Department of Interior Design
Seniors do the Gator Chomp during their visit to the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago

Student Life

” As a student in the Interior Design program at University of Florida, you are provided with opportunities to explore both your objective [problem-solving] and creative abilities due to the strong academic focus and excellent instructors. The Interior Design program has an intense and challenging course load, which allows students to be successful in the real world. A huge positive of the program is the small class size, encouraging you to form strong relationships with both classmates and professors. This experience encourages students to become very involved with the design community and for the rest of their careers.”

Jennifer Harris
Interior Design senior
2011-12 President, ASID/IIDA Student Design Association

UF ASID/IIDA Student Association

The ASID/IIDA Student Association is the professional association for interior design students at the University of Florida. This student chapter is unique in that it represents both the American Society of Interior Design (ASID) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).

The student chapter strives to connect students with design practitioners and industry professionals. Additionally, the student association provides opportunities to get involved in the local community. The association also offers a great way to connect with interior design students in different classes from freshman to seniors to graduate students as well as engage with other disciplines across the college. Students have the opportunity to learn about the interior design profession through participation in monthly meetings, community service projects, workshops, and an annual student showcase that presents a showcase of student work and fund raises for the organization and a scholarship fund. Professor Candy Carmel-Gilfilen serves as faculty advisor to the student association.

Lobbying in Tallahassee

Interior design faculty and students engage in design-related legislation in the state capital of Tallahassee. The purpose of these visits to the capital was to lobby in regards to Chapter 481 (Part 1) which regulates the title and practice of interior design in the State of Florida. This regulation sets the minimum competency to safely practice a profession and includes education, experience, examination, and continued education. Whether the trip is to participate in the annual “Yes I Am” campaign advocating for the profession of interior design, or to testify in House and Senate hearings, the UF interior design program shows its support of practitioners in the state. Dr. Margaret Portillo, Chair of the Interior Design Department commented on these importance of these visits, “These experiences underscored how significant, empowering, and exciting it is to advocate for the advancement of the profession. During the past year, UF faculty and students have helped positioned our program at the forefront of interior design advocacy in the State of Florida..”

Habitat for Humanity

Interior Design students engage in hands-on learning as part of their curriculum requirements for the major, typically by volunteering at non-for-profit organizations like Habitat for Humanity. Students participate in ‘group builds’ where they are on-site for a day participating in the construction process. Past builds have included framing, installing drywall and painting, and applying exterior finishes.

Pro Day

For interior design students at the University of Florida, ProDay offers a unique opportunity for them to mingle with industry professionals. The event brings interior designers from across the State of Florida to the UF campus to participate in a one-day event to enrich student learning and development. Senior and MID students have the opportunity to engage in one-on-one mock interviews as they receive feedback on their portfolios and gain interviewing skills. In addition, animated panel discussions are held on issues relating to professionalism and portfolio development that offer new insight on entry-level employment opportunities and reveal exciting directions in the field.