The Department of Design incorporates education that contributes to healthy components in the environment
The College of Human Sciences is dedicated to improving and enhancing the human condition through community outreach, impactful service and interdisciplinary instruction. One of the ways the college is improving the community, is education focused on environmental health and wellness.
Environmental health and wellness includes learning ways to contribute heathy components to the environment around us. This involves implementing sustainable materials, natural elements and reducing pollutants incorporated into the design of our community. The Department of Design's (DOD) academic programs teach students how to integrate environmental health and wellness into their designs and projects.
Some of the DOD degree programs focusing on this initiative include Bachelor of Interior Design, M.S. in Environmental Design and Interior and Environmental Design Ph.D. With these degrees, students learn how to design safe, healthy, and environmentally sustainable spaces that serve diverse populations. Ph.D. candidate, Rana Bazaid, shares her experience in the Interior and Environmental Design doctoral program.
"The Interior and Environmental Design program expands my knowledge of interior design, especially how indoor environments influence users' wellbeing and experience," Bazaid said. "As a Ph.D. student, I improved my skills in research and finding innovative solutions from other disciplines to fill gaps in the interior design field."
Students even get to help design environmentally conscious spaces that can be used
in the community. Department of Design graduate student, Elizabeth Perry, is working to help conduct design workshops for childcare centers and assist in
research for OLE! Texas. Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE!) Texas is a statewide
initiative of the Texas Department of State Health Services that focuses on promoting
healthful, natural-based outdoor spaces in early childcare education programs.
“The Department of Design works tirelessly to equip each student with the knowledge and tangible skills to have a successful career in design,” Perry said. “I've been able to take the skills learned through my design classes and apply those to helping with the OLE! Texas initiative.”
Through instruction and hands-on projects, students gain the knowledge needed to better our communities. The Department of Design is helping educate future designers to incorporate features promoting environmental health and wellness.