Every architecture or design program has a story or identity, which can be defined by many aspects such as; curricular philosophy, pedagogical methods, faculty research, facilities, and location. For faculty teaching in the Interior Architecture Program within the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at The George Washington University in Washington DC, it is critical to focus on context, and connect the curriculum to the city. The study of architecture and interiors is often driven by context; concepts are often derived from global and cultural-perspectives and designs are linked to their site, from macro to micro (country to city to neighborhood). Unlike other disciplines, architecture and interior design is physical and tied to a ‘place’, and projects that connect to the context often have more depth and breadth than those that lack any connection to site. The significant, physical location in nation’s capital, across from The White House, gives the program a distinct character in which to expand our pedagogy such as: projects that take advantage of dynamic sites; a modern reuse of historically significant buildings; pro-bono projects that connect to local non-profit organizations, the on-site study of modern/contemporary buildings, and collaboration with leading DC firms and organizations. The authors share their method for integrating the city into their integrated, sequential curriculum. By connecting every aspect of the program—from pedagogy to research to program identity—it has engaged and energized the community and added a depth to the program that can only exist in its DC context.
Stephanie received her Master of Architecture with distinction and Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan. She is an associate professor and program head of interior architecture at The George Washington University in Washington DC. Prior to GW, Stephanie worked as an architectural designer in New York City. She is the author of two books: Sketching for Architecture + Design (Laurence King Publishing, 2015) and 25 Concepts in Modern Architecture: A Guide for Visual Thinkers (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021) which is co-authored with Catherine Anderson.
Catherine Anderson – Prior to her position as an assistant professor at the George Washington University Interior Architecture Program in Washington DC, Catherine worked as a project manager in a variety of architecture and interior design firms. She earned a BS in Architecture and a MArch from The Catholic University of America’s School of Architecture + Planning. Her recent projects include participation in the US Department of Energy’s 2013 Solar Decathlon and co-authoring 25 Concepts in Modern Architecture: A Guide for Visual Thinkers (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021) with Stephanie Travis.