Image courtesy of Woodbury University.
The Interior Design program at Woodbury University’s School of Architecture has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the Angelo Donghia Foundation.
The Angelo Donghia Foundation is part of the renowned home furnishings company Donghia Inc., founded by the late American interior designer Angelo Donghia. The award will be used over the course of three years for a Senior Studio program for Interior Design students and help fund “fieldwork study expenses,” allowing students to gain hands-on experience during their final year of study.
“One of the promises of fieldwork is the potential to expand learning beyond the academic environment, synthesizing many types and modalities of education, and providing an active relationship between knowledge acquisition and knowledge content,” shared Professor Heather Peterson, who will lead the grant and was also the writer of the grant proposal.
The grant’s co-author and Woodbury Professor of Interior Design Kristoph Korner explained, “It is hard to simulate the actual, physical experience of interior spaces. Images or even movies leave out essential aspects of the interior.” He added, “The grant will allow our students to visit exemplary places. To go and see spaces, smell them, hear the sounds of their bodies moving through them and use all senses for a holistic experience.”
Woodbury is one of many top design schools to receive funding through the foundation since its inception in 2001. Other institutions include the Rhode Island School of Design and last year’s recipient, the California College of the Arts. In a statement, the department’s chair, Branka Olson, said she felt the end result would teach students in the BFA program about “improving the human experience through the power of design.”
Professor Peterson added, “It also seeks to broaden student understanding of where and how learning can happen, and produce greater magnifications within their work, and the relevancy of their work to the world. We believe that the capstone year is uniquely suited to bring the merits of empirical study into alignment with the focus and specificity of each students self-directed Senior Project work, allowing them to enhance and develop their voice and values as designers as they bridge from academia into the wider world.”