(MA for Sustainability)
The MA in Design with a Concentration in Interior Design for Sustainability (MA for Sustainability) was created to provide our interior design students and the design community of North Texas the opportunity to acquire expanded knowledge on green and sustainable design to enhance their professional work and careers. Although the UNT Interior Design program has integrated this important subject across our curriculum for many years, this MA degree will add significant competency and applicable skills for those who choose to complete the degree.
The inclusion of this important knowledge is widely supported in all accredited Interior Design programs, but there are few programs specifically focusing on the subject in this region. It is our goal that the graduates of this program will develop sustainable projects and plan courses of investigation that lead to the discovery of new insights into sustainable built environments.
While the program starts in fall 2015 with a group of 10 seniors, we fully expect that this number will increase as the professional design community discovers the program and seeks to enroll.
The MA for Sustainability in the Department of Design at UNT prepares students to not only study, but to define and re-invent solutions for the fundamental challenges that impact the interior design profession in an increasingly changing world. The MA for Sustainability is a Grad Track Degree Program at UNT. The Grad Track refers to an accelerated Bachelor’s and Master’s degree program designed to allow highly successful undergraduate students to use graduate courses taken as an undergraduate to apply towards both the graduate and undergraduate degrees.
The program is also designed for candidates from practice interested in enhancing their knowledge in sustainable design or to assist entry-level graduate candidates in formulating a research agenda to allow them to continue in the MFA in Design with a Concentration in Interior Design. This program is also designed for recently graduates and design professionals who wish to develop in-depth knowledge or specific skills in sustainability.
Most of graduate courses for the MA for Sustainability will be offered in the Design Research Collaborative (DRC) in downtown Dallas, 1901 Main Street, based on course availability and scheduling. The DRC location will provide convenient access to the program for regional professional design community. Since the MA for Sustainability program is located in a vital and prosperous region with an active design community and industry professionals are available and willing to provide support, providing more opportunities to expose and integrate the graduate students with the regional professional community through collaborative projects will be an excellent benefit.
The MA for Sustainability program offers holistic learning processes of interior design with an emphasis on sustainability. The program strives to nurture and advance interior designers’ professional design knowledge and skills in sustainable design. The program strengthens and supports the knowledge, skills, and techniques necessary in competent interior design practice while providing the profound exploration of sustainable design. This includes proficiencies that address sustainable project management practices, research methods, problem solving, critical thinking, graphic and written communication, ethics, and social responsibility.
The curricular objectives of the MA for Sustainability program are to improve our graduates’ abilities to:
• understand the concept and history of sustainability
• understand work ethics and social responsibility
• understand research foundation and methodologies
• critically review literature relevant to their project/research topics
• identify and develop their project/research agenda
• investigate self-elected questions by means of research
• specialize and expand their body of knowledge for sustainability
• manage sustainable design projects professionally
• demonstrate effective writing and presentation skills for knowledge exchange
• understand the global impact of sustainable design on individuals, groups and society
• work in a collaborative environment
The MA in Sustainability candidates are expected to develop sustainable projects and plan a course of investigation that leads to the discovery of new insights into sustainable built environments. This graduate level investigation includes both studio work and scholarly investigation using the research process.
GOALS AND ASPIRATIONS OF THE PROGRAM
We would also like to provide more opportunities to integrate the graduate students with the regional professional community in a research capacity and/or through interdisciplinary and multicultural collaborative experiences. The MA for Sustainability program will also facilitate the development of a cohort group of graduate students in the ID MFA program. Since our program is located in a vital and prosperous region with an active design community and industry professionals are available and willing to provide support, providing more opportunities to expose and integrate the graduate students with the regional professional community through collaborative projects will be an excellent benefit.