Interior architecture: reshaping the future


Creative design is built from the inside out.

A new generation of interior designers are learning to shape the spaces that define our lives, and they are building from within.

Construction cranes swarming the Seattle skyline signal an exploding demand for professionals who can combine design know-how and construction skills to meet the 21st-th century human needs. This blend of technical skills and artistic flair finds expression in an interior design degree. “You can get an arts education and have a successful and viable career that is artistic in nature and that really intersects with technology, architecture and construction,” says Christine Bateman, vice president of communications at Cornish College of the Arts.

Department Chair Julie Myers, a nationally recognized interior designer, founded the Cornish Interior Design Department and Program to combine hands-on learning with socially engaged design.. “Our goal,” she says, “is to involve our students in projects that help cities, neighborhoods and communities see how design, science and the arts can improve the quality of life.”

Interior design goes beyond aesthetics to study how design can tackle social issues like homelessness. Architects can consult sociologists, anthropologists, and construction industry professionals to forge new solutions.

The Interior Design Department, City of Sandpoint, Idaho, and the Eureka Institute recently began work on concept design to include affordable housing on a 77-acre mixed-use plot of land. Their concepts were to include: up to 100 affordable housing units “small houses”; wild wetland; a small biodynamic farm; a community recreation center; a Waldof K-12 boarding school; up to 100 high density residential housing units; and a sustainably designed mix of roads / walkways, commercial and light industrial land uses.

“The civic world and the corporate world are looking for people who solve problems creatively, who are collaborative citizens, who are innovators,” says Bateman. “And that’s what we do at Cornish. “

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