Board of Regents approves new interior architecture and design degree


LAWRENCE — The Kansas Board of Regents approved the new Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Interior Design (IAD) program at the University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design on September 20.

“All of us at the School of Architecture and Design (Arc/D) are delighted that the IAD degree that we have wanted to offer for many years is now a reality,” said Dean Mahesh Daas. “Our goal is to produce well-rounded industry leaders.

“There are many interiors programs out there, but we know of no other that immerses students in such a diversity of classroom work,” he said. “It really is an interdisciplinary degree. We designed it to take advantage of all that we offer in our academic programs and research institutes, which focus on health and well-being, sports and entertainment, smart cities and design-build .”

“Most IAD graduates will earn the M.Arch. master’s degree in two years or less. This degree is required if a person eventually wants to obtain a license to practice architecture,” said Associate Dean Mike Swann, who was instrumental in creating the degree.

Explaining how this program differs from the traditional Master of Architecture offered by Arc/D, Nilou Vakil, Director of Strategic Initiatives at the school, said, “What is unique about KU’s IAD program is that its courses are drawn from the architecture as well as the visual. the communication and industrial design courses which are part of the school’s BFA.

“IAD students will focus more on the experience of spaces, their performance and their relationship to the larger built environment,” she said. “Emphasis is also placed on how interior spaces are formed, programmed, configured, as well as acoustics, lighting, graphics, furnishings and finishes. We want our graduates to understand how to solve almost any type of interiors problem.

“Regardless of building type, more than half of all architectural services now encompass architecture and interior design,” Vakil said. “The development of our IAD program recognizes that there is a demand for commercial interiors specialists. The work carried out by graduates of our program will encompass all aspects of the design and integration of interiors and user experiences in all types of buildings. »

“In addition to overwhelming demand from prospective students, our alumni have pushed for us to create an IAD program, integrated with our architecture and design offerings, and are overwhelmingly supportive,” Daas said.

Students who have not yet enrolled at KU can apply now for admission to IAD, which will begin in Fall 2018. Inquiries about the program can be emailed to Gera Elliott, Admissions Coordinator , at

Physical study model of the Denver Arts Center, with an emphasis on interior architecture, by Elayna Svigos and Monica Mong, students of Nilou Vakil, Arc/D Director of Strategic Initiatives.


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