Jul 20, 2024  
2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog 
2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Interior Design Program

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Robinson, MB, MS - University of Massachusetts (Amherst)
Matthews, D. (Chair), MArch - Miami University

Interior design involves the study and transformation of the environment at the human scale. Interior designers understand how the design of furnishings, function, and space can improve the quality of life. As licensed professionals, interior designers analyze complex design challenges involving interior construction and technical considerations related to issues such as lighting, acoustics and mechanical systems. Their designs must meet code issues involving fire, electricity, structure, occupancy and materials. Interior design is broader than interior decorating, which focuses primarily on furniture and finishes.

In designing the micro-environment for specific functions or programs, interior designers are knowledgeable about how users experience space. Interior designers understand how each detail of a design affects the overall concept.

The goal of an education in interior design is to develop a synthetic thought process of critical thinking and creative problem solving, while building technical knowledge and an understanding of the human environment. Creative thinkers, in architecture and interior design, must address all aspects of the built environment in its cultural, social, and ethical context.

The interior design program is professionally accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). All graduates, with sufficient internship experience after graduation, are eligible to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam.

Progression and Retention

Upon admission to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the college, students may begin the interior design major. Progression into third year occurs after completion of IDS 272 .

For progression into third year, students must meet the following criteria.

For retention, student must meet the following criteria.

  • Before enrolling in any interior design course, a grade of C or better must be made in each prerequisite required interior design course.
  • Cumulative grade point average of 2.3 or greater.
  • Grade of I must be removed before registration for next interior design course.

For graduation from the interior design program, students must meet the following criteria.

  • Grade of C or better in all interior design courses.

Special Programs in Interior Design

Required Summer Internship

All interior design students are required to have a professionally based summer internship. The faculty will help students find 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 design program in the state, the interior design program tries to maintain a close relationship with the interior design 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 design 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 program organized either by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, or by other accredited architecture programs. Since 1988, the school has had a very successful exchange agreement with the University of Krakow in Poland. In 2006, the college established a summer semester abroad program, the Finland Summer Architecture Institute in association with the distinguished Helsinki University of Technology’s Department of Architecture.

In cooperation with Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS), a program is regularly offered in Copenhagen which attracts architecture students from around the world. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the following study abroad/exchange programs: International Advanced Architectural Design Program (IAAD) at the Bauhaus University Weimar, Germany; Dessau Summer School of Architecture in Dessau, Germany; the Royal Melbourne Institute of Architecture in Melbourne, Australia, and mini term – grand tour programs open to all Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Interior Design students, listing: Sweden, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Gulf of Finland.

During the summer, many different summer programs abroad sponsored by other architecture schools are available to UT Knoxville students for transfer credit. Students are encouraged to seek new educational experiences.

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