Auburn’s Interior Design Program, Faculty Ranked ‘Most Admired’ By DesignIntelligence

Charlotte Tuggle | Communications Editor

For the second consecutive year, the Auburn University Interior Design undergraduate program is ranked ninth in the nation and three faculty members in the College of Human Sciences have been listed among the top 16 most admired interior design educators by DesignIntelligence.

This year, the program rose in the rankings to sixth place for “most hired students by firms.” In the DesignIntelligence focus areas, the Interior Design program ranks within the top three in the country for engineering fundamentals, sustainability and transdisciplinary collaboration. Auburn’s program is also in the top five for design technologies, design theory and practice, practice management, healthy built environments, and project planning and management. The program is further recognized in the top ten lists for communication/presentation skills, construction materials and methods, interdisciplinary awareness and research.

“Our focus within the College of Human Sciences is improving quality of life. Our Interior Design program does this exceptionally well through the science of designing better environments,” College of Human Sciences Dean Susan Hubbard said. “This year’s DesignIntelligence rankings only confirm what we have heard from students, faculty and alumni: the Auburn Interior Design program is one of the best in the nation, and our faculty continue to advance that legacy of excellence year after year.”

The 2019 educator rankings honor Melanie Duffey, Anna Ruth Gatlin and Lindsay Tan for excellence in design education. Last year, Duffey and Gatlin were joined by lecturer Kelly Martin on the list of the most admired design educators. In the report, assistant professor Melanie Duffey is described as an “extraordinary educator in the realm of professional practice” and “one of the most relevant educators leading a real-world curriculum.” Duffey challenges her students to think critically in the classroom, producing countless graduates who succeed in the interior design industry around the world. She said this honor wouldn’t be possible without those dedicated students and alumni who apply what they learned at Auburn to their professional projects.

Assistant professor Anna Ruth Gatlin ensures her students excel in her studio, sponsored by Interior Elements and Allsteel, by teaching them to work with professional resources and experts, both in teams and individually. The report included a student testimonial that said, “She cares about her students and pushes us to produce the best work that we can. She is incredibly knowledgeable in every area of design and has an abundance of experience in the field.”

Lindsay Tan, associate professor and Interior Design program coordinator, was listed for her “commitment to excellent, holistic design education and preparation of students for practice,” according to the report. Her teaching philosophy is grounded in the idea that students learn best when coursework is relevant to their personal goals. By tailoring the education to the individual, Tan has seen her students rise above her high expectations and excel in the professional world of design.

Still, Tan said the highest honor for the program is the success of its graduates.

“Design is human-centered, and our design program is student-centered,” Tan said. “Our greatest reward, as a team, is seeing their lifelong success in the field."

For more information about the program visit the Interior Design website. To read the full 2019 DesignIntelligence rankings report, visit the DesignIntelligence website.