The Interior Design Department at Marymount University received the 2012 Potomac Award from the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of the American Society of Interior Design (ASID). This is the college's first time winning this award.
The university now joins past winners including the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum by accepting the award, which recognized the department for its distinguished contribution to their local community, according to the college's press release.
The department has fostered an innovative curriculum, including the study of sustainable design, which graduates are now applying in the real world, officials said.
Professor Jean Freeman, who teaches a course called the Principles of Sustainable Design believes that concepts in the classroom are being implemented professionally in very real ways.
“[The curriculum is] very rich with other than the classroom learning—out of the classroom learning,” Freeman said.
Students are given access to all types of professional organizations and events that help cultivate their creative eye, she said.
“We have a lot of guest critics,” she said. “So the designers from around town can come in and give professional criticism of our student work.”
The chair of the interior design department, Dr. Bob Meden, said in a statement that the consistency of the program’s quality through its history shows in the type of graduates they produce, and that gives reason for them being honored this year.
“This award is really a recognition of our alumni’s accomplishments,” Meden said. “They are now more than 800 strong, have garnered numerous awards, and many have served as officers and in other capacities with the DC chapter of ASID.”
The university’s program began in 1979 and focuses on providing their students with an interdisciplinary approach to interior design, according to the department’s website.
Marymount offers both a bachelors and masters degree in interior design, and has cultivated a strong faculty who help set the standards within the field. The department includes three architects, three interior designers and an art historian, which help further enrich the curriculum, Freeman said.
The school also prides itself on its consistent accreditation by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. Marymount’s undergraduate program has been continually accredited since 1985, according to the department’s website, which is a characteristic design firms take notice of when looking to employ quality graduates.
Washington has become an area rising in prominence within architecture and interior design. And, with such close proximity, students at Marymount are given access a lot of resources.
“They see us.” Freeman said. “We're out and about and around.”
Marymount University, a private Catholic university enrolling over 3,500 graduate and undergraduate students, is located at 2807 N. Glebe Road.