Art Institutes

Interior Design

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Build a better future.

You can learn to make things that are smarter, simpler, and better—from the tools people use to the places where they live and work.

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Interior Design Bachelor’s Program is to prepare students to obtain entry-level positions in their field and function as trained professionals. Students conceive and develop viable design solutions within the interior environment utilizing creative, critical, and technical methodologies. They are prepared for the purpose of improving the quality of life, increasing productivity, and protecting the health, safety, and wellbeing of the public by incorporating function, aesthetics, and environmentally sustainable products. By meeting the educational goals, students should develop an attitude of flexibility and a desire for life-long learning necessary to meet the changing demands of the interior design profession..

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Interior Design Program Image

Interior Design

Tricia Wright

Interior Design , 2015

The Art Institute of California—Sacramento, a campus of Argosy University

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You can develop the technical and creative skills to design attractive interior spaces that meet strict requirements for safety, accessibility, and sustainability.

Meet our Faculty

  • San Antonio Architecture & Design Instructor Analy Diego

    Analy Diego

    Interior Design

    "As a designer, you'll never lose. You'll either win, or you'll learn."

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    Analy Diego

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

    I was introduced to the art world at the age of six by my grandfather, a skilled caricaturist. From that moment, I knew I wanted to create and inspire for the rest of my life.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?


    I believe all design students are creatively unique, and as such they should be taught in a way that enhances their individual learning styles and passions. All my assignments allow students to explore opportunities and seek answers on their own...my main goal is to help them learn to think critically, and to have their own voice as designers.

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

    As an example, the window assignments with visual merchandising force students to push themselves creatively in ways that they haven’t before. After completing the assignment, they’re extremely proud to have work they can add to their portfolio

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?


    Collaboration plays a major role in all design work. Encouraging students to reach out to one another to solve problems and share knowledge not only builds teamwork and leadership skills, but leads to deeper learning and understanding.

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

    As a designer, you’ll never lose. You’ll either win, or you’ll learn.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I like to think of myself as a storyteller...only I use art instead of words.

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  • Adam Nash HS

    Adam Nash-Galvan

    Interior Design

    "Collaboration is a constant for any design discipline."

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    Adam Nash-Galvan
    What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    There really was not a single, defining moment for me. As a child, I was interested in all things artistic and would write and construct my own story books that I forced my mom to read to me every night. Growing up, I always wanted to change everything in my bedroom. I would move furniture around, create displays of my toys, and beg for new bedding each year. I questioned everything about human behavior. When we would go to the doctor, I would ask why people sat far away from one another or why people wanted to see the door. Initially, I thought I should study Psychology when I went to college and, although I enjoyed Psychology, it was a fellow student that directed me to Interior Design. I didn’t even know that was a major. As soon as I visited the department, I knew that was what I needed to do.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

    I don’t think it would be possible to teach courses without bringing in my professional experiences and background. I have been fortunate to teach so many diverse classes at The Art Institute [of San Antonio] and each one incorporates my experiences in the design field. I often tell stories that relate to the lecture and the students and I will discuss what I could have done / should have done under the circumstances. I show examples of past professional projects and take the students to visit firms or other professionals that I have worked with.  

    Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    There is not necessarily a single assignment that exemplifies my approach to teaching but I try to encourage students to break their preconception of the role of interior design by challenging them to look at their projects in a holistic way. Rather than focusing on the solution to the design problem, I ask students to investigate all potential impacts that their designs may have on anyone that comes into contact with the space. Seeing design as a way to enhance the daily lives of a building’s occupants is much more rewarding for anyone involved and can lead to a more comprehensive solution than a purely aesthetic decision. Additionally, my goal is to expose the students to the possibilities of design and their capacity for innovation and we do this through classroom experience as well as community involvement.

    What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

    Collaboration is a constant for any design discipline. Students in interior design must be able to collaborate with a variety of team members, interior design and otherwise. The interior design profession is based on team work. In multiple courses, students work with fellow interior design students as well as faculty and students from other disciplines to create more beneficial design solutions. No matter the design discipline, students must be able to gather information from a variety of sources in order to effectively solve problems.  

    In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

    I would hesitate to say that there is a single important thing that helps students succeed. Overall, though, students must remain open to all possibilities and experiences in order to be successful in their careers. Interior design is a continuously evolving field and learning does not end with graduation. Whether it is new software, new research, or just encountering new clients the interior designer has to remain fluid to this evolution and keep striving for innovative design solutions that are relevant to the social and cultural context within which they are designing.

    Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you, your experience, or your role as a faculty member at The Art Institutes?

    Having taught a number of classes from foundations courses to senior-level courses, I think it’s important to note that the role of the faculty is often as a resource for the students rather than solely a lecturer. We are willing to help in whatever way is necessary so that our students succeed in their career. Sometimes this means that we are counselors and other times we are the disciplinarians but it is all in an attempt to prepare each student for success in their chosen career path.

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  • Judy Ruvuna

    Judy Ruvuna

    Interior Design

    "Don’t be afraid to fail—failure has generated some of the most innovative design solutions."

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    Judy Ruvuna

    What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I was intensely curious as a child, always asking, "Why?" I wanted to know how things worked and frequently created my own toys by pulling things apart to create the toys.  Drawing eventually became a way for “keeping me out of trouble” by creating things on paper.  I realized that I wanted to be a creative professional in high school when I created a set for a play that I had written.  Building the set and painting the scenes was a lot of work; it also made me realize how powerful design could be.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

    I design projects and assignments to improve the student’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills and use my industry experience to bring real-world context to the material that I teach in the classroom.  I make sure that the students have a clear understanding of the design process and explore typical questions and problems associated with each phase of the design process. This allows the students to learn how to conceptualize, explore, define and produce. The students then go into the production phase with the best possible design solutions for every project they work on.  They also learn how to communicate, critique, provide feedback and collaborate on ideas as if were working in industry.   

    Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    When students come to CAD I (Computer Aided Drafting) they are initially a bit overwhelmed; some of them having never used a computer to draw or design.  Each new group of students come into the class with different skill sets; the challenge is to get all the students ready to design their final project and produce a set of construction documents.  I use targeted assignments, tutoring and create a collaborative learning environment.  The students are always amazed at what they can do.   

    What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

    Collaborating and sharing ideas is vital for generating new and innovative ideas.  In my classes where I have Interior Design and Design & Technical Graphics students, collaboration has produced some really interesting projects.  Students are exposed to a different way of thinking and solving problems.

    In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

    Find something that you are really passionate about, work hard, and don’t be afraid to fail. Failure has generated some of the most innovative design solutions.  Remember that the world is full of creative designers; never ever stop learning.


    Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you, your experience, or your role as a faculty member at The Art Institutes?


    I had always been concerned that having a background in Textiles, Interior Design, Architecture and Historic Preservation, I would have to choose. As a faculty member at The Art Institute of San Antonio, I get to use all of my experience.

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  • Rebecca Kerr Portrait

    Rebecca Kerr

    General Education

    "Continue to refine your speaking skills so that the ability to communicate never stands in the way of your success."

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    Rebecca Kerr
    Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    Just the act of Public Speaking often pushes students outside their comfort zone. Standing up in front of a full classroom with all eyes on you can be uncomfortable. Then students must organize their ideas and clearly present them to the class. That can be terrifying! Students often enter my class believing they can't stand up and deliver a speech to their peers. However, I provide the students with coping mechanisms, skill development, and a safe environment allowing them to deliver not only one but many speeches.

    What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?


    Collaboration in a communication class serves a dual purpose. Collaboration allows students to improve their group communication skills, as well as develop an end result that is better than any single group member could do alone. Working in a group challenges students to clearly express their ideas, mediate during disagreements, compromise for the good of the project, lead, follow, and much more. Additionally by bringing students from different fields of study and diverse backgrounds together, students' own ideas, abilities, and limitations are challenged often resulting in a better end product.

    In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

    I work to ensure students leave my class with the ability to clearly and effectively communicate their ideas. I believe the ability to skillfully convey abstract ideas, like those often found in art, can set an artist apart from their peers. In the creative career field, students will be asked to communicate on many levels. They will pitch ideas, lead groups, speak to investors, and hopefully deliver acceptance speeches. My advice to students: Continue to refine your speaking skills so that the ability to communicate never stands in the way of your success.

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  • Pachecano HS

    Robert Pachecano, M.A.

    General Education

    "The most critical advice I give to students is to never accept things at face value."

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    Robert Pachecano, M.A.
    What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I have come to find a home at The Art Institute of San Antonio.  I thought it was going to be a challenge to teach the discipline of Sociology in a creative environment but I come to find that it blends very well in the creative environment of Ai San Antonio.  If I can point to a defining moment, it would be when my first term teaching, on the last day of class, some of my students’ final words to me were, “This is the BEST class I have ever taken.”  “I learned A LOT.”  “You are the BEST instructor I’ve EVER had.”  “I didn’t think I was going to make a connection with sociology and ________” (insert graphic design, game art design, interior design, fashion management, culinary, etc.).  The impact that I have had on students has been far reaching and rewarding at the same time.  


    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?


    I often tell my students on the first day of class that teaching sociology is only one of the many jobs I have had in the community.  Along with a career in academia, I have been a social worker and a case manager.  I have worked with diverse populations in this area:  from single mothers, to survivors of domestic violence, from homeless veterans and veterans undergoing drug treatment, to people coming in and going out of the federal prison system, witness protection, and federal probationers.  I very much draw from the experiences and the interactions I have had with different people and this has given me the unique perspectives I take in class.  It has also given me ability to be patient and really listen to what people are saying, or trying to communicate to you.  Making a connection is often the simplest thing someone can do, to make the biggest impact on anyone you meet and interact with.  

    Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    If I can point to one particular assignment in my course, it would be the paper and presentation.  The paper involves them choosing a current social problem in our society today and they have to incorporate a chapter from the textbook, along with other sources online and research.  This allows them to synthesize everything we’ve discussed in class and apply it in some way in the analysis that goes into their paper.  THEN, they also have to present their paper to the class as well.  Those who are writing challenged are challenged to really focus their thoughts unto paper.  Those who are presentation shy are challenged to come out of their shells.  These are two skills that students must master before they get out there in real world.  They have to be able to effectively present their thoughts in writing AND they have to be able to express those thoughts to other people.  I simply use the perspective sociology gives students to help them accomplish this. 

    I often say, no matter your major:  graphic design, game art design, interior design, fashion management, culinary, etc.; you will be dealing with people, as customers, as clients and the like.  Sociology as a discipline helps you do this.  Understanding the groups people inhabit and the effect groups have on people as individuals  gives students, who are future creative professionals an edge no one else has.  The most critical advice I give to students is to never accept things at face value.  That, the real challenge lies in seeking the real reasons why things happen, why people act the way they do.  This is critical because we live in a world now where things are just accepted as truth, because it’s on a website, or someone important said it. 

    Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you, your experience, or your role as a faculty member at The Art Institutes?

    I do what I do because of education.  Education is many things.  Education is empowerment.  Education is liberty and liberation.  It is a driving force that fuels the future; that enables people to carry on even when the odds, the challenges the barriers seem insurmountable. I am living proof of this.  I am proud to say, I am from the westside of San Antonio, born and raised.  I come from humble beginnings where sacrifice for education was the mantra; was the mission statement; was the vision.  Education above all else was something my migrant worker grandparents and parents instilled in me from the beginning, for two simple reasons.  That is the only way you can be truly free, and it is, “the only thing that they can’t take away from you”, as my mother would say.  


    Education is my mission. Sociology is my passion.  Service to others and empowerment fuel my values.  This is all I know.  It is all I have grown up with, it is what was given to me and what I give to students in class.  Because I am still a student (in a doctoral program), being able to relate to students and all they go through is just as important as course material and concepts. I know I have faced the same, exact odds, barriers and challenges. Every day I step into a classroom, I carry all of this with me.  I pride myself on being flexible and understanding; but still expect everyone to give all they have to their educational endeavors.  This is because this is what was expected of me, not just from teachers and professors, or researchers; but from my family, alive and in heaven now.  No matter what you have going on, how bad it seems, how impossible things seem to get; education is the solution to it all.  It is what will ensure a brighter future.

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  • Vanessa Langton Portrait

    Vanessa Langton

    General Education

    "Work hard and always give your best—your work is a direct representation of yourself and your abilities!"

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    Vanessa Langton
    What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    As a kid I made drawings regularly. When fellow students and teachers began to recognize my potential, I thought maybe there was something to art and creative expression. My mother nurtured my interests in art by taking me to museums regularly to look at the works of great artists and she bought me art supplies to practice. I knew very young that I could not live without art and art history in my life.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

    Prior to teaching art history I worked as a graphic designer and I know what it is like to be an ambitious art student trying to prep a portfolio to hunt for a job. As an art historian, I also know how important it is to be able to describe your artwork through written and spoken words. Through art history, students learn not only about different eras in art, but they also learn how to talk about art. These skills can be applied to any area of study—graphic design, the culinary arts, game art design, photography, etc.

    Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    At the end of each quarter, my students are required to give an oral presentation. Not only does the student have to research a specific artist or art era, but they have to put together a slide show, a script, and present this to a room of their peers. This pushes the student towards a goal as they are faced with a deadline.

    What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

    Perhaps when students are assigned to work together they end up discussing their chosen areas of studies through a critical point of view and look beyond the surface to acquire meaning. They could question the who, what, and why using methods of formal analysis to all areas of the creative spectrum.

    In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

    Work hard and always give your best—your work is a direct representation of yourself and your abilities!

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