Rhode Island School of Design student Sofia Paez’s Inhabited Bridge concept.
Editor’s note: This listing was updated on November 2, 2002.
The Interior Architecture program at Rhode Island School of Design examines the interior at all scales, including residential, retail, theatre and production design. Seeking to address the structural inequalities that dictate which projects receive good architecture, professor Liliane Wong brings her interest in affordable housing into the studio curriculum. “We want students to see that design has a wide spectrum and can be used as a tool in a larger human context,” says Wong —”that it’s not just for people who can afford to pay for it.” Also, unlike in many traditional interior design and decoration programs, students apply their skills to more than just private residences — the program places an emphasis on projects that foreground sustainability and social good.
At the graduate level, two programs are offered: a one-year Master of Arts program for those with an undergraduate degree in architecture and two-year Master of Design for those without. The MA program concludes with a year-long final project involving a research and design component, and also offers a summer studio course in Copenhagen. The M.Des program, which can focus on either Adaptive Reuse or Exhibition and Narrative Environments gives a lens into the role of the interior architect outside the confines of licensure. Students lead a self-directed project that includes a theory seminar, research and studio component focused on the transformation of an existing building in Providence.
RISD Interior Architecture students have the opportunity to work on both local and international projects and can contribute to all manner of projects, from art installations to infrastructure. Recent highlights include student involvement in the design of Rhode Island’s State House, an installation designed for Barcelona Design Week, as well as proposals for harm reduction centres developed in an interdisciplinary design studio and pedestrian and bike lanes for a local suspension bridge. Whether starting their own practice or joining an established firm, alumni graduate with the skills to work in residential and commercial interiors, specialize in sustainability, set design, and home furnishings or go on to teach the next generation of designers.
Alina Vadera and Andrea Valentini (AV Studio), Michael Gabellini, Glenn Gissler, Adam Charlap Hyman, Mary Richardson Kennedy
Liliane Wong, Stefano Corbo, Markus Berger