Interview with an Interior Design Student

I am lucky enough that my sister is my roommate and you are lucky enough that her major is Interior Design. I feel like Interior Design is really misunderstood. Its not just selecting the right size of pillows or the perfect color for curtains. I asked her to answer questions so that you can learn more about Interior Design at IU!

What is Interior Design?

Interior Design is commonly misunderstood to mean “interior decorating.” It is more space planning and organization. Interior designers work with architects, who design the outside of a building. The NCIDQ defines interior design as “a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment.”Interior designers can be responsible for designing everything inside a building from drawing the floor plans to picking out materials used in the space.

A girl holding a model of a room

What type of job can you get once your graduate? 

There are many options for jobs after you graduate. A big question you get asked a lot is whether you want to do commercial or residential design. Commercial design can be anything such as hospitals, offices, hotels, and restaurants. Residential is the design of homes. After you graduate, you could work at an architecture firm, furniture dealerships, product showrooms, and many more.

Do you have to go to graduate school?

It is not required for you to go to graduate school. Some students go on to study architecture or continue interior design studies, but it is not required. There is a four-step process to becoming a registered interior designer, which is education, work experience, exams, and registering for your license.

Why did you decide on Interior Design?

I decided on Interior Design because it is like finding solutions to creative and technical problems. I wanted to do something that brings out my creative side, as well as my mechanical side. One of my teachers describes Interior Design as “creative business,” and I think that is a good way to look at it.

What are your classes like?

My course schedule every semester is pretty structured. The program is planned out so you have to take certain classes each semester. Every semester, except one, you have an interior design studio, which is a three hour long studio where you learn to use design programs and actually work on projects that you would work on as a designer, such as building physical and digital models and creating floor plans. You also have specialty AMID classes where you learn special skills that designers need and some background on the profession. IU also offers a lot of cool electives that you can take if you have room in your schedule.

What is your favorite part of your program?

I really like all of the people I meet through the program. The Interior Design building is kind of on the edge of campus, but it’s not lonely because there is such a good community. There are a lot of bonding moments because you are always with the same people, and it’s nice to have people to talk to when you’re really stressed about a project or test. Also, the program provides a lot of opportunities for students to interact with professional designers and representatives, which are both amazing resources. Networking is an important aspect of interior design, and it is important to make friendly connections with other people in the field.

Where can people go to find out more information about this major?

COAS is a website that has all the information incoming students should know about entering the program. There’s a tab called “Interior Design Major” that tells you about the degree, faculty, laptop requirements, examples of student work, and much more. A good thing to look at is how to earn the degree. There, you can view the program sequence, which allows students to map out their years at IU. I would also recommend visiting the school and taking a tour with one of the Interior Design instructors if possible.

Girls at an IU basketball game

Emily Sexson
Emily Sexson

Junior studying Communication & Culture

My name is Emily Sexson and I am on track to graduate in May 2014. My major is Communication & Culture with a minor in Psychology. I am the President of NSSLHA (National Student Speech, Lanugage, & Hearing Association). I love being a student at IU and living in Bloomington. Fun Fact: My parents were married at Beck Chapel on campus (near the Union and Ballentine Hall) over 20 years ago!

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