With more than 40 Billion dollars spent each year on Healthcare Construction there is a great need for Interior Designers who specialize in healthcare. To find the top 5 schools that help students prepare for this work I asked several people.
Surprisingly there was only agreement on three schools:
- Auburn University
- Arizona State University
- Stephen F. Austin University
What really struck me about the responses was the realization that the majority of designers who specialize in healthcare have not had specialty training. This is identical to the situation with healthcare Architects. Specialty training is the exception and not the norm. Most people learn on the job.
Note: the top 5 Schools for Healthcare Architecture was covered on a post last week. To read it, click here.
The response from Jocylyn Stroupe (Director of Healthcare Interiors at OWP/P) was typical:
The challenge of finding University programs in Healthcare Interior Design is even greater than finding programs in Healthcare Architecture. I have done quite a bit of research in this regard and have identified only two true Interior Design degree programs and a couple of hybrids:
Stephen F Austin located in Texas has an on line Master's Program
Auburn University has an Interior Design Master's Program
Arizona State University offers a Master's degree in a multi-disciplinary setting and not specific to Interior Design (Healthcare Design and Healing Environments)
Another initiative under development is at the University of Tennessee where the College of Architecture and Design has launched an elective in Health and Wellness. This initiative is expected to grow and encompass an interdisciplinary approach, inclusive of Architecture, Interior Design and Landscape Architecture.
Sarajane Eisen-Brown, Ph.D (Assistant Professor of Interior Design at Auburn University) wrote:
University of Tennessee is working on one. Then of course, there are programs that do teach a healthcare course in their undergraduate (as I do at Auburn as their Senior Thesis).
I got several responses supporting those same three schools. But there was a scattering of other suggestions:
Judy Girod, (Director of Interior Design Lothrop Associates, LLP)
I am not sure what the top health care design schools might be as I think the better design schools teach the design process such that students know how to find solutions to design problems in all disciplines. Granted, having a design specialty helps makes the designer more current on specifics and cutting edge information in their market but we get that from working on projects and having a specific or primary interest in an area.
I think the better interior design schools in this area would include NYSID, FIT, Pratt, Cornell, Syracuse and RISID.
Cindi S. Matras, (Director of Project Development at Flad Architects) wrote:
The Council for Interior Design Accreditation indicates that the top5 ranked Interior Design Schools are:
The University of Cincinnati in Ohio
Pratt Institute in New York
Kansas State in Kansas
Cornell in New York
Arizona State in Arizona
Another designer wrote: