a great real life experience.

Read more about the interior design students’ experience from Casanet

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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.

Read more from

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Interior Design Classes: Learning the Basics of Interior Design

The basics of interior design are taught by interior design schools through a program curriculum that teaches all of the necessary components to begin working as an entry level interior designer. With a certificate in interior design, students can choose to directly enter the workforce or go on to pursue a bachelor and master’s degree in the discipline, opening doors to higher paying jobs.

The basics of interior design are considered core classes at a typical interior design school. This is because no matter how advanced the classes become, they will always rely on the core skills and principles learned in the basic classes. Technology, colors, architecture rules, concept designs, and art studies are an important part of the core elements in interior design programs.

Students who are pursuing a certificate from an interior design school usually start with the basics of color theory. Color theory discusses the way that color impacts the behavior and moods of people, as well as how light and dark colors influence the aesthetic look and feel of an interior space. Colors can make a space look bigger or smaller and can clash or work in harmony to draw the eye away from or toward a central object of focus.

Planning is another core principle that is heavily explored in basic interior design classes. Planning an interior design begins with an evaluation of the client’s needs and follows up with a conceptual design of how to make the space meet the requirements of the consumer. This may include color choices, scaling items up and down, changing or using innovative lighting techniques, surface treatments and materials, furniture, wall art, draperies, and other physical elements. It also includes human behavior and moods analysis, practical use of spaces, and presentation of the interior design concept.

Interior design classes incorporate drafting technologies to help present the concepts and analyze the plans for an interior space and rendering software is learned so that the student can use a 3-d model of the space during the presentation. Decorating and accenting skills are first taught in the core level of interior design classes and are later expanded upon in advanced classes that cover textures and materials in greater detail.

Because art is an important element in the profession, interior design schools often require various art history and art theory classes in their basic interior design certificate program. This may include renaissance art and the study of foreign culture that greatly impacted modern-interior designs. It may also include historic studies in art and design following the industrial revolution, when American design came to the forefront of the art. Interior design schools typically involve antique history and selection classes in the interior decorating modules as well.


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 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.