We have elected to call our department “Interior Architecture” as a statement of our belief that design education is a holistic and multidisciplinary activity. We believe that learning to be a designer is a complex and rigorous task, requiring devotion and passion.
We share with interior design a fundamental interest in human and environmental relationships. Yet because these relationships are affected by objects as well as the architectural context, we also study the design of building forms and systems and provide facilities, tools, and equipment for students to build what they design - an approach to design education that is more typical of schools of design or architecture. Thus in our department we address Interior Architecture as a broad based discipline, both informing and defined by the arts of the built environment – product design, architecture, and engineering; connected to the allied disciplines of interior design, art, theater, dance, film making, graphic design, fashion design, industrial design, and the design of materials; and interwoven with the human experience expressed in psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, history, and religion. The focus on the design and development of interior space depends upon knowledge of materials, finishes, furnishings, manufactured objects and products, buildings, context, human behavior, and human development. Instruction in these areas converges with general education requirements at UNCG to reinforce and expand the multidisciplinary nature of design.
The Undergraduate Program culminates in a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Architecture, a first professional degree that prepares students to enter interior design practice and ultimately sit for the professional exam offered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). Ours was the first interiors program in North Carolina to be accredited (in 1993) and has been re-accredited ever since by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).
The 4 year BFA is 127 credit hours, studio intensive, and rigorous because we teach students to be designers. Design education at UNCG is centered on the studio, a physical and intellectual place where ideas are transformed into physical form through continual development of models and drawings. This means drawing and redrawing, making and remaking, critiquing, thinking and rethinking, inventing – in other words, developing different ways of looking at the world and new ways of making it. This is challenging, rewarding, dynamic, and engaging.
Our graduates are recognized in the field as thoughtful designers who can think and learn and do. Many of our students go to work for architecture and engineering firms while others choose careers in interior design firms, concentrating on residential design or commercial interiors. Of the 29 graduates in spring 2013 that are in contact with us, 22 are currently employed and 3 applied and were accepted to graduate school for fall 2013. Some graduates continue their education in graduate school, earning advanced degrees in architecture, industrial design, or interior design which enable them to practice or teach within their chosen discipline. Other areas of employment of our graduates include exhibition design, historic preservation, graphic design, furniture showrooms, furniture design, photography and film studios, sales, lighting design, and textiles.
If this sounds appealing, we would love for you to visit and talk with us about your own interests. We hope to hear from you soon.
Anna Marshall-Baker . PhD . FIDEC
Professor and Chair