Program Learning Outcomes

Mission Statement

Our Department is about: “Designing the total Spatial Experience” from the first moment of encounter to the last moment of interaction. We believe that the strength of a project’s message is based in the power of our design story and the context that drives the project, the interaction, and the emotional interface. Our Department masters a wide range of spatial experiences in many scales from brand driven retail design, hospitality design to theme-based restaurants, residential and exhibit & exhibition spaces. We see ourselves delivering a stronger and more inclusive spatial experience driven by the responsible use of materials and manufacturing & building practices. Our passion is about designing everything inside the box as well as re- defining what, where and why the box is. Because of our involvement with spatial experiences, we are leaders in the design of furniture, lighting and interior components. We are looking to address the needs of a design driven future, rich in meaning, use and function, built on a foundation of strong research, conclusion and development.

This is a global sense of design, which investigates every aspect of where and how we live, work and play. In this way we train, instruct and nurture great designers that explore projects with a deep understanding of content, need and brand, with the ability to communicate a strong narrative solution in meaningful ways. This is an evolution of a new type of designer, a designer who truly grasps the importance of being a visionary, while addressing responsible sustainable brand design. We strive to create design to improve life regardless of location and scale. We approach design from the inside out. By understanding what the emotional outcome/need is, we are able to craft a stronger message to craft our experiences. This enables our students to address a broader range of outcomes whether that is total spaces, places or individual objects.

We must continually explore how we can blend technology, our humanity and our potential, while addressing the complex needs to develop a new vocabulary for experience. In the future, we need to enhance ergonomics, add to our simplicity of use and create a far more meaningful, emotional takeaway in all that we design. It is our intention to show that by having a strong grasp on the history of design, an astute awareness of present design trends and a long gaze on the future that we can contribute to the way in which future design interfaces, supports and drives our culture. We strive to create a new type of designer who will be influential and will strive to make a difference. We are about contribution, interaction and enrichment. We strive to be influential. We aspire to make design to improve life.

Think 3D

  • Our students have an interest in place-making: through the manipulation of space, the design of furniture, lighting, fixtures, and media. We have students with an interest in creating environments, which are contributing by interaction, rich in content and context.

Scale, Dimension, Impact

  • Understanding scale, dimension and impact. Our students understand the impact of designing experience. They have a strong grasp of brand-driven design for themed and experience-based environments: restaurants, hospitality, retail and the home. Our students can work equally well at small scale (furniture and lighting, retail kiosks and exhibit design) as well as large scale (planning urban projects, parks and hotels). Our students have the ability to look at the big picture as well as its details, whether it is commercial, contract or residential design projects. We have students, faculty and a program that is interested in improving the human experience day to day and feel comfortable with time / space / planar relationships.

Process, Meaning

  • Our students can ‘connect the dots’. They look beyond the single object, moment, page or place to see how they collectively make an impact. Our students can participate and lead in any area of the design process. They can initiate and direct research, ideation and the design development process. They understand that human experience is the basis of our design evaluation and the root of our process. They also understand how to deliver the message / story / and content that drives a project. Our students design projects from the inside out, driven by need and meaning. This allows our students to be educated as design creatives with a wide opportunity for career application. In other words, a “designer with an extensive design theory background”, who can apply themselves in a multi-disciplinary broad based way.

Careful Balance

  • Our students have a careful balance between skill sets and conceptual abilities. They have a clear understanding of how one empowers the other. They have a rich foundation in materials & building which is balanced with a strong and articulate ability to research, form conclusion and build strong Design Story. Our students explore several full-build projects, not just model-making, but full-size working prototypes, producing a high level of build awareness. They are exposed to a strong background in sustainability, material exploration and responsible building & manufacturing processes.

Entrepreneurial Spirit and Adaptability Author

  • Our students tend to be interested in charting their own course as opposed to being part of a corporate structure. Environmental Design students choose their focus / career trajectory, based on their own personal voice. This is a huge plus in an era of cross-disciplinary design. Many of our students launch their own studios a few short years after graduation. More than any other major Environmental design students can participate and contribute in many different fields of design. We do fit ‘in between’ just as well as have the ability to see the big picture in leading a design process. Because our scale, time, and space shift, students move freely and where needed in team-based situations. Our grads understand non-linear design strategy, material as motivation and physical outcomes.