Mar 03, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

School of Interior Architecture

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Architecture and Design

Matthews, David, M Architecture – Miami University, BS Interior Design – Ohio University, BFA Studio Art – Ohio University

Associate Professors
Abudayyeh, Rana, M Architecture – University of New Mexico, BA Architecture – University of New Mexico
Teston, Liz, M Architecture – Georgia Institute of Technology, BFA Interior Design – Savannah College of Art and Design
Zingoni Phielipp, Milagros (Director), M Urban and Environmental Planning – Arizona State University, M Architecture – Universidad de Flores, Argentina, BS Architecture – Universidad de Flores, Argentina, B Habitat Design – Escuela De Diseno En El Habitat, Argentina 

Assistant Professors
Dean, Felicia, MFA, Interior Architecture – University of North Carolina at Greensboro, BA, Studio Arts – Florida State University at Tallahassee
Kim, Hojung, M Architecture – Yale University, B Architecture – California Polytechnic State University
Saldana, Marie, PhD Architecture History and Theory Certificate in Digital Humanities - University of California, Los Angeles, M Architecture - University of California, Los Angeles, MA Archaeology - University of Durham, BA Humanities - University of Southern California

Abbott, Molly, MFA - SCAD
Coon, Ashley, M Architecture - California (Los Angeles)
Couch, Justin, BS Industrial Design – Georgia Tech, M Industrial Design – Rhode Island School of Design
Dolan, Tim, M Science, Technology: Engineering Technology – East Tennessee State University, BS Interior Design – The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Visiting Professors
Valenzuela, German, MArch – Center for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (Spain)

Designers imagine and create the spaces in which we work, play, and live. They are part of teams that shape the hospitality experiences in restaurants and hotels, wellness and healing in hospitals and clinics, deepen learning in museums and schools, enrich teamwork and collaboration in offices, and intensify personal and familial significance in our homes. Design tools are used by designers to enhance and strengthen human relationships and build cultural meaning in lives by shaping space and light, applying color theory, as well as selecting materials and furnishings in interior environments. Students at the University of Tennessee study the elements and principles of interior architecture and are provided enhanced studies of interior architectural space.

Students learn how to organize and create interior spaces, and to communicate the ideas and identity of the space with drawings and models. Student work in digital media, directly with materials, and learn to humanize the building environment by creating a relationship to the human scale and behavior.

  • Apply Knowledge and Theory in a Project-Based Learning Environment

Students learn in dedicated design studios where they complete a wide variety of interior architecture projects and are assigned individual workstations. Students apply current and essential knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to their studio projects. Interior Architecture faculty have ongoing research and creative design practice responsibilities that support the student’s core knowledge topics listed below:

°  Planning and Design of Interior Architectural Space and Form
°  Design and Architecture History and Theory
°  Sustainability
°  Color and Light
°  Human Centered Design
°  Materials, Construction Systems, and Finishes
°  Building Regulations and Codes
°  Visual Communications (sketching, drawing, model making, and computer representations)

  • Build Global and Professional Perspectives

The Interior Architecture program requires either a professional internship or an international travel study experience. These opportunities build a relevant portfolio of experiences in school to allow students to gain access to the most desirable career opportunities. Design firms are seeking to hire individuals with a breadth of experiences to be competitive in a global market. The University of Tennessee provides a range of international experiences that have historically included studies in Finland, Japan, and Italy.

The College of Architecture and Design hosts annual career day where students can meet with representatives from design firms to secure internship and entry-level positions.

  • Engage Contemporary Technology

Students in the Interior Architecture program learn to engage a range of technical processes to enhance their ability to create the best design solutions. The technical opportunities range from the implementation of advanced building information modeling (BIM) software to the use of wood shop facilities. The College of Architecture and Design maintains a fabrication lab, digital three-dimensional printers, print center, photography studio, and wood shop. Students are required to purchase a program-specified computer and software to complete design studio projects.

  • Collaborate and Work in Multi-Disciplinary Teams

Working well together by building on the ideas of others is essential for career success. Contemporary practices in interior architecture require teams of expert multi-disciplinary designers to create successful projects. Students in the School of Interior Architecture share a facility with the architecture, landscape architecture, and art programs. Opportunities are provided to prepare students for a multi-disciplinary work environment by participating in team projects and sharing common coursework and classrooms across multiple disciplines. Students participate in discussions and juries of their design ideas with interior architecture, architecture, and landscape architecture faculty and students.

  • Practice Creativity and Critical Thinking

Interior architecture is learned by practice in a studio environment. Students work in a culture of design practice where they are supported in taking creative risk, applying knowledge in unique ways, and critically testing and evaluating ideas. Each semester students typically enroll in six hours of design studio. The design studio experience is the core of the interior architecture education and is where students build their portfolio that is the foundation to gain a position in a design firm or graduate studies. The Interior Architecture program is situated in a college that recognizes and cultivates a community of design practice that supports learning by experimentation. Students learn to mutually support their creative explorations and participate in the critical evaluation of their work.

Select One of Two Professional Tracks

Students may choose one of two tracks to complete the Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture. The Traditional Track is for students who wish to complete the program with the maximum emphasis in interior design and greatest flexibility with professional electives. The Master of Architecture Preparatory Track is created for students who desire to earn a Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture and qualify to apply to the Master of Architecture program at the University of Tennessee with advanced standing.

Accreditation and Professional Standards

The Interior Architecture program maintains accreditation from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Students who graduate from the program and complete two years of work experience are qualified to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam. The NCIDQ exam is an important qualification to earn in many states such as Tennessee. To call oneself a “registered interior designer,” one must successfully complete the NCIDQ exam.

Computer Requirement

Students enrolled in Interior Architecture are required to purchase a computer, software, and supporting components meeting technical specifications provided by the College of Architecture and Design. The computer specifications are provided prior to the start of first year design studios at summer orientation or during advising for transfer students. Students are strongly advised to wait until they receive their program computer specifications as created for their class and cohort prior to making a significant investment in a computer.

uTrack Requirements

Universal Tracking (uTrack) is an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. In order to remain on track, students must complete the minimum requirements for each tracking semester, known as milestones. Milestones include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA. uTrack requirements only affect full-time, degree-seeking students.

Retention Requirement

  • Before enrolling in any program required course, a grade of C or better must be made in each prerequisite required program course.
  • A cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or greater.
  • A grade of I must be removed in prerequisite courses prior to enrollment in subsequent courses.
  • For graduation from the program, student must earn a C or better in all required College of Architecture and Design program courses.

Special Programs in Interior Architecture

Required Summer Internship

All interior architecture students are required to have a professionally based summer internship. The faculty will advise students, finding appropriate placement, as well as monitor the student’s progress in the internship. The summer internship may be replaced by study abroad.

Professional Community’s Involvement

As the oldest accredited interior architecture program in the state, the School of Interior Architecture tries to maintain a close relationship with the interior architecture community of the city, state, and region. Professionals regularly come to the school to attend and respond to student presentations, to conduct workshops, to participate in school events, and to interview graduating students.

Field Trips

All interior architecture students regularly participate in a variety of field trips to important works of design as well as to interior design conventions and product shows.

Opportunities for Foreign Study

Students in their fourth year of study may elect to spend one semester studying abroad in a design studio-based program organized either by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, or by other accredited interior design or architecture programs. A range of program options are available for study abroad and off-campus study offered through the College, as well as study abroad opportunities with approved programs offered by other institutions. Consult the College website for current offerings. Non-studio study abroad tours are typically offered every year and can most often be taken after the first year of study.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Architecture and Design