Interior Architecture


Interior Architecture is a universe bounded by walls. Which is to say, its domain is anything in a room: from the physical to the theoretical; from décor to process; from a designing objects to implementing LEED standards.

At Cornish, you’ll find a universe of possibilities. Our Interior Architecture program is a growing cohort of peers, faculty, and specialists eager to research and explore those opportunities with you.

You will work alongside mentors in our Experience Studio to bring your ideas to life in 2D, in 3D, and in augmented and virtual environments. Classes are project-based, focused on real outcomes that integrate research and practical experience.

Though Interior Design, focused on lifestyle, is a study track that dates back to the 1950s at Cornish, Interior Architecture is now an expanded, independent department that adds new layers of inquiry-based study and practice. It looks to design thinking as a route for solving problems. Our instructors are leaders in the field as well as leaders in the community, including past presidents and board members from the American Society of Industrial Design (ASID), Industrial Design Society (IDS), and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).

The regional assets of the Pacific Northwest provide an ideal physical setting for your studies. Seattle, both cultural and design innovation hub, is attracting design talent from around the world as one of the nation’s fastest growing cities. The city itself is a research laboratory where ideas for the design of interiors and the built environment are being incubated, tested, implemented and adapted every day in new buildings and renovations.

We couldn’t be more excited to be expanding this program, in this place, at this time. Join us and help shape the spaces that shape our lives.



Interior Architecture follows a generalized model, but each student’s program is individualized based on placement testing, transfer credits, and individual progress as the student advances. The first year of the program is spent in Foundations. Then the student chooses to specialize in Interior Architecture. Students are introduced to professional practice strategies in all four years of study. Students may participate in internships with professional firms to gain expertise in a variety of skill sets and industry outcomes. The completion of all studio courses requires the submission of portfolio accompanied by documentation of research, process records, and written statements of intent or reflection. Ongoing assessment is holistic, collaborative, and formative to provide meaningful feedback and direction for the completion of work in research-led projects or evidence-based practices during each module.

Interior Architecture Degree

Students must successfully complete studio or related areas courses, general studies (humanities & sciences, critical & contextual studies), art/design/interior architecture history classes, and college electives. Model Programs are updated at the beginning of each academic year. This PDF contains the current year’s model programs for this program. Students should refer to the model program that was in effect for the year and term of their entrance to Cornish. View archived catalogs and model programs.

Interior Architecture Degree Courses

Course descriptions are updated at the beginning of each academic year. This PDF contains the current year’s course descriptions for this program. For previous years, please refer to the online archive of catalogs

Interior Architecture Degree Requirements

All incoming students will need to purchase a laptop and software before the start of classes. Provided below is a list for you to make sure you have everything you will need. In order to redeem the education discount you can either take your Cornish Student ID with you to an Apple store, or you can purchase directly through the Apple online store.

  • Laptop 15” 2.2 GHz Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display and minimum 16GB of RAM, plus AppleCare extended warranty.
  • External Storage External Hard Drive: G-Tech G-Drive mini, 500 GB portable Hard Drive.
  • Software Adobe Creative Cloud Student and Teacher Edition subscription.
If you have already invested in a different system or have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the program’s IT Support Coordinator.

Interior Architecture Degree Learning Outcomes

Students in Interior Architecture will

  • Create distinct visual expression, grounded in both historic and contemporary knowledge of composition, form, style, media, and materials.
  • Speak, listen, and write effectively for varied audiences and purposes.
  • Competently use digital design tools, techniques, and technologies with a working knowledge of 2D, 3D, and 4D basics in media, film/animation, and material explorations.
  • Assess qualities of integrated building systems and human-centered design for sustainable practices including well-being.
  • Articulate architecture history practice to new methods, including culture, region, and sensitivity for social responsibility and ethics.
  • Foster critical and creative evaluation of emerging forms of art, design, and sciences.

Faculty & Staff


The program structure is designed to be flexible and responsive, where students work together and have access to open learning spaces and the sharing of facilities. During your four years at Cornish you will work within a studio-based environment supported by a diverse range of media, workshop and production facilities.

Interior Architecture Galleries

The Main Gallery has been a significant feature and resource at Cornish for many years, and has hosted the work of many renowned artists. Alongside the main space, students are invited to submit proposals to create work for The Collaboratory, a project space located in the gallery that is dedicated to interdisciplinary explorations across the College. This represents the very best of Cornish’s unique identity as one of only three colleges in North America that offers both the visual and performing arts.

Student agency is at the heart of Cornish. The Closet Gallery is a student run exhibition space. It is for the students, by the students. Our goal is to provide a professional environment for students to showcase their work while pursuing their degree.

The Visiting Artist Program is a key feature of your study and provides the context to meet artists working professionally. You will also have access to the annual lecture series linked with the Neddy Artist Awards.

Numerous resources are open to Cornish students such as the Mary Alice Cooley Print Collection and the Henry Art Gallery Collections at the University of Washington.


First Slide

February 14, 2017

Historic Seattle Lecture Explores Cornish History

David Martin, the curator of Cascadia Art Museum exhibition on Cornish College of the Arts' history, will lecture on the history of the school on March 6, 7 p.m., at PONCHO. This event is part of the Historic Seattle 2017 educational program for lovers of buildings and heritage.

“Miss Aunt Nellie” as she was affectionately known, was arguably the most important figure in Wa...

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January 31, 2017

We All Thrive In An Interconnected World

The following was sent on Monday by interim President Chris Kevorkian to the Cornish College of the Arts community. In a typical academic year, the college has students from more than a dozen countries on campus. In the last few years, students have come from Bermuda, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, and Thailand, among others.

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, Trustees, and other members of our community, I write to you today...

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January 13, 2017

January 18 Deadline Fast Approaching for Cornish-VCFA Masters Program

The Vermont College of Fine Arts offers both an innovative, accelerated, combined BFA/MAT program with Cornish, as well as their fine standard MAT. Both programs have an application deadline coming up.

One of the landmark events of recent years has been the first involvement in a graduate program by C...

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November 21, 2016

Cornish Interior Architecture Students Dive Deep into Design at Friday Harbor Labs

Genevieve Tremblay (Interim Chair, Creative Corridor) and Julie Myers (Chair, Interior Architecture) led a 3-day site visit and design challenge for the junior and senior Cornish Interior Architecture students at Friday Harbor Laboratories, a marine science research and education center on San Juan Island. In Fall of 2016, Cornish announced a new Interior Architecture program, led by founding Chair, Julie Myers. It has been a course of study for many years, but this year will be the first for this degree pathway.

This past summer, Tremblay spent two weeks as a Helen R. Whiteley Center artist/scholar in residence...

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November 14, 2016

Dwisatria’s Designs Honored By Donghia Foundation

Interior Architecture student Gabriel Dwisatria was awarded a Angelo Donghia Foundation Scholarship, as Cornish College of the Arts becomes one of a handful of colleges to have multiple Donghia recipients.

Article provided by Interior Architecture student Carrie Gerstenberger, who works in Cornish's Commu...

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October 12, 2016

Julie Myers Heads New Interior Architecture Program

Since 2007, Julie Myers has been teaching interior architecture at Cornish College of the Arts. A leader in her field, she's now Chair of the newly created Interior Architecture department. Cornish began offering a BFA in Interior Architecture this year.

Cornish College of the Arts Provost and VP of Academic Affairs Moira Scott Payne has named Julie Mye...

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September 14, 2016

Cornish Presents 2016/17: Theater, Music, Dance, Performance, and Jazz

While best known for the terrific jazz at PONCHO co-produced with Earshot Jazz, Cornish Presents is a multidisciplinary series of visiting artists, beloved alumni, and distinguished faculty. The 2016/17 season is no exception.

Following last month’s special remount of Raisins  in a Glass of Milk at the Cornish Playhous...

Raisins in a Glass of Milk August 25-27, 8:00 p.m. Begun as a senior thesis project, Ra...

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September 6, 2016

President Kevorkian Speaks at First Convocation

At the beginning of each academic year, the community of Cornish College of the Arts comes together for Convocation. This year is special, as a new president, Chris Kevorkian, stepped up to the podium.

On Tuesday morning September 6, the students, faculty, and staff of Cornish College of the Arts met...

​I will maintain respect for the dignity and integrity of each person. i will safeguard...

The mission of Cornish College of the Arts is to provide students aspiring to become practicing arti...

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April 2, 2016

Inside Interior Architecture: Drawing is Hard

What's life like as a student in Cornish's dynamic Interior Architecture program? Junior Carrie Gerstenberger gives us the low-down on some skills students need to develop.

​ By Carrie Gerstenberger '17 I am not a doodler. I have never been. I’m a list taker. The tho...

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July 17, 2015

Williams Win Caps Banner Year for Interior Architecture

With Donghia Scholarship win, Alexa Williams joins fellow Interior Architecture students at the top.

​Design senior Alexa Williams '16, entering her senior year in Interior Architecture, has won a pr...