Students in the College of Architecture have access to a number of program enrichment opportunities that support and enhance their classroom learning. These enrichment opportunities encompass activities such as study abroad opportunities, a distinguished lecture series, class-sponsored field trips, hands on learning opportunities (including community engagement and design build projects), community service projects as sponsored classroom projects or through student organizations, and membership in student professional organizations.
Information coming soon!
We bring world class architects, designers, planners, and thinkers to our students through a distinguished lecture series. This program, sometimes presented in collaboration with IIDA city center, AIA San Antonio chapter, or local firms, offers students direct access to some of the best design professionals and academics in the world. Often our lecturers visit the design studios to serve as critics engaging students in rewarding dialogue about design, the professional and the academy.
Class-sponsored field trips and active learning opportunities supplement learning objectives and expose students to different cultures, ecologies, and design and building traditions – all to enhance the educational experience. Most studios require project-related site visits as part of an education investigation. Our proximity to a culturally diverse and rich urban setting offers a great opportunity to learn about context, environment, and cultural and social issues that impact the way we design. More extensive field trips are planned for second-year students to architecturally important sites around the state. Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston, Galveston, New Orleans, La., and Marfa,Tex. are some of our recent field trip sites. Students tour architecturally significant sites in these locales to experience diverse environments and settings. Interior design students have specialized trips to attend professional conferences and conventions to take part in design and portfolio competitions. Often, students organize their own field trips during semester breaks to diverse locations, including Chicago, New York, and international cities.
Outreach, Service Learning and Community Engagement
UTSA has identified Outreach as a strategic initiative for all Colleges. In our College and the Interior Design program specifically, this means that students have many opportunities through studio and classroom projects to engage in outreach activities as part of their learning experience by bringing real clients and real problems into the classroom. These activities range from providing analytical and creative problem solving skills to tackle current social issues affecting our community, conducting research, preparing reports, developing conceptual and design solutions, and engaging in design / build activities for clients. For our students, these opportunities yield a greater understanding of how the design and construction industry works by giving them access to clients, consultants, and industry partners and offering a glimpse into the complex workings of the industry. These projects often receive local and even regional publicity and enhance student portfolios giving them great advantage when seeking employment.
One of the goals of the interior design program is to foster leadership among our students. One of the most effective ways we do this is to encourage membership and participation in student professional organizations. Most interior design students participate in the student chapter of International Interior Design Association (IIDA Campus Center) but our encouraged to join allied organizations including ASID, AIAS, USGBC. The activities offered by these organizations include professional and community service programs, participating in fundraisers and social activities, and developing programs for continuing education bringing students and practitioners together.
Competitions in the Classroom
Interior design students benefit from a concerted effort to integrate design competitions into our curriculum. This exposes them to a range of regional and global issues and offers a look at the state of design in a global setting. We use our success in these competitions as a metric to evaluate our program strengths ensuring we are achieving our goal to offer excellent design education, and that we stay current with educational trends around the globe.