The interior design program at the School of Art + Design—which joined the New Jersey School of Architecture to form the College of Architecture and Design at NJIT in 2008—has recently been ranked #13 nationally by DesignIntelligence.
Currently the only school in New Jersey to house interior design, industrial design, digital design and architecture under one roof, this ranking propels NJIT to the top 7 percent of the 186 programs accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).
NJIT also contains the fifth best interior design program at a public university; one of the top 10 interior design programs at research universities; and the highest-ranking interior design program at a research university in the New York City market.
"NJIT is very cognizant of the important role its programs within the College of Architecture and Design play in cementing our place as one of the nation's top polytechnic universities," says NJIT President Joel S. Bloom. "Architecture, digital design, industrial design and interior design are imbued with the science and technology disciplines. All of these disciplines are preparing the workforce of the future, driving economic growth and significantly improving the quality of life. Our design programs are highly regarded for the creative and innovative professionals it graduates."
Powered by the faculty’s resolve to leverage technology in the use of teaching and learning constructs, NJIT interior design students are exposed to and expected to work in a variety of media from the moment they step foot on campus.
“We don't wait for our interior designers to start using information technology or digital media until the second year or even the second month,” says Glenn Goldman, director of the School of Art + Design, which was the first school to organize and submit its interior design program digitally for accreditation, building on NJIT’s 30-year legacy of incorporating information technology and digital media into the processes and products of design. “They come to our program and they start using every tool available to them in the very first semester, from watercolor and drawing and cut-paper collage to both raster and vector digital graphics."
NJIT’s interior design program is a studio-centric, four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree. A unique component of the curriculum is the students’ participation in the collaborative design studio in the fall term of their senior year. It prepares them to work with individuals representing different disciplines toward a common design solution, which is why more than 90 percent of all NJIT interior design graduates are either working in a field related to their study or are in a graduate program within six months of graduation.
“The profession is recognizing the combination of design skill and technical acumen of our students, as their portfolios demonstrate an ability to think and design creatively, use Building Information Modeling in the design process, and integrate knowledge of building systems at an early stage in their academic careers,” says Goldman.
But even before graduating, NJIT interior design students participate in the process of establishing design parameters and goals much like they will do as design professionals. And the quality of their work is evident and visible in external exhibits at major conferences like NeoCON and SIGGRAPH.
“We had the only interior design student to participate in Autodesk's DesignSLAM last November in Las Vegas, competing successfully against both graduate and undergraduate architecture students,” says Goldman. “Our students and faculty—and the work they produce—are superior. It's just taken a little time for others to see what we've already known.”