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School of Human Ecology

Design Studies

Interior Architecture Major
Textiles and Fashion Design Major
Certificate Programs

3191 Nancy Nicholas Hall, 1300 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-2651; ds@mail.sohe.wisc.edu; www.sohe.wisc.edu/ds

Professors Angus, Dong, Nelson, Rengel (chair), Sarmadi; Associate Professors Chopra, Hark, Kallenborn; Assistant Professors Fairbanks, Penick, Ponto, Shin; Faculty Associates Sager, Kurutz

Design Studies (DS) offers multidisciplinary education in design and research of interior design environments and textiles and apparel, through participation in formal classroom instruction and ongoing research and scholarly endeavors. Students benefit from a broad-based program and a faculty specializing in areas such as design visualization, environment and behavior studies, history of interiors and textiles, interior architecture, material culture, textile and apparel design, and textile science.

Two undergraduate majors are offered: (1) interior architecture and (2) textiles and fashion design. DS also offers a Human Ecology: Design Studies graduate program (see the Graduate School Catalog for further information).

The interior architecture (IA) major prepares students to be creative, disciplined, organized, and highly skilled design professionals. Graduates are prepared to work with clients and other design professionals to develop solutions that are safe, functional, attractive while meeting the needs of the users. Career placement for graduates ranges from residential design, to retail, to hospitality, to corporate business, and governmental agencies. 

The textiles and fashion design (TFD) major offers the opportunity to channel creative thinking into challenging careers in the multifaceted textile and apparel field. TFD graduates find positions both nationally and internationally in a wide range of settings from industry to small business.

Student internships in both majors augment campus course offerings, providing students with unique learning opportunities in their chosen fields. Design Studies majors have access to design resources: studios, a computer laboratory equipped to support design work; textile laboratories including a testing room; an interior design resource room, the Design Gallery, the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, and the Ruth Ketterer Harris Library. In addition, a strong collaborative environment exists for students and faculty interaction with other departments, institutes, and museums on the campus and other design programs within the state and country.

On-campus students interested in learning about program admissions should contact the Student Academic Affairs & Career Development Office (advising@sohe.wisc.edu; 608-262-2608) to schedule an appointment with an academic advisor. For application deadlines and procedures for SoHE programs, see applying to Human Ecology as an on-campus student. Curriculum checksheets are available online.

Textiles and Fashion Design Major
Interior Architecture Major

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs are optional and are not required for graduation. Several UW–Madison-sponsored programs may be relevant to design studies students including:

The textile science certificate is a non-transcripted certificate in design studies. The three courses encompass the study of the production of textile fibers and conversion of them into yarns and fabrics, dyeing and finishing of the textile products, color measurement and color matching. For additional information, see the Design Studies website.

The material cultures certificate examines forms, uses, and meanings of objects, images, and environments in everyday life. Undergraduate students in the program sample courses across departments such as Art History, Design Studies and History, as they build on their department majors. For additional information, see Material Culture Studies Certificate Program.