Read about Susan Appleton, AIA, her students, and their project in the current issue of Texas Architect.
Interior Design at The University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture
by Rebecca Boles, AIA
Interior Design at The University of Texas at Arlington was established as a program within the School of Architecture in 1974 and with the other degree programs in Architecture and Landscape Architecture, the School covers the range of scales in environmental design.
An undergraduate program, the curriculum is decidedly architectural since the foundation requirements for the Interior Design degree and the undergraduate Architecture degree are identical for all freshman and sophomore students. Graduates emerge with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design accredited by both the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The outcome of this shared curriculum is that UT Arlington Interior Design students tend to think architecturally and approach design problems spatially. Our belief is that design work benefits most from the shared application of design fundamentals across the disciplines. We strive to educate interior designers that will be valuable contributors to a project team inclusive of architects, engineers, and consultants.
UT Arlington interior design graduates are employed in interior design and architectural firms, both locally and nationally. In addition, some graduates have also found successful careers in a wide range of allied fields such as graphic design, art consulting, theater set design, way-finding, furniture design, accessibility consulting, lighting design and design education.
The Program of Interior Design has developed innovative courses to take advantage of learning outside the classroom. The History of Interior Design, Architectural Lighting, and Interior Materials are all taught with a weekly field trip to significant built works, interior design offices, or manufacturers serving the interior design industry in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In addition, Interior Design students have taken educational tours every May since 2007 to destinations such as New York City, Paris, Barcelona, and even a road trip across Texas.
Interior Design students have been successful in campus as well as nationwide competitions.
Recent wins included a UT Arlington campus award for sustainability and national placing in the Robert Bruce Thompson Student Light Fixture Design Competition (seven award winners in total including the first place award in 2009) and The Planning and Visual Education Partnership (PAVE) 3D Design Challenge for 2012.
The strength of Interior Design studies at The University at Arlington is that it is an established program in an active market center. The program offers professional preparedness to students through active learning, both inside and outside the classroom.
Rebecca Boles, AIA, is the interior design program director and a registered interior designer.