Imagine designing the interior of a home made entirely from Mother Nature and trash. Earthships are built from natural and recycled materials, such as tires and beer bottles, and are filled with plants and sun-lit windows. These innovative structures create their own electricity, obtain their water from the environment, provide their own sewage services and control the temperature. Created by the architect Michael Reynolds, Earthships are inspiring people around the globe to build and design in harmony with the environment.
Many bachelor's degrees in interior design cover hot new trends like environmental design. Our dwindling natural resources make green design a necessity; according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, designers with knowledge of green materials are in demand.
Earning bachelor's degrees in interior design
The BLS notes that interior designers must be formally trained. Even if you are highly creative and skilled in decorating interiors, the field is much more complex than choosing light fixtures and deciding where to put the couch.
Undergraduate interior design programs may delve into the history of design and architecture. The curriculum also covers courses like the following:
- Architectural drafting
- Building codes
- Computer-aided drafting
- Space planning
The required general coursework in undergraduate programs can help you build your strengths in math, language and communication. Studies should also include business principles and marketing. Many programs offer internship opportunities to give you hands-on time in the field and introduce you to professional contacts.
Interior design careers and outlook
In this field, you could use your talents designing offices, homes, airport terminals, shopping malls or restaurants. According to the BLS, the 2010 median salary for interior designers was $46,280. The BLS predicts average growth for interior design jobs, at 19 percent between 2010 and 2020.
Keen competition for jobs is anticipated, and the BLS suggests that training in green design or ergonomics -- utilizing furniture that fits the human body and its movements -- can improve your qualifications. The interest in ergonomics stems from our aging population and a greater understanding of mind and body connectivity.
In addition to artistic talent, designers need familiarity with technology, including tools for photo imaging, spreadsheet calculations and video creation. Thanks to technological innovations, online study programs are available, offering flexible schedules and making it easier to get started on your degree.