Michael S. Grefe

Interior Design

Interior Design Instructor
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Michael S. Grefe

If you can visualize it, you can draw it. If you can draw it, you can design it. If you can design it, you can present it to your clients. Michael S. Grefe , 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 always loved to draw. At a design school career discovery program, I participated in a design forum that helped inspire me to pursue a career in the field.

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


I share my work experiences, and I tell students to dream big and that they can achieve any goal... but make sure you deliver the goods by having a world-class resume and by understanding your future employer’s business model and how you can help it grow.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

From concept to design to construction, I use a holistic approach to Interiors and Building Design as I show students how to connect the dots to make their ideas become a reality.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

Teamwork is key to any successful interior design project, because many hands are involved. The designer needs to know their role in a project; I show students how to communicate their ideas both visually and verbally as part of a team.

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


Be accountable, responsible, and proactive in defining your goals. No one is going to hire you just because you have a good grades. They’ll hire you because you have the skills they need and because you have a passion, enthusiasm, determination, and dedication to hard work.

Anything else you’d like to share?


My motto is, “If you can visualize it, you can draw it. If you can draw it, you can design it. If you can design it, you can present it to your clients.”