Interior Design News

Interior Design College Awards $2k for Penthouse Design

Interior design colleges face the same challenges as other art disciplines – the jump from school to real life where the desires of the customer and a strict budget can constrain even the most creative designers.

As one school showed however, getting students ready for these real life scenarios can lead to some pretty exciting (and fun) competitions where the sky is the limit and the budget is outrageous.

A contest designed by an instructor at a Chicago interior design college recently awarded students $2,000 for designing a penthouse suite. The interior designs weren’t for a real customer, but the students were given the chance to design the suite based on a lavish, $30 million budget.

Harrington College of Design instructor Constantine Vasilios challenged students to design the penthouse for the fictitious client according to the client’s own lifestyle and tastes. The imaginary penthouse had 14,000 square feet of floor space and the only limits were the budget and the imagination of the students who had to choose the lifestyle of their clients.

The interior design college student that won the first prize created more than 30 unique spaces, including an outdoor patio area, game room, arcade, and four bedrooms for the penthouse suite. There were three finalists in all that won the $2,000 prize.

While the multi-million dollar budget may seem like a vast amount of funding making it easy to create a limitless design, the project was really about how to make sure a design project comes in under budget. As far as penthouse apartments go, thirty million isn’t that much of a budget.

On the Harrington College of Design website, Vasilios said “Money is something we don’t always talk about in academia and the first component that students face upon graduation. Solving creatively within a budget is of paramount importance in real-world scenarios.”

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Few Surprised at Interior Design School Named Twice in DI Report

Once a year, top interior design firms and hiring companies are asked to name the architectural and interior design schools that they feel are best preparing students to enter the work force by industry publication Design Intelligence.

Florida State University’s interior design program ranked 10th on the Design Intelligence’s 13th annual report of America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools and earned one other distinct honor that is rare for an interior design school.

FSU is notorious in the education industry for many reasons, its interior design program aside. It is probably best known for being one of Florida’s flagship colleges; its two-thousand graduates each year, and its national ranking for programs stretching medicine, law, science, and the arts. It is also one of the ten percent of American schools to earn a chapter in the National Academic Honor Society.

In addition to Design Intelligence’s list of best design schools, they also named the year’s Most Admired Educators; a list of only 25 teachers in the country who have the distinguished honor of making this list. Only five of the 25 names on the list are interior design instructors and FSU’s Lisa Waxman made the cut. Many aren’t surprised by the dual honors to the interior design school, considering the extensive awards the students and faculties accumulate each year.

In a report from FSU’s Libby Fairhurst, Lisa Waxman said that being the best comes by being responsive and on-time with today’s interior design issues. ““We strive to develop designers who are responsive to human needs, who hold the world’s natural resources in high regard, and who design functional as well as beautiful spaces that improve the quality of life,” the interior design school instructor said.

Design Intelligence has rated graphic arts, architectural, and interior design schools among others for more than a decade and is an important publication for casting applicable comparisons between education systems and the needs of the design industry.

Interior Design News

Interior Design School Accreditation Agency Makes Changes

The Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), the organization responsible for accrediting some of the interior design schools in the country, recently announced a change in the way it talks about some of its policies.

This change is the result of discussion between interior design schools and other interested parties regarding the potential for erroneous assumptions by those investigating an interior design school’s accreditation because of some of CIDA’s documents.

The parties discussed with the agency the potentially negative perspective that some students and parents might have of certain schools because of the wording used in CIDA’s Confidentiality and Disclosure statements as well as its Program Announcement and Disclosure of Accredited Status document.

The primary concerns were three-parts of the documents that made statements about the interior design school accreditation process and the need for visit to the schools by CIDA representatives.  The organization agreed that some parents and students may not fully understand the terms used in the accreditation process and mistake terms to mean something less than positive about the schools.

The parties worried about the publishing of interior design school compliance standards, which could somehow create an unintentional ranking of the schools. CIDA’s press release did not provide detail into which texts were considered risky or how their reports could unintentionally rank the interior design schools involved. CIDA decided to publish more information to clarify this information rather than refrain from publishing it all together though they did concede to not mention any interior design school by name.

The documents also mentioned a required physical visit to certain interior design schools, which some concerned parties viewed as incriminating. The language implied that some schools were fully accredited, while others were not. CIDA says that the organization’s representatives decided to make changes after “careful consideration of stakeholders’ comments and concerns”, but ultimately voted to also disclose any interior design school that is denied for accreditation as well.

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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.

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Interior Design Schools Coordinate Design Disciplines

An interior design school is being born in Michigan as school officials decide to expand their arts program.

Schools across the nation are doing more each year to coordinate disciplines to create a more rounded curriculum for their students.

Coordinating interior design schools with other, related areas of art and design is critical to student success in the future. Interior designs are not simply “interior decorators”. They are tasked with taking conceptual or existing spaces and turning them into the “right” space for their client. This task involved everything from lighting and flooring to knocking down walls and adding sky lights.

In order to create competitive students, schools like the Andrews University School of Architecture expand their program selections and coordinate between art disciplines. Soon, Andrews will bear a new name to match the addition of interior design school programs, construction management, and media curriculum. The new school will be named the School of Architecture, Art & Design to indicate the addition of the new programs. The interior design school will offer four-year degrees to students who successfully complete their programs.

Interior design schools prepare students for a career in the discipline through practical and technical training courses. Classes involve aspects of construction, electricity, and other building industry knowledge. This puts students at an advantage in their field because all interior designs, and especially remodels, require elements of understanding in how the new design will impact code requirements in the area and the existing framework of the structure.

Interior design schools must also convey the message that a collaborative effort with those who will actually be implementing future designs is an important part of an interior designer’s job. Electricians and carpenters are especially helpful allies for an interior designer, so communication and team work are key elements to a successful career in the field.

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Interior Design Students Work Retail Angle

Interior design schools recently competed in a national competition by the Planning and Visual Education Partnership (PAVE) and winners of a separate competition will have their work displayed at a huge industry event next month.

PAVE has awarded interior design schools over $6,000 and $21,000 have been awarded to student grants through the 2011 Student Design Competition. Another competition, the 3-d Design Challenge, will display a winning student’s work at an event in Las Vegas.

The student design competition awarded interior design schools at the University of Cincinnati, Fashion Institute of Technology, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for having students who placed in the top three in each category. Twelve students were awarded prizes in visual merchandising and store design categories at the event.

For the GlobalShop 2012 event this year, the 3D Design Challenge presented by PAVE asked interior design students and others to try to earn even more in grant prizes by submitting a three-dimensional floor fixture design. The winner of that competition worked with B+N industries to create a prototype of their winning design to be on display at the GlobalShop conference, which will be held at the end of February in Las Vegas.

For this newest competition, interior design students as well as store design and industrial design students who are attending classes at an accredited school  needed to design and develop a store fixture, branding included, for a specific brand of cosmetics. The details of the competition left much of the work up to the imagination of the design students.

Interior designers and the like created fixtures that advertised the cosmetic brand of the student’s choice and it needed to be “concise” according to the official contest rules. The unit must be portable, so it is important that it can be broken down and shipped safely with minimum potential for damage.

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In Oregon, a battle has been waged between interior designers who feel that their industry should be strictly licensed and those who do not.

An important consideration in making a decision about this is how this will ultimately impact and entirely different industry in the state: interior design schools.

The arguments are years old, now, but the Interior Design Collaboration of Oregon is still talking with legislatures about the need for licensing among interior designers. After all, interior designers are more than decorators. At schools across the nation, students are learning how to visualize the empty shell of a structure and redesign it for the best use possible. This task is closer to architecture according to the IDC, who wants to see interior designers licensed and knowledgeable about fire codes, building safety, and more.

Interior design schools certainly touch on these topics, but would a bill with this type of detail change the landscape for them? It is possible that some schools would only need to make moderate changes to how they talk about these items, but few are preparing students for the licensing exams that professional constructing contractors must pass. The IDC seems to view this type of law as a way to even the playing field between the disciplines, but opposed interior designers see things differently.

On the other side of the argument, interior designers say that it is unnecessary. Furthermore, they think that it’s more “red tape” than an interior designer needs and will put a burden on the industry. They claim that consumers should have the right to choose the designer of their choice, and that the government should stay out of the to-date private matter.

Interior design schools will be directly impacted by any new legislation, but it is unclear of what type of impact it would have. It could cause an increase in new students who head back to class, but it could also cause enrollments to fall because of licensing requirements in the state.

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Interior Design School Teaches Success through Exhibition

Students from interior design schools are often called upon to create concepts for competitions and community projects.

As part of a standard curriculum, it is not uncommon for schools to try to partner up with community organizations that will bring about opportunities for their students to get involved in real-world interior design projects.

Interning often happens at a late stage in the education process, when junior and seniors at an interior design school spend much of their time focused on their future career through rigorous class-work that is divided up between hours spent with a certified firm. Occasionally, students are afforded the opportunity to receive critiques from entities that are not typically a part of the education process.

When competitions come along, some interior design schools allow students to incorporate them into the curriculum to provide a better understanding of how the business aspects of design are an important facet of their careers. More often, however, students are allowed to participate in an exhibition where they can proudly display their concepts.

This is the case with an exhibit at the Upton Hall in New York that will display student creations. Recently, students at Buffalo State’s interior design school were asked to participate in an annual Interior Design Student Show where they can showcase their skills for a little positive reinforcement from the show. The students are permitted to submit three dimension designs as well as digital renditions for the showcase.

The students also get to participate in all the aspects of setting up the exhibition, which offers experience that they would not normally receive in the classroom. Presentation and communication are critical parts of a successful career in interior design, so schools have to make extra effort to make sure students understand that their future depends on far more than great design ideas.

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Interior Design and High School Students Solve Space Problems

An interior design school program might be a tool employed to help a local high school with a design project soon.

Students from the interior design program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have submitted a design proposal meant to overhaul the common area at Crete High School in Saline County.

Interior design schools, and any art program at a respectable institution, may be called on to assist the community in this manner. Programs from interior design to graphic design are a great resource for finding free or discounted works thanks to students who need to gain real-world experience. This is valuable endeavor for the high school and UNL, both for the schools and the students.

Students at the high school are driving the changes and are in charge of coordinating the consultations and focusing on the needs of the students. They are working closely with the UNL interior design team to discuss the potential improvements that can be made in these areas at the high school. In this type of relationship, both sets of students learn important lessons about the real-world of negotiation.

Back at UNL, interior design teams of two or three students are working together to propose different solutions for the commons area, which the high school would like to see updated to a more contemporary style. Crete High School already has an area set aside for juniors and seniors to sit in the auditorium where they should be able to work on assignments or projects together. The interior design groups have just a couple of weeks to submit their redesign ideas to their teacher for review.

According to the news report from Crete News, the high school’s assistant principal, Jim Moore says that this is an important area at their school “These areas are places where students should feel comfortable and work together. The school is literally open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. most days for our students and their activities,” he said.

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Interior Design School Hires Business Guru as Instructor

The New York School of Interior Design will soon have a guest instructor to facilitate training in leadership, market trends, and more.

Steve Nobel is a specialty interior design consultant and will be teaching entrepreneurship studies at the interior design school this spring.

The new courses at the interior design school will include instruction in developing business plans, contracts and other legal work, as well as how to operate an interior design business. The spring 2012 schedule has been released and classes are expected to continue at the school in future semesters.

This term there are two courses being taught at the interior design school by Nobel. “Survey: the Business of Design” begins on January 27th and will provide a general view of how the business of interior design functions and what business owners must know to be successful. This course will feature information about the basic processes that affect all types of design businesses and will include information about what business owners need to be able to do.

On February 24th, another class headed by Nobel will begin at the interior design school. “Leadership: the Vision for a Design Business” will discuss the conception of an interior design business. This class will feature the challenges facing business owners, how to determine if an interior design business is successful, and how to be a balanced interior design business owner.

Steve Noble heads up a consulting practice and is well-qualified to provide instruction to the students at the interior design school. He is already an active participant in the interior design industry and speaks about luxury interior designs at events and conferences. He is also the author of Aiming at Affluence: Marketing Interior Design to Luxury Clients. The New York School of Interior Design will host several seminars around the focus of Nobel’s business wisdom.