Program Coordinator and professor Rose Mary Botti-Salitsky says the Interior Architecture + Design (IAD) program is about much more than furniture and finishes.
“We sculpt spaces that people live in,” she says. “Students in a diversity of disciplines can use their skills to pursue their passions and solve problems that make life better for people in public spaces.”
The program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design (CIDA) which prepares graduates with the levels of competence and skills to sit for national boards, this gives students a leg up on the competition for future employment, she added.
“We focus on building different skills, but also incorporating the many interests’ students bring to the table,” said Professor Botti-Salitsky. “Students get to apply their learning in real-life situations and to see the life-changing difference their work can make.”
An example is in the nearby City of New Bedford, where they collaborated with many city partners to make furniture for an outdoor courtyard and performed a lighting analysis for the public space. The lighting design class generated design options for city representatives who approved and installed the enhanced lighting in Wings Court.
“Much of the learning is project-based,” said Professor Botti-Salitsky. “We partner with community organizations, offering credit and opportunity to the experience.”
Recently, IAD worked with Meeting Street School, a renowned school for children with disabilities, at their local facility to create a mixed-use classroom that would address the unique needs of their students. Meeting Street received a grant to facilitate the space, which will be built in the next academic year.
“Students are not required to have a specific set of skills to succeed in the program,” she added “They can use what they care about and layer it with both an artistic and technical expertise. And those opportunities can be enhanced through the many activities UMass Dartmouth offers.”