About RID+I

Students in front of a large LED screen in VITAL.

The Richmond Institute for Design + Innovation will equip you to work and collaborate with international firms and corporations solving real-world design problems in both our Interior Architecture and Design and Product Design programs. Your design faculty is made up of world-class professionals with a breadth of industry experience who are excited to bring all your learning experiences together and help you create the future. Our mentorship programs, internship field experiences, university travel programs and student organizations work together to help open a wide network of collaborators for the long careers ahead of you. Both programs offer many extra-curricular opportunities such as guest presentations and lecture series, strong community connections, field trips and an ever-growing network of professional design alumni that support and embrace our students in the professional world.

Your first year of design studies will have you focusing on developing your design communication skills, design process and foundations to create form and space. This sequence will lay the groundwork for design drawing, fundamentals of form and space, design history and ideation skills vital to your success in the profession. We know this because our faculty come from the professions you will enter and understand what you need to succeed. In addition, during your first year, you will begin to learn the technical knowledge required in your selected program while you simultaneously undertake your design studies. This is unlike similar programs across the country, there is no waiting until your sophomore year to start preparing for your career.

The second year immediately builds on your foundational experiences and elevates expectations by moving you into areas of study such as architecture, products, ergonomics, processes and materials, and more design communication, and hopefully your first internship during the summer. Interior architecture and design students will be required to undergo a portfolio review to advance to the 3rd year.

Year three continues to bolster your design studies, building upon all the fundamentals you learned in the first two years, and enhancing your understanding of the professional requirements in your chosen design degree. You may augment your work within areas such as sculpture or painting or metals-jewelry fabrication. The need for our designers to have a solid grounding in related art/design forms has been a consistent request of our professional partners. During your 3rd year, you can explore a variety of subjects that help you develop a deeper understanding of environmental psychology or marketing strategies as they apply to your chosen design program. All of our students focus on understanding the reciprocal relationship between humans and the environments we inhabit with the goal of enhancing their quality of life.

The final year of the program is structured to prepare you for the transition out of your studies in design and into your first job and into your career. Your major efforts will be preparing for your design thesis, the penultimate experience of your design studies.