8 Top Interior Design Schools: University of Manitoba

8 Top Interior Design Schools: University of Manitoba
Renee Struthers’ light fixtures at Kit and Ace in Winnipeg.

The University of Manitoba promotes an interdisciplinary approach to interior design. It’s one of eight top-ranking programs around the world that we have identified as shaping the next generation of interior visionaries. (See our first instalment, on NYSID.)

Part of the Faculty of Architecture, the University of Manitoba’s interior design program is unique in Canada, in that it offers the only Council for Interior Design Accreditation degree at the master’s level. The two-year first-professional program is for those who plan to establish their own practice, or take on industry-related leadership roles in academia or journalism. Strategic thinking and entrepreneurship are emphasized. Post-professional, at one and a half years, is for those wanting to further their knowledge with more research-focused coursework.

“The list of illustrious alumni is long,” says associate professor Lynn Chalmers of the department, which was established in the 1940s. Alumni include the late Robert Ledingham, who was well known in Vancouver for his modern-luxe homes and counted Arthur Erickson among his clients; and Carolyn Lee, an associate at KPMB Architects, who worked on the TIFF Bell Lightbox and other high-profile projects in Toronto.

Class sizes have remained small, with a dozen or so graduates each fall and as few as five in the winter term. The boutique scale allows students much more direct interaction with their profs. Last year, grads worked together on a proposal to re-envision a facility in Winnipeg used by the government to promote new technologies to industry. They reimagined the centre’s technology showroom, seminar rooms, library and collaborative office space.  

Location: 66 Chancellors Circle, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Program: MFA
Tuition: $4,540 full term
Job placement rate: 90%
Notable alumni: Inger Bartlett (president of Bartlett & Associates), Catherine Dowling (professor at Ryerson University), Carolyn Lee (associate at KPMB Architects)

For more information about education in architecture, industrial design, interaction design, interior design and landscape architecture, visit our Top Schools section.

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