Interior_Design

InteriorDesign

Give me some space, and I'll show you what I can do.

You’re not the only person who has a knack for re-imagining the look of a room, office, or even an entire building interior. For you though, it goes much deeper. You think about how a space connects to the people who use it—and to the environment. If you’re ready to go all-in and make a career out of it, our Interior Design degree program is the place to start. Here, you’ll develop the technical and creative skills to design interior spaces that meet demanding requirements—not just aesthetically, but in terms of safety, accessibility, and sustainability. You’ll be surrounded and inspired by other talented, creatively driven students. And you’ll be pushed, challenged, and, above all else, supported by experienced faculty*. It’ll take total commitment. But it could add up to a career doing what you love.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

Degrees Offered

Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design

Quarter Credit Hours:
90
Timeframe:
6 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes

Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design

Outcomes

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/414 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

  • Problem Solving - Solve complex interior design problems using the design process and their knowledge of interior design principles, theories and applications to analyze the client profile and project program, both individually and collaboratively
  • Communication - Provide interior design services using effective oral, written, and visual communication employing a variety of means, methods and technologies, in both 2- and 3-dimensions
  • Building Systems - Produce interior design solutions that constructively integrate with available building, environmental, and property management systems, as well as prevailing standards of use, maintenance and sustainability
  • Interior Finish Materials - Specify and apply to their interior design solutions finish materials that meet prevailing standards of use, maintenance, sustainability, regulatory compliance, and aesthetics
  • Professionalism - Provide professional services based on the interior design body of knowledge with a standard of care that both meets client needs and protects the health, safety, and welfare of the public in an ethical and legal manner resulting from exposure to academic and real-world experiences

View Academic Catalog

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design

Quarter Credit Hours:
180
Timeframe:
12 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design

Outcomes

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/413 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

  • Problem Solving - Solve complex interior design problems using the design process and their knowledge of interior design principles, theories and applications to analyze the client profile and project program, both individually and collaboratively
  • Communication - Provide interior design services using effective oral, written, and visual communication employing a variety of means, methods and technologies, in both 2- and 3-dimensions
  • Building Systems - Produce interior design solutions that constructively integrate with available building, environmental, and property management systems, as well as prevailing standards of use, maintenance and sustainability
  • Interior Finish Materials - Specify and apply to their interior design solutions finish materials that meet prevailing standards of use, maintenance, sustainability, regulatory compliance, and aesthetics
  • Professionalism - Provide professional services based on the interior design body of knowledge with a standard of care that both meets client needs and protects the health, safety, and welfare of the public in an ethical and legal manner resulting from exposure to academic and real-world experiences

View Academic Catalog

Classroom Experience

If it was easy, anybody could do it.

You have a unique vision—and a strong passion—for designing the spaces where people live and work. Our program is all about turning that passion and vision into a career that's both challenging and rewarding. You'll have the opportunity to learn to design attractive environments that are safe, accessible, and sustainable, while meeting today’s demanding technical requirements and regulations. We’ll start by guiding you through basics like perspective, proportion, color, drafting, and rendering. Then you can to build skills in areas from textiles, furnishings, and lighting to traditional and computerized design and computer-aided drafting. You’ll explore residential, commercial, institutional, and office design with courses in materials and specifications, building and safety codes, sustainable building principles and practices, environmental design, and human factors. See our gainful employment pages for possible careers that match the program that interests you.

Meet Our Alumni

  • Adam

    Adam Clinard

    Fashion Marketing & Management , 2012

    "[My education gave] me confidence in myself, especially in a leadership role."

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    Adam Clinard

    Adam Clinard is working as the manager of new store openings for Soft Surroundings, a women’s clothing store. He is responsible for working with the company’s stores nationwide to ensure that deadlines are met, as well as providing support to new stores, from set up to grand opening. Along the way, he troubleshoots issues and maintains the company’s visual and brand standards. Adam adds that he is on the road 70% of the time.

    “One of the biggest challenges in my career was getting this job,” he says. “Transitioning from store level to corporate is not easy and takes a lot of passion, dedication, and an unwillingness to [give up]. I wanted the transition. I sought opportunities. I applied myself and made it happen.” Every day, he works to prove himself in his management role—and he encourages current students to also dedicate themselves to doing a great job. “Go above and beyond all the time. Never wait for someone to tell you to do it. Just do it and do it better than anyone could ever expect.”

    Adam, who in 2012 earned a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Marketing & Management from The Art Institute of Charlotte, says that his education helped to build his management skills. He adds that being in a creative career means learning to ask questions and do the unexpected. “Being creative comes naturally for some people, for others it doesn't. Be adaptive, be open-minded, ask questions, and do the unexpected. Think outside the box and don't be afraid to ask the ‘dumb’ question, because I guarantee someone else is thinking it too, but just doesn't feel comfortable enough to ask.”

    See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/408 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info. Read More...
  • Ashley Bradley

    Ashley Bradley

    Graphic & Web Design , 2015

    "[The Art Institute of Charlotte] helped me to become confident in my own abilities. [The instructors go over] everything from manners in an interview to knowing how to write a proper email."

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    Ashley Bradley

    As a graphic production artist for Badger Sportswear in Statesville, North Carolina, Ashley Bradley sees up to 100 orders a day come into the company. Badger Sportswear provides athletic uniforms, team uniforms, and athletic apparel to teams across the United States. “Some art is already created and I only have to resize it and make placements. Other times, I receive hand drawn ideas and I get to create art work for customers,” she says. Ashley enjoys the creative atmosphere of her workplace. “Being around creative people is very engaging. I get excited to do something that I love.”

    Ashley is proud to have earned her degree. “I worked the whole time I was in school and it helped me [create a strong résumé].” She adds that she’s always been inspired by famous artists. “From an early age I was impressed by artists like Andy Warhol and Frida Kahlo.”

    Ashley, who in 2015 earned an Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of Charlotte, says that her education provided the knowledge needed to succeed in her career. “[The school] helped me to become confident in my own abilities. [The instructors go over] everything from manners in an interview to knowing how to write a proper email.” She recommends that current students follow their ambition. “So many people told me that I was wasting my time and that I would never find a job, but after working hard and not giving up on my dream, I have succeeded in finding a great job that will be a great stepping stone in furthering my career.”

    See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/410 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info. Read More...
  • Monica D. Smith

    Culinary Arts , 2012

    "The kitchen is the heart of the home and cooking is the vein for pumping out comfort foods. So circulate love with every dish and deliver your family and friends heart-warming meals."

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    Monica D. Smith

    Monica D. Smith is an accomplished TV and radio personality, competing on the first season of Food Network’s primetime series “Guy’s Grocery Games,” participating in the first live online Google+ Hangout MasterChef Cook-a-long, and serving as guest chef on Charlotte’s NBC and CBS local affiliates’ news programs. She’s also the top chef contributor for Charlotte Prowler Magazine and was chef contestant on Food Network’s hit show “Cutthroat Kitchen." This fall she will guest star on “Flip My Food” with Chef Jeff Henderson and Guest Chef in a feature “sizzle-reel” for national TV production show, “The Specialist.” Chef Monica is currently the executive chef at First United Methodist Church in Gastonia, North Carolina, where she’s responsible for planning and managing kitchen staff, procurement, production, and presentation for the church’s family and special events.

    In addition to these many accomplishments, she is a recurring chef presenter at Food Lion’s CIAA Basketball Conference, Food Lion’s ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament and Chef Challenge, and Food Lion’s ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament. Chef Monica is no stranger to Food Lion, a grocery company with over 1,100 locations in the southeast and mid-Atlantic region. In 2013, her Mexican stew recipe was chosen by Food Lion as a featured item at its 2013 ACC Fanfest Chef Challenge. Her combination of culinary arts and nutrition talents makes her a sought-after expert on fresh cooking techniques, modern-styled southern foods, and lightened-up classic dishes. In addition to her culinary pursuits, Monica is the co-founder of the American Association of Suicidology’s “U ok?” youth suicide prevention program. She also hosts cooking classes for the Junior League’s “Kids in the Kitchen” series.

    Chef Monica, who in 2012 earned an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of Charlotte, also holds a degree in Foods and Nutrition from Appalachian State University. In addition to her culinary endeavors, Chef Monica has worked as a high school foods teacher and with Gaston County School Nutrition, ordering and distributing food and supplies for over 33,000 students. She has over 20 years of experience in upper management and leadership positions within the food service, hotel, event planning, and hospitality industries. She adds that she’d like to add the title of “culinary instructor” to her already impressive résumé.

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/404 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info. Read More...

What Will I Study?

Interior_Design_Study

I know what I want. Now show me what I need.

Creating living and working spaces isn’t just about color, light, and materials. It’s about building codes, accessibility, and sustainability. In a rigorous, all-encompassing Interior Design curriculum developed by industry and education innovators to deliver the right balance, you'll study:

  • Traditional and Computerized Design
  • Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD)
  • Space Planning
  • Textiles
  • Lighting
  • Barrier-Free Designs
  • Interior Architectural Systems
  • Residential Design
  • Commercial Design
  • Institutional Design
  • Office Design
  • Materials and Specifications
  • Building and Safety Codes
  • Sustainable Building Principles and Practices
  • Environmental Design
  • Human Factors

I'm looking for my proving ground.

At The Art Institutes system of schools, creativity is our core, our calling, our culture. We know that a creative career isn’t for everyone. It’s only for those who have the confidence and tenacity to make the leap from passion to profession. Our Interior Design degree program reflects the real world and all its challenges. Because it’s tough out there, it’s tough in here. But you’ll have the support you need to make your creativity marketable. We’ll provide the mentoring and real-world experience you need to prevail, with faculty* who’ve worked in the field and internship possibilities at successful businesses. You’ll be encouraged and expected to be bold. To take risks. To push yourself and the people around you. It won’t be easy. In fact, it’ll be the hardest thing you’ll ever love.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

 

Meet Our Faculty

  • Jennifer_Ray

    Jennifer Ray

    Media Arts & Animation

    "Animation isn't just time-consuming, it's life-consuming... but the satisfaction of seeing a finished animation hit the screen makes it all worth it."

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    Jennifer Ray

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I try to incorporate the challenges I’ve faced in the industry into every project. Every due date I assign is a deadline that must be met. Students have to learn to manage their time, create a plan of action, and produce creative content for a “client.” If things go wrong, they learn how to troubleshoot. They learn to avoid trouble by working efficiently and backing up their work. I want every project to teach them not only about the subject, but about professional work practices.


    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    Some of the most real-world assignments I give are group projects. Students work together on a common creative production. For a 2D animated short, for instance, they have devise a production plan, and schedule and divide the duties. They merge their art styles into a single cohesive form. And if just one student doesn't hold up their end, the whole project suffers. They learn to communicate within a team—which for many is much harder than drawing. Each student must take responsibility not only for themselves but each other, and take a leadership role in some capacity. Each student learns their strengths and weaknesses...and what it's like to work in a studio, where you aren't just working in your own little world.


    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    In Animation, there’s a lot of crossover with other majors. Film students’ great sense for camera work and lighting is extremely helpful for Animation students working in visual effects animation and compositing. 2D animators learn by collaborating with Graphic and Web Design students on web ads and campaigns. These fields are so intertwined today that you’ll almost always have some crossover. So getting a chance to work with one another in school is a great opportunity to get a head start.


    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    This is a field where you need to be passionate and driven to succeed. Just phoning it in won't do. Don't waste a single moment, a single opportunity. Animation isn’t just time-consuming, it’s life-consuming. It’ll be difficult. You’ll be tired. You’ll be frustrated. But the satisfaction of seeing a finished animation hit the screen makes it all worth it.


    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Work hard, and don't be afraid of criticism. That’s what helps you grow.


    Read More...
  • Melissa Gamez

    Graphic & Web Design

    "A good concept trumps everything else."

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    Melissa Gamez

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    For me, it’s been more of a life-long interest and enjoyment of creativity and design. I‘ve worked in architecture, animation, video games, web design, and graphic design, and I’ve enjoyed them all.


    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I always relate what I teach in class to real-world situations and experiences. Letting students know that what they’re doing has value—that it applies to the real-world— makes the work more relevant and interesting to them. They understand that this isn’t "busy work," but real skills they’ll be expected to apply in their careers.


    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching, mentoring, and pushing your students beyond their own perceived limits?

    In one of my classes, we play Pictionary®on the first day. I divide the class into two teams and have them use the white board. They’re used to working on the computer and relying on technology, so this exercise gets them out of their comfort zone and shows them they can get the same results using only their brains and a dry erase marker. It also reinforces one of my favorite teaching mantras: a good concept trumps everything else.


    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    When students leave school, they’ll be expected to work with diverse people with different skill sets, expectations, and backgrounds. By collaborating on projects here, they’re preparing for life out there.


    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    The most important thing they can do to be successful is to ask questions when they don't understand what’s expected of them.


    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Be proactive!


    Read More...
  • Mike_Watson

    Mike Watson

    Fashion Design

    "We do so much more than transfer knowledge. We shape individuals and help position them to succeed in life."

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    Mike Watson

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    When I started creating large-format silkscreen works of wearable art in college, there was a "click" of insight that I’d integrated my lifestyle and beliefs with my outward expression of art. When I was actually "seen" and recognized for my work, who I was became an integral part of what I created.


    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I share stories about lessons learned, often to show how failure is a lesson—it doesn’t mean you’re a failure. I also invite professionals to provide their own perspectives. I maintain relationships by consulting and working in the industry to show my students how we never stop learning. And I show them the world of opportunities that the global nature of fashion opens up by having them create videos, mood boards, and presentations that reflect the ever-changing world of fashion.


    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    Here’s one example: I ask students to watch a brief video that reflects one of many perspectives in the industry. Once they’ve discovered what they believe to be the core concepts of the video, they share their viewpoint with another student. They get feedback, and adjust as needed. Then they develop a specific target market that the video appeals to—using industry research sites and describing their target demographically and psychographically. Next, they choose a student who reflects their target and develop a mood board designed to appeal that student. Finally, they create a PowerPoint about the video's concept, mood, and target market, all while explaining why.


    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    I introduce cross-collaborative projects to add a real sense of the industry and employers’ expectations. In fashion, you constantly work with people from other professions—photographers to web designers to graphic designers. In my fashion styling class, students from all those disciplines come together to produce a photoshoot, print media, and a short video for social media. In this interconnected and interdependent world, collaboration is crucial.


    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    I tell them that they each have a unique personal brand, and that it shouldn’t just inform marketing decisions, but guide their decisions in every aspect of their lives. When we fully step into who we are, we gain the confidence to be the truly brilliant person we were meant to be.


    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Learn to listen, observe, persist, and then create with purposeful intention.


    Anything else you’d like to share?

    We do so much more than transfer knowledge. We shape individuals and help position them to succeed in life.

    Read More...
  • Mike_Watson

    Philip J Lloyd

    Culinary Arts

    "Be professional, be punctual, be respectful of others, and develop good communication skills."

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    Philip J Lloyd

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I’ve always loved food. When I was 15, my father told me I should work in a restaurant so I could learn how to cook—and eat—at the restaurant's expense.


    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I have extensive experience in the real culinary world, so I’m able to share "war" stories, funny anecdotes, and tales of both success and woe to help bring the realism into the classroom.


    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    In the Banquet Event Order assignment in my Garde Manger class, I emphasize that a chef needs to be well-rounded in the kitchen, the office, and the board room. The project incorporates good menu planning, recipe development and food costing for profit.


    How do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their perceived limits?

    I help them use their strengths to overcome their perceived weaknesses.


    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    Collaboration teaches students the importance of networking with folks outside their own area of focus. They learn communication skills by “educating” their student peers. When I’ve brought Photography students in to shoot culinary work, it’s helped my students better understand the importance of basic culinary skills and plating techniques. We’ve also teamed up with students from Graphic Design classes; students from each discipline act as prospective “customers” for the other.


    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Be professional, be punctual, be respectful of others, and develop good communication skills.


    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Stay humble, and stay hungry for your profession and for knowledge.


    Read More...
The Art Institute of Michigan alumni Calvert Griffin [My education] helped me to learn how to be an effective teammate and work well with others. Calvert Griffin
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, 2014, The Art Institute of Michigan