Sheffields interior design program goes green

By Jennifer Baker on July 22nd, 2008

With gas prices skyrocketing, and people all over the world focusing global warming and other environmental issues, the "green design" trend has become ubiquitous. And there's every reason for this trend to stick around. Why wouldn't people be interested in buying products that create a healthier living environment, reduce utility bills, and protect natural resources?

NYIAD's Green Design component

NYIAD recognizes the importance of green design — both because it's a socially responsible trend, and because expertise in this area can help designers build their businesses. Therefore, a new Green Design component has recently been added to the Complete Course in Interior Design. With their first Course unit, students now receive a beautiful, four-color lesson text, as well as an audio CD that features a panel discussion with NYIAD faculty members and Frank Millero, a prominent product designer who specializes in green materials.

"One of the basic Design Principles we teach at NYIAD is the concept of harmony," noted NYIAD Dean Thomas Saxon. "Within a single room harmony is achieved through color schemes, matching styles and other techniques that students learn in our Course. Green Design takes a broader view of harmony, and challenges us to think about how the rooms in our homes, our neighborhood, and our locality can be in harmony with the needs of our environment."

The new Green Design component will give students a broad understanding of the newest green materials, and how each of these materials comply with the following Five Principles of Green Design:

1) Energy efficiency — whether you buy an Energy Star refrigerator or add solar panels to your rooftop, you can save resources and reduce your electricity bills by keeping energy efficiency in mind when redecorating your home.

2) Use of low impact materials — try to choose materials that are healthy for both people (like low-VOC paints) and the environment (like sustainably harvested wood). Typically low-impact materials are often biodegradable and free from harmful toxins.

3) Use of high-quality, durable materials — choose materials that are built to last so that you won't be added worn-out furnishings to the landfill a few months from now.

4) Design for reuse and recycling, or use of recycled materials — whenever you can make something new out of something old, you're lowering your consumption of natural resources.

5) Conservation of water — it's possible to install shower sinks, showerheads and toilets that use minimal amounts of water. Or if you're ambitious, collect rainwater for watering the lawn or washing the car.

Click here to read an excerpt of NYIAD's Green Design lesson.

If you enroll in NYIAD's Complete Course in Interior Design you'll receive the entire lesson, with your first unit of the course. If you're already a student, or are simply interested in purchasing the Green Design component of the NYIAD Course, contact us at 1-212-661-7270.


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