Krista Atkins Nutter, LEED AP, MS Arch, NCIDQ
Interior Design Instructor
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division
In the interior design profession, deadlines aren't negotiable. Krista Atkins , Interior Design Instructor , The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
I’ve been creative all my life, whether through music, theater, fine arts, or design.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
I use examples from my professional career to reinforce and supplement classroom discussion. I tend to teach courses that closely align with my professional experience, such as Sustainable Design.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?
I’m particularly proud of an assignment I wrote for INTA312 Global Design, where students design a prototype for a temporary/mobile refugee shelter. I believe in volunteerism and community service, so I was happy to see that included in our curriculum.
How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?
Teamwork is paramount to interior designers, who work with engineers, architects, vendors, contractors, and skilled tradespeople. In sustainable design especially, integrated design teams are essential in ensuring that the design meets energy efficiency and performance criteria.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
Organizational skills, punctuality, and meeting deadlines may seem like just a list of soft skills to add to a resume. But in the interior design profession, deadlines aren’t negotiable. Not meeting a deadline could cost commercial clients thousands of dollars in lost revenue. That’s why I stress the importance of building good, professional habits now.