Interior Design News

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.

More Reading about Interior Design Colleges:

Students from Honors design class help renovate public library

MSU-Great Falls interior design students excel

Kwantlen interior design program grads showcase final projects

Interior Design News

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

More Reading on Interior Design Schools:

Virginia Marti College of Art & Design Helps New Students in Tough Financial Times

Lisa Marie Goudey Shows Artwork at Cazenovia College Art Gallery

Noted Author and Feng Shui Practitioner Offers 4-Day Immersive Course on Ancient Interior Design


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 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.


Working Your Way through Interior Design School

Many students who want to practice interior design are dedicated and passionate enough to make it to the coveted “Master of Professional Studies in Interior Design” (MPSID) degree. However, some of those students may find it necessary to work while attending classes, making it much more difficult to put in the time required to get there. There is hope for those that are willing to go the extra mile, even if your personal situations make it seem as if you’ll never be able to make it.

Interior design schools offer an advantage over some other types of schools because, much like an architect would build a house, interior designers learn their profession in deliberate and methodical steps that build on the step before it. This means that working and going to school at the same time can be advantageous for the aspiring master of interior design.

Learning basic interior design in order to break into the market is a great way to get started, especially if you are in a financial position that requires you to get back to work as soon as possible (or continue working while attending classes). The good news is that, at most schools, completion of a certificate program is a requirement for applying to an advanced degree program.

Students who want to earn an advanced degree from an accredited interior design school are often tasked with first coming up with a portfolio of work through the school’s certificate program. Completing a school’s certificate program also qualifies the student for an entry level job in the industry. Entry level jobs in interior design often require at minimum, a certificate of completion in some sort of formal interior design school training. Since the certification program at most interior design schools is around 24-credit hours, it doesn’t take long to reach entry level status.

Eventually, it will be necessary to spend some time in the real world of interior design to complete the master’s degree program and working in the industry while completing studies is the best way to do that. (Not to mention the convenience of having an employer who is probably happy to help you since you share a passion for the art.)

After certification, students at an interior design school can apply to a degree program. If it is the students intent to make it to Master of Professional Studies, he or she will most likely be advised to complete an undergraduate degree (an AAS or BFA) before proceeding to the next level. This is because the next level, Master of Fine Arts, requires the student to know all of the things taught by the school at the AAS and BFA level.

Once here, it is only a matter of time before the degree program can be completed. It may be a matter of a lot of time, especially if you need to take part time class loads while working. But with the right set up and a good career counselor, taking deliberate steps through interior design school can really add up to a well-paid professional career.

Interior Design News

Are Interior Design Courses Important for other Professions?

Interior design courses can lead to a college degree for those who wish to be a professional designer, but they can be important for other professions, too.

Anyone earning a commissioned pay check based on real estate values and homes sales might consider taking a few interior design courses to help them make it through economic turbulence in the industry, but some industry experts say “Leave it to the experts.”

Interior designers are often called in to help real estate representatives sell homes that are out of date or completely out of touch with current home market trends. As home trends change, homes that go up for sale are much more likely to result in a SOLD sign in the front yard when they are aligned with the modern trends that home buyers are attracted to.

In a report by the Sydney, interior design educators caution against taking interior design classes lightly. They stick to their message that it is a difficult occupation and that skill level is apparent and visible in the work that agents perform.

”Regardless of education, design is an industry where visual evidence of your competence through your folio and your ability to talk intelligently about your design discipline may be all an employer requires,” said Geoff Fitzpatrick of the Design Institute of Australia.

Interior designers are expensive. Even more expensive is a real estate agent attempting to modernize the home without any official interior design training offered by some of the independent classes available to them. Not understanding the entire process of design can be costly. Time and money are wasted when an under-trained (or untrained) individual sets out to redesign a home for the sake of making the sale. Successful interior designers and real estate agents in the industry agree that this type of training is important in the home sales industry.

Interior Design News

Are Online Interior Design Classes Sufficient?

Online interior design classes are appropriate in certain fields of study, but may not provide enough direct feedback and instruction for all aspects of interior design degree programs.

However, there are many parts of interior design that fit very well into the realm of online training; blending online classes with in-classroom curriculum might be just what some students need to achieve their degree goals while maintaining a flexible schedule.

Nearly all levels of interior design –whether interior decorating or actual, physical redesign – relies heavily on computer aided drafting and design (CADD) software. Learning how to use this software is essential; a core ability for one to become a successful professional. Interior design classes offered online that train students on the use and function of these types of programs is essentially a “hands off” process. As long as the student is able to learn on his own pace and without direct supervision, learning software skills is an ideal candidate for online training.

Much of the foundational knowledge students are taught in their first year of interior design classes fall into a category that seems safe for online classes. The drafting and graphic design portions of interior design are done with software, as we mentioned, and learning the concepts to create these designs is standard in the industry so little teacher supervision is required.

Students may begin to exit the realm of acceptable online classes in interior design at the end of the second year of college, when project coordination and management become essential to obtaining a degree. While the skills can still be learned through online interior design classes, project management and team activities in the classroom provide a critical sense of reality that one might face in the professional world. One in which real clients change their minds and real people with emotions have to be an important part of the design process.

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.

Interior Design News

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.

Interior Design News

Interior Design Schooling Requirements Post Constitutional Issues

Interior design schools across the nation train students for a future career in interior design, but few are preparing students for licensing exams.

There are only a few states that require interior designers to pass a licensing exam following their studies in interior design school.

Those states that do require licensing have recently come under fire by opponents of these types o regulations in the industry. Some opponents feel that licensing exams are unconstitutional and use the fact that 47 states find the exams unnecessary to make their case. They also claim that licensing exam requirements put an extra burden on both students who are seeking a career in this field and the interior design schools who prepare them for that career.

Such is the case in the state of Florida, where interior design schools must prepare students to successfully pass the licensing exam requirements in addition to traditional and contemporary interior design practices. Opponents of the state licensing requirement claim that the law is unconstitutional and want to see the Supreme Court hear a case to that effect this year.

An interesting article published by asks the question: Does the First Amendment protect your right to speak for a living? Many might ask what this has to do with interior design schools and licensing exams in the state. According to the article, the requirements to become an interior designer in Florida are too stringent and are based on “occupational language” regulations that should be protected under the First Amendment.

In order to become an interior designer in Florida, a person must successfully pass six years of interior design school, complete an apprenticeship with a state licensed interior designer, and pass the state exam. Because interior designers do their job through speech, as opposed to actually conducting any physical work, opponents of the regulations feel that Florida’s law is clearly a violation of the Constitution and subjects the speech based occupation to unlawful regulation.