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Interior Architecture

Engineering Technology, Surveying, and Digital Media

Archived News

Cooper Lighting – Atlanta, GA

Copper LightingWithout lighting any of the designed spaces we live in would be possible. To help students understand the intricacies of lighting design INTD students visited Cooper Lighting outside of Atlanta, GA. Cooper Lighting hosts a wide variety professionals and design students in a 20,000 square foot educational center where visitors can see the latest advances in lighting technology. The biggest trend is the use of LED’s across all types of lighting fixtures, which is growing at greater than 30% a year.




Innovation Campus: Part 1

Innovation Lab 2Junior Interior Architecture students began their designs for their Innovation Campus Design Challenge by interviewing of the Dr. Depeileau, director of ETSU’s Innovation lab.  Dr. Depelteau talked about her vision for the campus and how the lab helps entrepreneurs in the Tri-cities area.  She gave a tour of the present facility and helped the students gain a firm foundation about the inner-workings of Innovation Campus’ across the country.  Students now start the design of a 15.00 square foot new building that will hold new labs and conference spaces.  Look for oa future news item where the students will submit their solutions to Dr. Depelteau and other professionals form the area.


Guest Speaker on Kenyan Culture

Kenya SpeakerTo help INTD students understand how culture impacts design, Dr. Martha Michiela came to discuss aspcets of her home country of Kenya.  She talked about the importance of family, unity and even brought a delicious meal to share.  One of the highlights of her talk was the wahing of hands that takes place when people meet for a meal.  Thank you Dr. Michiela!






Learning About Commercial Design

Steal CaseJunior INTD students visited our local Steelcase representatives, Adam Gray and Ashley Burton, from Workspace Interiors, Inc to learn about how to design and specify open office systems.  An added bonus this year was to see proposed “mock-ups” of offices and workspaces for a new LEED Gold office building being built nearby.  Students had the opportunity to see and evaluate three different manufactures solutions to the same layouts.

Thank you Workspace Interiors!!




 Emerging Global Color Trends

Global TrendsInterior Architecture students recently participated in the Global Color Trends 2014 and Functional Color and Design in Healthcare Environments ASID event at Ferguson Enterprises in Johnson City.  Tessa Jones, the Southeast Region Color Consultant discussed insights into color, its impact on nature, wayfinding and life safety.  Global color trends, sustainability and evidenced based design color in healthcare were discussed.  PPG industry representatives for the entire southeast region were present.  Participants received IDCEC and AIA continuing education.


Preston Woodworking

Preston WoodworkingSophomore Interior Architecture students recently visited Preston Woodworking for a tour of their fabrication plant.  Boyce England, the production manager and safety director, led the tour and walked the students through the entire production process.  Topics included; concepts of manufacturing and fabrication, ADA, OSHA regulations, AutoCAD and CNC techniques, staging, and the importance of the project team and client relationships for specifications were discussed.  Students viewed every component of the commercial and residential production divisions. 


Cormark International

CormarkCormark International hosted INTD students last week in Weaverville, NC.  Students learned about sustainable lumber harvesting and importing techniques.  Cormark showed the students around the warehouse and introduced students to wood species from all over the world.  One particular stunning example was table made from a piece if Kauri from New Zealand that ahs been carbon dated to around 50,000 years old!  At the end of the tour students selected wood for use in an upcoming design project.

Cormark International, importers of fine exotic hardwoods, is a 27 year old South African based, family owned business with strong ties in the African lumber industry that has a strong commitment to sustainable and sound reforestation programs.  To learn more about their history and commitment to sustainable practices visit their website:


Learning About Commercial Design

Steal CaseJunior INTD students visited our local Steelcase representatives, Adam Gray and Ashley Burton, from Workspace Interiors, Inc to learn about how to design and specify open office systems.  An added bonus this year was to see proposed “mock-ups” of offices and workspaces for a new LEED Gold office building being built nearby.  Students had the opportunity to see and evaluate three different manufactures solutions to the same layouts.

Thank you Workspace Interiors!




2014 Italy Tour

ItalyTraveling abroad to Rome is the most life changing experience and is the highlight of your interior design studies.  Students see firsthand what they study in textbooks.  It’s fun when you are watching a movie or reading a book to be able to tell others that you have been there in that exact location.  The students gained more knowledge within the three weeks of studying in Rome than what we would have learned within a semester being in a classroom.  Their perspective on life, values, and culture changed as they studied throughout the city of Rome.  A stronger understanding about ourselves as designers and other design students were only one of the marvelous outcomes.  The food, culture, and atmosphere were all breathtaking.  It’s hard to explain something that you can’t put a price on, this was an opportunity of a lifetime and it’s something you will carry and have with you forever.  The trip also is very beneficial in my career field bt expanding what you know is possible.  It changes the way you design and view the world around you.  You will never regret studying in Rome, therefore never pass up the opportunity to travel and don’t be afraid of adventure!


Luminaire Design Final Presentation

PresentationThe final design presentation to a semester long project where junior interior design students and sophomore engineering technology students collaborate to design and build a pair of luminaires occurred this week.  The teams produced two luminaires that either related to each other or “nested”.  LED lighting and the sustainable plastics, Spectar and Triton, have been donated from Kichler Lighting and Eastman Chemical.  The major learning objectives occurred around graphical communication, technical skill and design philosophies.  Congratulations to all teams on a job well done.  A special thank you to the cooperate sponsors who made this project possible.  We could not have done it without you!

Sponsored by Eastman Chemical Co., Kichler Lighting and Ferguson Enterprises Inc.


Veterans Administration Design Presentation

Vet Building PresentationJunior INTD students presented their solutions for the VA Sevierville Clinic.  In the multi-phased project students used the same space and presented evidenced based design solutions on varied topics ranging from mental health, women’s health, pediatrics, tele-health and aging populations.  Five local design professionals that represented the VA, furniture manufacturers, and design firms provided feedback and comments on the solutions.  A special thanks to goes to the VA’s Calvin Clawson for all his help through the project.




Interior Architecture Wins Grant

New software upgrades/additions

The interior design program receives an ETSU Instructional development Grant to purchase new rendering software that will help visualize their designs. The software allows students to place lights of the proper type and intensity in their 3D models and then produce a photo-realistic image. These images help clients fully understand the designer’s intent.


Light Fixture Design Competition

Fixture PresentationRobert Bruce Thompson Light Fixture Design Competition

Junior ETSU Interior Architecture students submitted their designs for a light fixture competition as part of requirements for the course INTD 3205: Lighting.  Their design problem called for a large chandelier for a large newly renovated ballroom.  Depending on how the room is configured you might see only a single fixture or all three fixtures at once.  Good luck to everyone on a possible $5,000 first prize.



2nd Annual Interior Architecture Celebration

2nd Annual Interior Architecture Celebration

All are invited to attend the end of the year celebration hosted by the ETSU interior design students on May 2, 2014.  Projects from all levels of the program will be on display in Wilson-Wallis 206.  Examples from small freshmen projects to 15,000 s.f. Junior projects will be available for review.  Students will be there to answer questions about their designs.

what:  2014 Showcase of Design Student Projects

when:  Friday May 2nd, 2014, 2-3pm.

where:  Interior Architecture Studio, Wilson-Wallis Hall, Room 206

why:  to celebrate another year of learning to think like designers


Furniture Market Tour

Highpoint Tour2014 High Point Furniture Market Tour, High Point, NC

Interior design students spent a day exploring the showrooms and interacting with vendors.  A particular highlight of the day was a tour lead by furniture designer Gil Sturtzel, one of the furniture designers for the Steve Silver Company, the largest designer and manufacturer of dining room furniture in the world.  Students learned about international shipping costs, the importance of flat pack, why they have factories that specialize in wood in Vietnam and metal in China.  Trends for the coming years are: brass, gold, silver, hyper-saturated orange/red and teal.  Styles trending include Art Deco, mid-century modern, 1980′s acrylic & chrome.


Interior Architecture Faculty Receive International Recognition


Professors Dr. Kristi Julian and Dean Isham traveled to Europe to present research at two separate conferences.  Dr. Julian traveled to Valencia Spain to present papers on multidisciplinary learning in design education at the 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference.  Dean traveled to Lisbon Portugal to present a paper on the effects of technology on design education at the 4th International Conference on the Constructed Environment.


Sustainable Textiles

TextilesMorgan Walker, Contract Furniture Alliance and Shannon LoFrumento, Momentum Group met with sophomores and juniors in INTD Materials and Finishes and the INTD Commercial Studio and discussed company sustainability driven directives, manufacturing, furniture and textile “recovery” and creative ways to implement those concepts into design work, professional practice and student personal lives. They also discussed current healthcare and educational project integration.



Collaborative Sustainable Luminaire Design

SustainThis week was the initial design presentation to a semester long project where junior interior design students and engineering technology students collaborate to design and build a pair of luminaires.  In teams of four, one interior student and three engineering students, students now must prototype and complete the final design by the end of the semester.  LED lighting and the sustainable plastics, Spectar and Triton, have been donated from Kichler Lighting and Eastman Chemical.  Updates will be uploaded as the semester progresses.


Sponsored by Eastman Chemical Co., Kichler Lighting and Ferguson Enterprises Inc.


Developing Empathy for Client Needs

EmpathySophomore Interior Architecture Students in Materials and Finishes participated in a group “Simulation Exercise”.  Participants were divided into groups of three or four individuals and asked to perform activities that simulate motor and sensory changes that may accompany aging or life event changes.  They were required to perform activities of daily living (ADL).  Participants could choose to have both a hearing and mobility impairment or any other combination of impairments.  Participants were asked to perform the tasks in their “impaired state” and could not remove simulating devices until the exercise was completed.  The objective was to increase sensitivity to the feelings engendered when functional skills are impaired and independence is compromised and to increase knowledge of the physical requirements for accomplishing tasks basic to community living.


Interior Architecture Educator of the Year

Dean Isham named Tennessee Interior Architecture Educator of the Year  

DeanDean Isham, coordinator for the East Tennessee State University interior design program, has been named Interior Architecture Educator of the Year by the Tennessee Chapter of the American Society of Interior Architectureers (ASID).

Given to recognize a design educator who has made significant contributions to interior design education in Tennessee, the award was announced at the annual ASID state conference in Nashville this fall.

Founded in 1975, ASID is “the oldest, largest and leading professional organization for interior designers.” The 28,000 members of the organization are designers, industry representatives, educators and students.

Isham, an assistant professor in the ETSU Department of Engineering Technology, Surveying and Digital Media, came to ETSU more than 2 years ago after 16 years of teaching interior design at South Dakota State University. His courses focus on visualization skills and the beginning design student, and his creative activities have produced award-winning designs in architecture 2D and 3D categories. During the past 10 years, he has been researching and constructing energy efficient straw bale buildings.


Dressing for Success

DressJunior Interior Architecture Students in Professional Practice participated in a professional dress seminar/event with Talbots with other College of Business and Technology students.




Tour of Scripps Networking

scrippsNever heard of Scripps Networking?  Maybe these names will jog your memory:  HGTV, DYI, Food Network, Cooking channel, Travel Channel and GAC?  See you did know the corporate headquarters where we toured.  Chad Becker, Director of Safety & Security, led design students and local ASID members through the facilities and explained the design elements used to be awarded a LEED Gold Certification.  Students learned about green open office systems, raised floor systems, collaboration spaces (indoor and outdoor), lighting, daylighting, and facility design.  Thank you Chad!


Denso North American Foundation Award

DensoDenso North American Foundation awards the department funds to renovate the conference room to become the new student presentation space.






Big Changes in Interior Architecture

ChangesIt has been a busy summer in the program! All new furniture installed in the studio. The sophomores built the large desks last fall when we they learned about mass production. Ergotron ( donated the handicapped accessible large table. It is fully adjustable from standard seating height to standing height. Our new small group meeting area use Steelcase Node chairs.

New technology has been implemented throughout the room. Ergotron donated a collaboration cart that makes it possible to involve professionals from around the world to work and discuss ideas with students. Equipment for the cart (computer, web camera, 60” LED monitor) has been donated by Denso Corp. ( and should arrive any day. Finally, all new computers with large monitors!

Curriculum changes have been approved at the university level and await TBR approval. Those changes are scheduled take affect Fall 2014. One of the changes that we are most excited about is an emphasis on medical design. Two studios will focus on students learning how to design medical facilities. Great progress is being made towards CIDA Accreditation with a tentative site visit in the 2016-2017 school year.

The biggest change this fall is the new faculty member Dr. Krsiti Julian. Dr. Julian brings a wealth of experience in medical design, facilities management, and is certified (EDAC) in evidenced based design. Welcome Dr. Julian!


Italy Tour - 2013

ItalyThe opportunity of studying in Rome was a great experience. It allowed me to interact with people of an entirely different culture and see how Italians see the world. One of my favorite things during my stay is enjoying Italian food.  This trip focused on about Roman architecture and history.  We visited museums, historical sites, and cities in order to enhance our understanding of Italian history. The entire class was incredible.

There is a nostalgic feeling when someone stands in a place that has been there for so long; is like the place can talk to you.  We learned about many styles of architecture.  My favorite was the classical and baroque style.  We also had the opportunity of discussing different periods like the renaissance, why this period was important, and its relevant figures.  I think that this was one of the most fascinating experiences of my life and with the guidance and help that the students receive I would encourage all students to take advantage of this opportunity.


2013 Workspace Interiors Visit

InteriorETSU junior interior design students prepared for their first studio project by visiting the local Steelcase dealer, Workspace Interiors, in Kingsport, TN.  Adam Gray and Bo Dudney introduced students to Steelcase’s design philosophies, how they work with a client through the design process and an overview of the advantages of using open office systems.  Students were amazed by the flexibility and collaboration opportunities offered by the Answer open office system.  They learned how each part of the system was designed to make the office environment more a comfortable and efficient place to work.

Thank you Adam and Bo for your hospitality and willingness to help us learn about your company!


INTD Faculty Attend Exhibition

InteriorINTD faculty Liz Lewis attended a contemporary art exhibition at the Charlotte Mint Museum entitled Against The Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft, and Design.  The exhibition demonstrated how 20th and 21st century creators have engaged the medium of wood with conceptual and technical strategies. This timely exhibition, organized by the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York, addresses a heavily debated topic in the field: as the boundaries between art, craft and design increasingly overlap, should these categories be redefined, and if so, how?  In Against interiorthe Grain, the versatile medium of wood is used to address this issue, exploring postmodern tendencies including mimicry, assemblage, virtuosity, and whimsy (with a serious purpose), as well as environmental issues associated with woodworking.  Thanks for sharing the design inspirations Liz!

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