Today’s building industry demands a new breed of design professionals. More than ever, employers and clients are turning to dynamic creatives who bridge the gap between architects and interior designers. These professionals use both art and science to solve the evolving issues of user experience, accessibility and sustainability.
At BJU, you’ll learn to participate on architecture and design teams to create smart environments across the arenas of healthcare, retail, education, workplace and the home. You’ll develop an eye for detail and master both the technical and aesthetic demands of an architectural project—from researching and choosing materials to space-planning within specific building codes. You’ll gain a strong foundation in art and design theory, and you’ll combine that foundation with practical industry knowledge and technological training.
Modern designers combine the science of architecture with the art of interior design. Designers with an education in interior architecture are part of the building process from the ground up—from construction to color, lighting, furnishings and textures. As an interior architecture and design student, you’ll focus on how the buildings impact the people living and working inside of them. The courses you take will prepare you with professional understanding of several design aspects:
- Form (Aesthetics)—Color theory and the ability to select materials that present a unified look to a space is crucial. Courses in drawing, graphics and foundational design instill a strong understanding of using color intentionally to bring art and design to life.
- Safety—You’ll learn how to keep spaces free from obstructions, use fire-retardant materials and finishes, maintain good air quality, and further, to serve the people who use the space.
- Accessibility—The Americans with Disabilities Act requires many features in commercial spaces and recommends many in residential spaces that make it easy for people to use spaces without calling attention to themselves. You’ll learn how to make your spaces welcoming and helpful to all kinds of people.
- Function—The function of a space concerns the goal of the user. Function must be considered from the beginning of the design plan, and all decisions must be weighed against it.
- Sustainable Design—You’ll learn how to design spaces that use renewable resources, have limited negative impact on the environment and connect people with the natural environment.
- Graphic Presentation—You’ll take graphic design courses, enter contests and complete studio design projects to develop skills in page layout, branding and digital imaging. This knowledge broadens the application and value of your education and instills confidence in presenting a professional, polished product.
You’ll also develop the skills to master the latest architecture and design technology: AutoCAD, Revit Architecture, SketchUp, SU Podium, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
By the time you graduate, you’ll have a strong foundation in the creative process, a professional portfolio and valuable on-the-job experience through your senior internship.
At BJU, you’ll build a foundation in critical thinking and living as a light for God’s kingdom. Courses in English and speech will give you the skills to communicate effectively with clients and co-workers orally and in writing. Other liberal arts courses, such as economics, philosophy and science, will round out your education and help you develop important life skills like problem-solving and analytical thinking. In addition, you’ll experience a wide variety of fine arts events, including plays, operas and concerts, which will inspire your imagination and creativity.
Core Bible courses will help you grow more confident in the truth of God’s Word and encourage sharing your faith with others. You’ll also learn how to apply principles from these courses to your business practices and ethics.
You’ll have a lot of flexibility when it comes to picking electives. Some of the best options include photography and additional art courses so you can expand your design skill set. Business and accounting courses are other great options, especially if you’re interested in small businesses or entrepreneurship.
Kara Franseen, ’16
Interior Designer at LS3P Associates Ltd.
When I first began in the interior design program, I had little to no understanding of either the definition or scope of “interior design.” All I knew was that the Lord was leading me to explore this knack I had for understanding space and caring about how those spaces affected people. Fast-forward almost five years, and I’m working as an interior designer in a commercial art and design firm in Greenville, South Carolina, and thriving.
As I progressed through class after class—from History of Interior Design to Graphics for Interior Design to Sustainable Design—I learned that interior design is, at its core, creative problem-solving. As interior designers we meet people right where they live and work, implementing strategies to effectively impact their experience for the better. We look at communication problems or productivity problems (which are just the tip of the iceberg), and then figure out what we can do in the space to enhance collaboration among employees or encourage students to be fully engaged. The interior architecture and design program at BJU equips its students with the best possible skill set to go out into the industry and set the standard just a little bit higher than it was before.
This program teaches more than space-planning or codes—it teaches design as a whole. I learned how to brainstorm ideas, evaluate client needs, think conceptually and work out a solution piece by piece until the best possible result was achieved. I love the challenge that is interior design, and I fully believe that this program equipped me in the best way possible to succeed as a designer in this field.
I would encourage anyone who cares about details, who loves a challenge or who senses an ability to understand the spaces around them to consider BJU’s interior architecture and design program. It is difficult and fascinating and worth every late night spent working on projects.
Architects and designers are emerging as leaders in developing buildings that respond to human needs within a space. The interior design program at BJU opens the door to many career possibilities including:
- Professional AutoCAD draftsperson
- BIM (Revit) specialist
- Project manager
- Custom home designer
- Commercial designer
- Residential designer
- Kitchen and bath designer
- Entrepreneur/business owner
- Healthcare facilities designer
- Space planner
- Property manager
- Real estate development and event stager
- Product designer
- Product sales representative
- Organization specialist
- Visual merchandise manager
- Furniture restoration or refinishing
Some of our interior design graduates pursue further education and have been accepted into graduate schools including:
- Winthrop University
- Academy of Art University
- Clemson University
- New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk University
Our graduates have held various positions, including:
- Designer with Fowler Interiors, LS3P Architects, Young Office Environments, Greenville Health System, DP3 Architects, PMC Commercial Interiors, Alfred Williams, Craig Gaulden & Davis Architects, Reflex Lighting Group, Postcard from Paris, LPC Interiors, Atmosphere Designs, Sierra Verde Home Design Center, IA Interior Architects, Mayme Baker, Dillard-Jones Custom Homes
- Assistant store manager, 4Rooms
- Architectural engineer, Architectural Components Group
BJU offers students a variety of ways to network with employers and organizations. A multitude of job opportunities are posted each year on Career Central, our online job board. In addition, more than 60 businesses and 150 Christian schools/mission boards/Christian organizations come on campus to recruit students through on-campus interviews and job/ministry fairs.
Career Services also helps students by holding seminars on resume preparation and interview techniques.
The interior architecture and design studio comes equipped with an excellent selection of tools and resources that you can use. You’ll have access to drafting equipment, a blueprint machine, a library of reference books and a selection of fabric and finish materials and catalogs. Additionally, computer labs on campus come equipped with design software (including InDesign and Photoshop) that you can use. Our on-campus copy center is super convenient and helpful (especially as you assemble your computer-generated drawings and plans for projects and your end-of-program portfolio).
Preparing you for the Future
Many positions in architecture and design and architecture require professional interior design licensure, so naturally you’ll want to be prepared for the exam. That’s why we’ve designed the program to meet all the standards of the Council for Interior Design Accreditation—including the number of hours in art and design courses you’ll take and the subjects that are covered. The program also includes pre-architecture training, so you could continue your education with a master’s degree in architecture.
Connecting with Professionals
Connecting with professionals in your field is a great way to learn and grow in your passion and skills. That’s why we encourage you to attend helpful forums twice per semester, where you’ll hear graduates and other professionals share their insights and experiences. You can also join the International Interior Design Association so you can connect with professionals in the Greenville area.
We encourage students to take part in off-campus internships at various architectural firms and interior design businesses. Internships typically last for one semester or one summer. Students in the past have enjoyed various types of internships, including working as:
- Design assistants with professional designers in their businesses
- Workroom assistants with professionals who have their own custom sewing-for-the-home workrooms
- Floral designers and event planners
- Furniture refinishers and restorers
Learning from the Professionals
During your time in BJU’s interior program, you’ll explore professional applications of art and design outside of the classroom. You’ll learn from experts in the industry as you observe how they’ve creatively arranged spaces and kept within standard industry codes. You’ll have the opportunity to visit several different places as a student:
- Biltmore House & Gardens, Asheville, N.C.
- International Home Furnishings Market, High Point, N.C.
- Art Museums in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Charleston, S.C.
Our interior design program’s faculty members do more than give you the skills to succeed in your field. They care about you as a person and want you to succeed wherever God leads you. Combined, they have a total of 44 years’ teaching experience, in addition to many years of experience in freelance design.
Courses & Objectives
Sample Course Outline
- BJU Core
Each student will:
- Solve complex design problems through the study and integration of technical, spatial, aesthetic and conceptual knowledge.
- Effectively communicate design solutions using oral, written and visual presentation skills.
- Employ an understanding of the principles of art and design to create solutions for interior architecture and design projects.
- Evaluate design work based on knowledge of industry terminology, building codes and materials, interior finish materials and architectural issues effecting the built environment.
- Produce a portfolio of work that details professional industry knowledge and the skills necessary for securing career opportunities in the field of art and design.
- Understand the industry standards and behaviors necessary to perform in the global marketplace for art, architecture and design.