FREEDOM to EXPLORE … SKILLS to EXCEL
Interior Design is the rigorous process of problem-solving that integrates the technical skills of the craftsperson, the aesthetic sensibilities of the artist, and the empathy of the humanist.
The mission of Chaminade University’s Environmental + Interior Design Program is to educate, engage and empower students to optimize design of the built environment as it relates to our global, multi- cultural, multi-generational living and working communities. Graduates are prepared to make the transition to entry-level professional practice and to collaborate with architects and related industry professionals.
Chaminade University of Honolulu (CUH) offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and an Associate of Arts (AA) degree in Environmental + Interior Design (EID). CUH-EID is the exclusive degree-granting program in the State of Hawaii. The program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), a national leader in recognition of academic excellence and professional preparation.
We are proud to acknowledge that 100% of our graduates over the last five years have been employed in full-time design-related positions within six months of graduation. Click here for additional student achievement data.
Our E+ID program is unique from other academic programs, in that it extends beyond the traditional scope of interior design by encompassing the broader aspects of the environment into the design process. The curriculum addresses the symbiotic relationship between the indoor (built) and the outdoor (natural) environments by cultivating a design approach that integrates rather than compartmentalizes the spaces and places humans occupy. Aspects of this expanded perspective include: the influence of site conditions (climate, sun, wind, views, natural amenities) on the interior; the relationship of interior spaces to their exterior surroundings; landscaping considerations; ecologically-sound design; and building facade design. Also emphasized throughout the curriculum is the knowledge and application of sustainable design and universal design principles, which speak to the health, safety and well-being of the public we serve. This broader environmental perspective helps us to understand our connection not just to the building itself, but also to the land, to the community, and to the planet.
How then does Environmental + Interior Design differ from architecture? While there is much common ground between the fields of interior design and architecture, architects generally work at a larger scale, creating the building shell and addressing its relationship to its site. Interior design operates on a more intimate scale, with an emphasis on human experience. Interior designers are concerned with how people use, perceive, behave, and interact in the spaces they inhabit. Important aspects of the user’s perspective that are addressed are safety, health, accessibility for users of varying abilities, and comfort–not only physical comfort, but also psychological and social well-being. Over 75% of what a person experiences in a space is multi-sensory – light, color, sound, tactile quality, thermal quality, air quality and olfactory engagement – which falls under the purview of interior design.
Design is a balance between the practical and feasible with the imaginative and abstract. A design education builds a comprehensive skillset: it cultivates creativity and discipline, organizational and interpersonal skills, artistic and technical drawing skills, planning and management capabilities, and a collaborative work ethic.
Service Learning – In the CUH tradition of Service-Learning – an essential theme of the school’s pedagogy and mission – students participate in real-life projects working in partnership with non-profit organizations in order to serve local communities in need. Students learn to embody altruistic values in professional practice and experience first-hand how design can contribute to a more just society. They are also afforded the opportunity to be involved with a ‘live’ project in which they see their design proposals realized, and accrue invaluable experience interacting with real clients and challenging constraints.
E+ID Student Experiences – Design projects are geared towards providing a platform for students to apply what they have learned in their courses to solve real design problems. Freedom to explore in a safe environment fosters the ability to be open-minded; to engage in the iterative process of design; and to discover valuable lessons from mistakes and successes. Ultimately, a competent, confident, collaborative, teachable, skillful designer emerges. Students are encouraged to be creative and imaginative, while not losing sight of the need to develop practical, viable, cost-effective solutions. As part of the design process, students explore both abstract and the theoretical ideas in conjunction with pragmatic considerations.
Internships – a requirement of the E+ID program, internships provide students with opportunities to explore the numerous and varied opportunities that a degree in design affords them. Guided by faculty and connected with industry professionals, students may intern for small to large architecture or interior design firms; contractors; lighting designers; furniture vendors/manufacturers; architectural finish vendors; theatrical, television or movie performance agencies; historic preservation agencies … the list is quite endless!
Professional Connections – In the spirit of camaraderie, students are encouraged to enter design competitions, participate in local design events, and become involved in leadership opportunities in IDpro (Interior Design Professional Resource Organization). This student-led organization offers students affiliations and connections with the local professional chapters of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers), IIDA (International Interior Design Association) and NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association). IDpro, in partnership with these organizations and internal fundraising, has provided travel opportunities for students to conferences, which is a key experiential component to counter-balance our isolated location and access to resources.
E+ID course learning outcomes (CLO), listed on course syllabi, are linked to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLO) and to the CIDA Standards, which assist in maintaining our accreditation status.
E+ID PROGRAM LEARNING OUTCOMES (PLO)
1 PROFESSIONALISM – students understand, apply and participate in ethical design practices on a personal, project, peer and industry-wide level. (CIDA 5, 6, 9)
2-PROCESS – students are able to identify problems/challenges and demonstrate an understanding of the complete design process from inception to installation, execute documentation supporting design decisions and effect comprehensive, creative, focused and functional design solutions. (CIDA 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16)
3-PRINCIPLES & PRIORITIES – students understand the integration of pedagogy, research, historic contexts, theory, and interdisciplinary collaboration to effectively and creatively analyze, evaluate and execute best design practices resulting in functional and aesthetically inspiring design. (CIDA 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
4-PUBLIC & ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION – students demonstrate an understanding of, and the ability to apply, the concepts, resources and implications of design decisions relative to the human interaction, technological impact and ecological balance of the built environment. (CIDA 4, 7, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)
5-PRESENTATION – students demonstrate the ability to communicate design concepts and problem solving justifications through written, oral and a variety of visual media. (CIDA 6, 9)
Section I. Program Identity and Context
- Program Identity and Curriculum
- Faculty and Administration
- Learning Environments and Resources
Section II. Knowledge Acquisition and Application
- Global Context
- Business Practices and Professionalism
- Human-Centered Design
- Design Process
- Design Elements and Principles
- Light and Color
- Products and Materials
- Environmental Systems and Comfort
- Regulations and Guidelines
Students begin their studies in Environmental + Interior Design in their first year at Chaminade. Those seeking a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Environmental + Interior Design (BFA-EID) must complete a Declaration of Major (DOM) through the Academic Advising office. Passing the E+ID Comprehensive Exam and Practicum (end of 200 level courses) is required to move forward in the program and into the upper division studios.
On-going advising with the E+ID Program Director is required, and highly recommended before starting the first semester of studies. The scaffold structure of courses is strategically designed to build knowledge and skill sets. This structure begins in the Fall semester, however, entry into the program is possible in the Spring, as well.
- AR 201 Survey of Art I or AR 202 Survey of Art II
- EID 200 Fundamentals of Interior Design
- EID 202 Introduction to Technical Drawing
- EID 205 Color for Interiors
- EID 211 Textiles
- EID 216 Design Principles & Interior Composition
- EID 217 Introduction to Computer Aided Design
- EID 220 Building Systems & Components
- EID 271 Materiality in Interior Design
- EID/GE 335 Socio-Cultural Aspects of Design
- Successful completion of the CUH-EID Comprehensive Exam and Practicum
- EID 310 History of Furniture & Interior Design
- EID 311 20th Century Architecture & Design
- EID 312 Presentation Methods
- EID 319 Advanced Computer Aided Design
- EID 321 Programming & Space Planning
- EID 325 Introduction to Lighting Design
- EID 355 Sculpture
- EID 370 Universal Design – Inclusive Environments
- EID 384 Sustainability in Design
- EID 410 Design Business Principles & Practices
- EID 414 Portfolio Preparation
- EID 415 Professional Practice Internship
- EID 470 Senior Studio Residential
- EID 471 Senior Studio Commercial
- EID Elective (choose one):
- EID 380 Special Topics
- EID 480 Special Topics
- EID 481 Kitchen and Bath Design
- EID 482 Progressive Technologies
NOTE: For information regarding the Associate of Arts degree in Environmental + Interior Design (AA-EID), please contact the E+ID Program Director.
Catalog & Four-Year Plan
Laptop Recommendation & Software
Inspired by student design proposals, our facilities support student productivity through dedicated studios and an on-site print room. The student resource center provides design publications, manufacturer catalogs, finish samples and work/collaboration spaces for students and faculty.
All design studios feature:
- State-of-the-art workstations, adjustable monitors, and the latest design software packages (AutoCAD, Revit, 3DS Max, SketchUp-Pro, Adobe CC, Lumion & EnScape)
- Color laser printers, overhead projector, and projection screen
- Sustainable architectural finishes, and energy-efficient fixtures and equipment
- Areas for project display/exhibits
The resource center includes:
- Full in-house reprographics capabilities (copier, scanners, printers, plotters, and 3D printer)
- Informal student meeting and presentation areas that foster a lively, collaborative work/learning environment
- A full-size, accessible, working kitchen (incorporating universal and sustainable design principles) which provides students a place to work, study, and socialize
- A well-stocked materials/sample area containing a wide selection of architectural finishes
- A design library including current design textbooks, magazines, journals and reference resources
E+ID students also enjoy access to the Fine Arts Department workshop for sculpting, ceramics classes, constructing project mock-ups, or building large-scale assemblies.
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