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Tips on How to Succeed as an Interior Design Student

There are some big differences between high school and college (particularly our program). A few of these are:

1. We consider average work as “C” work.

Studies show that nearly 95 percent of all incoming freshmen report having grade point averages of A or B and having to only study about six hours a week out of class to achieve those grades. You may be surprised by how hard you will have to work to receive good grades in Interior Design. You will spend 5 hours a week in each interior design studio, and it will take at least twice (10 – 12 hours) that number of hours to complete your assignments. We do not inflate our grades. Here are the standards all interior design faculty use to evaluate your work.

2. We will not give you busy work.

Every assignment we give you is designed to help you acquire knowledge of a theory, technique or skill that you will need in future classes. During your first year, in particular, you may not see why you need to do something we ask you to do. TRUST US! There is a reason for each task we ask. Knowledge ignored and not learned during your first year will come back to haunt you on future projects! Additionally, we ask you to keep all of your handouts and notes in a binder and request that you don’t sell back text books. You will need to be able to refer to material given you in one class as you work in another class. Everything is related and your teachers will expect you to be able to build on things you learned in another class.

3. Much of the work you will do will be evaluated through the process of open critique.

Unless you have had art classes in high school, you may not be used to the process of hanging your work up for everyone to see and critique. At first, this may be frightening, but you will find that this fear decreases over time. You will see that there is a lot to be learned from the critique of other class member’s work, too. You can learn more quickly than if you only receive feedback on your own work. The critic (typically your teacher or another ID faculty) will evaluate your project with honesty and fairness. You can trust that they want you to succeed and will give suggestions about changes that should be made. While design is somewhat subjective, your instructors have the knowledge and objectivity to help you make your work better.

4. One of the most important things we hope you’ll learn here is what it takes to be a responsible, ethical professional!

You will find that we have high expectations for your behavior.

  • We take roll at the beginning of each studio. Six or more absences will result in failing the class. Habitual tardiness or inattentiveness will impact your grade negatively.
  • Cell phones are not allowed in class. Please tell your friends and family that you are unavailable to be reached during studio. If there is a family emergency, your parents can call the INTD office (423) 425-4459 and the departmental staff will find you and give you the message. Why? The creative process demands concentrated time and effort. You may have heard of the term flow. Flow is a mental and physical state that results in a seamless process of thinking and doing. When you achieve flow, progress on creative tasks comes easily. When your concentration is divided or interrupted, flow dissipates and is difficult to recapture.
  •  We do not accept any late work. It is better to turn in a partially completed project for some credit on the due date, than to turn in a completed project late and receive no credit.
  •  Because all studios share the same studio space, you will need to be respectful of the space that you use. Make certain to clean up after yourself and leave the area as you would want to find it. Drafting tables must never be used to cut on without using a protective cutting matt. A protective cover must also be used when rendering with markers or paint. Please report broken tables or parallel bars to your professor or the interior design office (Hunter 412).
Peggy Honey, KSU, IDEC, 2009
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