Interior Product Design can be explained as the thoughtful creation of the forms of every day life within the architectural interior environment. It encompasses iterative design explorations which reveal distinctive products that are responsive to the needs of both humanity and the ecological world. The program places emphasis on conceptual thinking, creativity, risk-taking, personal motivation, networking, and interdisciplinary flexibility and co-operation.
The interior product design concentration focuses on students’ artistic development and design philosophy through the production of innovative interior products, including furniture, lighting, fixtures, textiles, furnishings, and cabinetry. Students embark on a course of study that encompasses skill and theory in both historic and 21st century context. Work ranges from experimental, one-of-a-kind, limited production to mass produced products that support human aesthetic and functional needs in an interior environment.
Students learn to conceive thoughtful interior products that address domestic, institutional and business environments, meet specialized needs, and facilitate the individual’s activities in daily life in an architectural context. In addition, the search for new applications of traditional practices and sustainable approaches to natural materials is emphasized.
Design theory and design research are explored through visualization techniques, CAD, digital modeling, physical model building and prototype construction. Partnerships with the design furnishings industry that include special projects, student internships, and factory tours are an integral part of the educational experience. The Center for Innovation in Interior Architecture (cI:Ia) is a UNCG research center that works to create a nexus of design industry and design education interests and expertise, and IAR graduate students partner with faculty on an array of projects to this end, enhancing graduates’ desirability in the job market.
Graduates from this concentration typically function within the fields more commonly categorized as interior architecture, furniture design, and industrial design, creating a hybrid between interior environments and artifacts. The Interior Product Design concentration features a project-based thesis, centered on applied design research. Students will undertake a minimum of 12 credits of core courses, two research methods courses, a minimum of two studio courses and the thesis.