CCA’s Bachelor in Interior Design program was awarded a $75,000 grant from the Angelo Donghia Foundation in July 2021. Over the next three years this grant will support the expansion and development of the program’s Materiality and Space curriculum, which is one of Interior Design’s three core curricular streams, along with Interior Design Studio and Design Media.
Interior Design Chair Amy Campos notes that, because CCA’s Interior Design program is a relatively small program, the effects of the grant funds are already being felt. “Funding like this is hugely impactful at that ‘every student’ level,” she says. “Already this semester, we've been able to purchase materials, tools and machines for use in the Interior Design studios. We are hosting a number of notable guest speakers, including the textile artist Mimi Jung. The students have kicked off this fall semester with excitement for the future and enthusiasm for making in person after a year and half away from campus. These are the impacts that aren't really written into the grant but are already tangible with the students' successful return to campus. I’m so thankful to the Donghia Foundation for their continued support. It’s enormously worthwhile, ensuring that the students' connection to materiality and making is productive and inspiring.”
The grant funds will support students through resources like materials kits and a new Interior Design-specific materials collection, provide professional development opportunities for faculty, and develop more interdisciplinary opportunities connecting Interior Design to other craft-based programs like Textiles, Furniture Design, Ceramics, Printmedia, and Jewelry/Metal Arts.
“The interdisciplinary component of the grant is a natural fit for the way that interior designers tend to work, particularly around materiality, because designers inherently collaborate and curate collections of things that other people make,” says Campos.
With a portion of the funds, Interior Design will establish a permanent Interior Design Materials Collection (IDMC) for the program. Opening in conjunction with CCA’s expanded campus, Interior Design students will be able to source materials from the collection and run tests or experiments for assignments. “With the IDMC, students won't have to return materials, and they can have a more robust one-on-one experience with the materials that they are researching, testing, and specifying,” Campos says. “Our hope is that our CCA Interior Design students will be able to engage and lead larger global conversations about material production for the industry.” Student material prototypes will also be selectively archived into the collection and exhibited on campus.
The Donghia grant will also help the program achieve CCA’s Ecological Practices designation on all Materials and Space studios with an emphasis on being materially responsible, and putting all students on a path to receive an Ecological Practices minor while at CCA. “Interior Design is a huge industry and we empower the students to understand that they have a very big impact in terms of what materials are made, marketed, and installed,” says Campos. “We want students to be experts in calibrating material use with material durability and full lifecycle understanding towards sustainable specifications and creations.”
This is the second grant from the Donghia Foundation in the past two years; in 2020, the Interior Design program was awarded $50,000 to support students through an expanded lighting design curriculum with a focus on research-driven, interdisciplinary courses. Since its launch, the Donghia Foundation has awarded more than $15 million to student scholarships, educational initiatives, and other causes.