Photo credit: Pratt Institute

Top 10 Interior Design Schools Redefining Aesthetics

Header: Pratt Institute

To become an interior designer, one needs a good eye, taste, creativity, and curiosity, characteristics innate to any such professional. Studying the principles, basics, and history of interior design, plus researching sustainability and preservation, are, however, becoming crucial to the field. Amidst social injustice, climate change, environmental challenges, and technological developments, interior design keeps evolving and to keep up is to respect society and survive in the field.

With this in mind, choosing the right major and university has become fundamental, so we decided to give all of you bright young designers a list of the most prestigious interior design programs worldwide. Sit back, grab your notebook and your “To-Do Applications” list, and let’s delve into some of the most impressive universities out there – one is hopefully going to welcome you someday!

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

The Rhode Island School of Design is one of the oldest design schools in the United States, having been founded in 1877 by a group of women when women didn’t have the right to vote. This presented RISD as a place that questions the establishment through art, education, and design, something they still strive to do today. Nowadays, the school gives students all the tools needed to answer modern social, cultural, and political challenges through their creative practices, carrying their bag of prideful history with them into our times.

Their design program focuses on hands-on learning and experimentation, combined with liberal arts studies. They offer a wide array of courses from furniture design to interior architecture, among many, many others, making their portfolio a multidisciplinary beauty which is sure to teach you everything you need to know to leave your mark in the design world.

Photo credit: Rhode Island School of Design
Photo credit: Rhode Island School of Design

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

The Savannah College of Art and Design has been mentioned time and time again here at D5 Mag since a lot of the designers we interview have studied or taught there, so we couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to give them a shout-out. SCAD prides itself on having the most comprehensive art and design programs out there, being the ideal choice for any student looking for creative inspiration, top academic rigour, and professional contacts.

Why not get yourself a nice latte and comb through SCAD’s arts and design program website, where you’ll find 100 majors to choose from (plus 40 minors). Interior Design is quite a sought-after major, which isn’t a surprise whatsoever since it teaches you how to prioritize well-being, style, and sustainability in your designs while also offering you the chance to work with its many corporate partners.

Photo credit: (SCAD) Savannah College of Art and Design
Photo credit: (SCAD) Savannah College of Art and Design

Pratt Institute – School of Design

Pratt Institute’s School of Design believes that design can change the world, so this is exactly what it vows to teach its students. In Pratt Institute’s own words, they “provide the creative leaders of tomorrow the knowledge and experience to make a better world.”

The Interior Design graduate program directly addresses the problems of our times, such as social justice and sustainability, and applies them to teaching. Through the study of materials, the built environment, and design’s cultural and historical implications, the students can not only understand the field but also learn what works best for them.

Photo credit: Pratt Institute
Photo credit: Pratt Institute

Royal College of Art – Interior Design

Created in 1837, the Royal College of Art is one of the most prestigious art and design universities currently – and has been so for a long time. This university strives to foster the art and design professionals who will make a difference in the future through its teaching and partnerships.

The Royal College of Art pushes its students into questioning everything and provoking the fields they are in since this is the way towards innovation. Their Interior Design program is an interdisciplinary mix that creates professionals able to incorporate the social in the material, and vice-versa. Through studio and workshop-oriented teaching, and connections with leading academics and internationally renowned design professionals, you’ll be taught the sophisticated art of interior design while also getting all the tools to create knowledge, not just follow what has been already done.

Photo credit: Royal College of Arts
Photo credit: Royal College of Arts

Politecnico di Milano – School of Design

Milan, Milano, Milão. However you say it, it will always mean the same: design. The School of Design at the Politecnico di Milano is part of the prestigious few in the design realm, especially in interior design, as they have been trying to always achieve innovation through their endeavours while catering to our social needs.

Choosing their Interior Design program means that, when you graduate, you’ll be able to thoroughly understand both space and people as you learn how to design with social, cultural, and sustainable needs in mind. Milano’s School of Design focuses on how space influences communities and individuals, basing their teaching on how to read the room and add the best features to enhance it and the people who end up using it.

Photo credit: Enrico Cano
Photo credit: Enrico Cano

New York School of Interior Design (NYSID)

Let’s move back to the United States and meet the New York School of Interior Design, which believes that interior designers have a far more important role in society than many think. For the NYSID, if interior design plays a big part in human well-being, then designers have the responsibility of making spaces beautiful and healthy while keeping an environmentally and socially conscious approach to their projects and life itself.

Their Interior Design course mixes strong basics with liberal arts studies, promoting critical thinking, creativity, technological and communication skills, and sustainability. Through such a comprehensive and conscious approach, any student is sure to be able to design a pleasant and safe space where people can bloom and enjoy themselves.

Photo credit: New York School of Interior Design
Photo credit: New York School of Interior Design

École Camondo – Interior, Architecture, and Design

We couldn’t miss the École Camondo Interior, Architecture, and Design, a unique private education establishment located in the heart of Paris that introduces its students to expositions, museums, events, and all that the design scene has to offer.

Through the introduction of design culture and its history to the students, this École educates interior designers to imagine the spaces of today and tomorrow, and all through their structured and demanding teaching style. All areas of interior design are given the spotlight in this school, so every graduate has the tools needed to succeed in any type of project, making this one of the “factories of innovation” of our days.

Photo credit: École Camondo Paris
Photo credit: École Camondo Paris

University of Cincinnati – College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP)

The College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning prioritizes experimentation and questioning what has been already done. Through this practical approach, students are challenged to face the reality of design while crafting environments and design that have a true impact in how we see and feel the world.

Get lost in History, creativity, and traditions in this Interior Design program, learning how to mix ethical judgement with creative research and technical proficiency to create the spaces of the future. Research and environmental responsible viewed as key components of a successful career in interior design, so, if you share this ideas, maybe Cincinnati might be the place where your adventure begins.

Photo credit: Jean Pleitez
Photo credit: Jean Pleitez

Hong Kong Polytechnic University – School of Design

PolyU Design, as it’s known, takes pride in being a bridge between the East and the West due to its geographical location, which means that it is home to one of the most internationally diverse academic communities in the world. Here, a student has the chance to grow socially and professionally as they are presented with faculty and peers rich in stories and knowledge, as well as with one of the most innovative pedagogical programs of our times.

The Interior Design program is sure to give students the knowledge of how interior design intersects with other environmental disciplines, such as architecture, landscape, and urban design. An interdisciplinary approach is also favoured, as students will learn the how-to’s of graphic design, product design, and industrial design, giving them further educational opportunities in design fields.

Photo credit: Edmon Leong
Photo credit: Edmon Leong

Interior Designers Institute (IDI)

This Californian school, the Interior Designers Institute, is definitely unique. A boutique college, the IDI specializes in teaching interior design and interior architecture, be it online or in person. The college’s specialized curriculum offers personalized education, which makes it easier for students to cover all bases and be able to ask all the questions that keep them awake at night while dreaming of kitchens and living rooms.

IDI’s mission is to be an exclusive producer of brilliant interior design graduates who can become some of the most well-known and successful designers worldwide. As a bonus, it’s also possible to apply to field trips and get to know all that happens behind the scenes, such as sources of purchase for materials, furniture, wallpapers, and everything needed to create a little heaven on earth.

Photo credit: Irvine Management Company
Photo credit: Irvine Management Company
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