Art Institutes

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, and 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

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/2546 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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

  • The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston alumni Ayme Troas

    Ayme Troas

    Interior Design , 2015

    "My education [taught me] how to communicate with other designers. When they ask for particular items by name, I know exactly what they are talking about."

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    Ayme Troas

    Design and Sales for KBK to Trade

    Ayme Troas is working in design and sales for KBK to Trade in San Antonio, Texas. She assists designers in finding the right fabrics, furniture, accessories, and lighting for interior design projects. Ayme also works with vendors to get information for clients and to place orders. “The design industry is always evolving, as are the people. Every once in a while someone comes along and takes the industry by storm. I enjoy learning about the new trends and introducing them to our clients,” she says.

    Ayme finds creative inspiration in the world around her. “Whether it’s people, food, my surroundings, or a movement, there is always something that will spark a start to my next project.” Her creative heroes are people in the design industry who go above and beyond to reach the best possible design outcome. Looking to the future, Ayme believes that computer renderings will continue to improve—and will soon look like actual photographs. “The industry is headed toward more digital advances [including] creating applications for tablets or phones [that will allow designers to make] on-the-spot renderings. These [applications] would be extremely beneficial to designers who are always on the go.”

    Ayme, who in 2015 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from The Art Institute of San Antonio, says that her education taught her the industry language as well as how to be a strong communicator. “When [other designers] ask for particular items by name, I know exactly what they are talking about and therefore I can help them more proficiently. I’m also able to quickly draft plans or create sketches to show custom pieces or room layouts.” She adds that current students should push their creativity and don’t hold back. “Find your signature style but don’t be afraid to explore others.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/2546 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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What Will I Study?

Study Section

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

  • 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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  • 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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  • Rick

    Rick "Coach" Green

    General Education

    "Setting goals is critical, in and out of the classroom."

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    Rick "Coach" Green

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

    My junior year in high school, I was in the food service program. The drama teacher encouraged me to try out for the school play, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. After the director of the food service program saw me act in the play, she encouraged me to go back into regular studies and join the speech team. The next year, I was state champion in Duet Acting and fifth in the nation for Prose/Poetry…and I knew performing was my destiny.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    Adults learn by doing. So when I teach the communication process model, my students act out the different components of the model. It’s an approach that’s based on collaboration and student-centered learning.

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

    I always have students set goals for their learning experience. Setting goals is critical, in and out of the classroom, to help you get and stay motivated.

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  • San Antonio General Education Faculty Christina Dixon

    Christina L. Dixon

    General Education

    "A closed mind never grows."

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    Christina L. Dixon

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

    My purpose in life is to educate people, whether formally or informally. I‘ve always had a strong desire to help others understand the importance of diversity and acceptance. As an African-American woman, I learned very early on that the world isn’t always friendly. But one experience turned it around for me. Early in my professional career, my professor asked me if I’d ever considered teaching. She’d seen my work, and worked with me at charity events. She told me, “If more people had been introduced to the world the way you see it, it might be a better place.” That’s when I decided to try my hand at teaching.

    The change didn’t happen instantly though because I wasn’t swayed.  It took a couple years of convincing from my faithful, persistent mother to get me to go out and actively pursue teaching.  I never saw myself teaching professionally but from what my mother and my professor saw in me, it must have been meant.  Here I am now, enjoying the interaction—both teaching and learning from the many students I encounter each day.

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

    I bring the real world of psychology into the classroom...and show that it doesn’t have to be boring or hard to understand. If I can reshape how my students think and behave by teaching some of the core principles of psychology, they’ll be better prepared to adapt in an ever-changing world—and more open-minded about the people they encounter. I do this by challenging their beliefs and exposing them to fresh insights about people and cultures around the world.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    All my class assignments are focused on discovery. I ask students to research and explore both common, everyday issues and those that are monumental and life-changing. As the quarter progresses, I ask them to explore their own lives...to apply what they’ve learned in class to reshape their lives for the better. Through this process, they learn to appreciate diversity—hopefully to accept themselves despite their flaws, and create unique and personal pieces of art.

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

    A closed mind never grows. An open mind is more exposed to the world. Art demands that you see the world through different lenses. If you want to be successful, you must be open to seeing the world untainted, in its true form. This is how the wise get their wisdom.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    You’re not coming to my class for a counseling session...but you’ll be calmed and enlightened when you leave.


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  • Meghan Pearson HS

    Meghan Pearson

    General Education

    "You only get one body. Take care of it!"

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

    As a dietitian, I’m more of a math and science person, however interacting with aspiring creative professionals in the classroom offers new perspectives on my field and adds a nice balance to my work.  I like to think my background in the sciences helps to balance the creative careers of my students as well.  

    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?

    Nutrition is a unique course in that it applies to everyone on an individual level.  Everybody eats, so everybody can benefit from this class if they choose to.  I like to utilize my professional experience to create opportunities for students to learn hands-on by applying what they’re learning to their own lives, in addition to sharing real-life examples to demonstrate key concepts.

    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?

    I try to balance educating my students on the facts about my field while also encouraging them to form their own opinions about nutrition.  Our class discussions probably best exemplify this approach.  Opening the floor for students to share their opinions on potentially polarizing topics provides an opportunity for individuals’ beliefs, biases, and opinions to be challenged.  Sometimes opinions are changed and sometimes they’re strengthened; but what’s just as important as becoming better informed on these topics is learning how to disagree with peers in a way that is respectful, mature, and constructive.  This is a skill that will take them far in any field.

    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 believe the single most important thing I impart to my students is teaching them to be informed consumers.  My class addresses how to interpret nutrition research, making wise choices in the grocery store, restaurants, and safety in over-the-counter supplements.  I won’t always be there to answer their questions, so my most important job is teaching them how to find the answers themselves.    

    The most critical advice I can offer a student embarking on a creative career is to take care of yourself.  Care for your body and your health.  Your body enables you to pursue your dreams, and your health will directly impact your daily life.  You only get one body.  Take care of it.

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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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