Interior Design College of Design

Transformative Teaching and Learning

Learning Enrichment

Resources and opportunities for hands-on experience, involvement and personal growth to help students learn and develop in pursuits outside of the classroom.  


Transformational Teaching

Instilling doubt is at the core of university education. How did things come to be the way they are? How do I know what I know? What could I be missing? Which avenues should I use in my explorations? And, where do I go to uncover knowledge? The first step to becoming an interior designer who works for environmental and social justice is learning to ask questions. Transformation will result as we assist you to grow to embody the way designers think, act, plan, and imagine.


Design thinking – a whole brain approach:


Interior Design is about making connections between people and places. Design thinking guides our way as we explore how to blend science and art, the real and the imagined, the material and the immaterial, the here and the there, the local and the global. A whole-brain approach comprises this balancing act. Your coursework, from studios to history, theory, lighting, and materials classes, will help you navigate the intricacies tied to using both sides of your brain.



Human-centered design


Here at the University of Minnesota, our goal is to produce well-informed designers and researchers at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In doing so, human-centered design is at the center of everything we do and is aligned with our mission of protecting people’s health, safety, and well-being. Your exploration of the interaction between human behavior and the designed environment is essential to propel you into the broad design industry, well-prepared to make meaningful and necessary strides to advance the human experience and care for the natural environment through a sustainable approach to your creative design solutions and research contributions.


Evidence-based design (EBD)


Evidence-based design (EBD) is increasingly discussed in design practice as a design process approach to determine a design solution that is based in “evidence.” Selection of design consultants frequently rests on their ability to provide evidence that a design solution will have certain outcomes. An EBD-approach towards a design solution can enable the design of the new office to increase productivity, accelerate discharge rates of patients from the hospital, increase student learning through the design of the classroom, or improve wayfinding through a building.


Engaging in EBD means that design decisions can result in a specific, measurable outcome. By exposing our undergraduate students to EBD through an introduction to theory and research vocabulary, experience in applying research methods (such as behavioral observation and interviews), and incorporation of an evidence-based approach to design, they are able to enhance their abilities as world class problem solvers and bring a valuable design approach with them into design practice. Our students learn to be confident consumers of research.


Global Education


Over 62 million people in the United States speak a language other than English at home, evidence that the United States is a nation that continues to evolve culturally. In parallel, many American firms are engaged in design practice overseas for cultures different from the American experience. At this time of global interconnectedness, it becomes even more important to ask what does it mean to be human? What role do interior environments play in the construction of culture and identity? And, what are the implications of those relationships for the global practice of interior design? Together, we will challenge our assumptions. We will draw and sketch; read and write; dance and sing; eat and drink; laugh and cry; discuss and debate, and enjoy the journey.





Contact Information

Undergraduate Student Services
12 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108
107 Rapson Hall, 89 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
P: 612-624-1717 | E:

General Information
P: 612-626-9068 | E:

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