Environmental + Interior Design (EID)
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Environmental + Interior Design


Accreditation & Appellation

2013 has been a banner year for the design program at Chaminade. In April we completed the site visit from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and our BFA degree program was granted accreditation status. This is a significant accomplishment for the program and a mandate to continue offering a high-quality design education. In addition, we have renamed our program, now titled Environmental + Interior Design (EID), to better reflect the program’s overall curricular content as well as the breadth of design consciousness represented in the symbiotic relationship between interior and exterior environments and the interactive human experience.

New Logo

The Fall 2013 semester will begin with an EID student and faculty logo design competition in early September. More competition details and design entries to come, so stay tuned!


ASID Community Service Award - to Nancy Schnur, ASID, CAPS and CUH-ID Alum. This project is a joint venture design project between ASID HI, Chaminade University’s Environmental + Interior Design Program, Maluhia Care Center and several local industry partners. This design proposal project is intended to assist Maluhia Care Center in procuring funds for necessary renovation projects throughout the campus. The design foci included the two exterior public entries to the property, a wayfinding design proposal and renovation of the interior public spaces at the main entry and on the resident living floors.

The EID Program

Accreditation Status
The Environmental + Interior Design program (EID) is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), the body that oversees and evaluates academic standards for baccalaureate institutions.

Chaminade University offers the only degree-granting Environmental + Interior Design program in the state of Hawaii. Our comprehensive Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program prepares students to embark upon a successful career in interior design, environmental design, and other design-related fields. The degree satisfies the educational requirement for professional licensing through the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ), as well as prepares students for post-graduate studies and entry-level positions in the field.

CIDA Exhibit

Our new EID program is unique from other academic programs, in that it goes beyond the traditional parameters of the interior design profession by incorporating the broader aspects of the environment into the design process. In expanding the scope of the program to include an environmental perspective, the curriculum addresses the inextricable relationship between the built (indoor) and the natural (outdoor) environments, with an approach to integrate rather than compartmentalize the spaces and places humans occupy. Aspects of this expanded perspective include: influences of site conditions (climate, sun, wind, views) on the interior; the relationship to its surroundings; landscaping considerations; ecologically sound design; and building facade design.

In the CUH tradition of “service learning”—an essential theme of the school’s pedagogy and mission—students participate in real-life projects working in partnership with non-profit organizations in order to help give back to local communities in need. Not only do students learn to embody altruistic values in professional practice and experience first-hand how design can contribute to society, but they also get the opportunity to be involved with a “live” project where they see their design proposals realized, while accruing the invaluable experience of working with real clients and challenging constraints.

In the spirit of camaraderie, students are also encouraged to enter design competitions, participate in/attend local design events, and/or become involved in leadership opportunities in IDpro, our on-campus club affiliated with the student chapters of ASID and IIDA.

The EID Profession

What is Environmental + Interior Design?

Environmental and interior designers are part of a collaborative team that creates the spaces in which we live, play, and work. Because people spend more than 90% of their time indoors, the built environment has a crucial impact on our health and quality of life. How our interiors are designed also directly affects our relationship to our immediate surroundings as well as to the environment at large. An environmental perspective helps us to understand our connection not just to the building itself, but to the land, to the community, and to the Earth as well. Responsibly.

Although selecting and procuring finishes and furnishings for buildings is one aspect of an interior designer’s work, the demands of professional practice require a more comprehensive, interdisciplinary and collaborative skill set and knowledge base in order to be successful. Design practice includes space planning, programming analysis, code compliance, project management, lighting design, acoustics, sustainability, and fire protection.  The work of the interior designer also involves coordination with the design of mechanical, electrical, structural, and plumbing systems.

How then does Environmental + Interior Design differ from architecture? While there is much common ground between the fields of interior design and architecture, architects generally work at a larger scale, creating the building shell and addressing its relationship to its site. Interior design operates on a more intimate scale, with an emphasis on human experience. Interior designers are concerned with how people use, perceive, feel, behave, and interact in the spaces they inhabit. Important aspects of the user’s perspective that are addressed are safety, accessibility for all types of users of different abilities, health, and comfort—not only physical comfort, but also the psychological and social well-being of its occupants. Over 75% of what a person experiences in a space—light, color, tactile qualities, sound—falls within the purview of interior design.

Designers in general must be creative and innovative, as well as analytical and technical. They are problem-solvers who seek to optimize solutions given a set of constraints, but at the same time they must also be visionary—able to anticipate future trends and trajectories. Design is a balance between the practical and feasible with the imaginative and abstract. A design education builds a comprehensive skill set: it cultivates creativity and discipline, organizational and interpersonal skills, artistic and technical drawing skills, planning and management capabilities, and a collaborative work ethic.

Message from the Program Coordinator


Joan Riggs So, you want to pursue a career in interior design! Great… you’ve come to the right place to get started. My name is Joan Riggs and I’m the Program Coordinator for the Environmental + Interior Design program (EID) here at Chaminade University – Honolulu, where building a strong foundation sets the stage for a promising design career.

Whether you’ve grown up in Hawaii, have visited the islands and crave a renewal of the aloha spirit or will be venturing here for the first time, we are confident your experience at Chaminade will be fulfilling and fruitful. Our Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program (the only degree-granting program in the State of Hawaii) provides a wonderful variety of design and interdisciplinary courses to stimulate both your analytical and creative thought processes. Multifarious and often times, ‘live’ studio projects employ the realized skill sets. You’ll find that our EID faculty embodies diverse strengths and experiences and is dedicated to engaging students in a quality education that empowers them to be agents for progressive change. Opportunities to meet, network, glean expert critique and project review insights from local and international professionals serve to enhance and solidify your foundational learning experience.

Our EID program leading to the BFA degree is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), and we are proud to be participants in Chaminade University’s designation as a Title III Native Hawaiian-Serving Institution.

In closing, on behalf our students, faculty and administrators at Chaminade, I hope you will consider our Environmental + Interior Design program as your academic choice for a great foundation toward a professional career in interior design.

Mahalo nui loa,

Program contact information:
Environmental + Interior Design
Program Coordinator
(808) 739-8574


Students take a range of courses including art and design history and theory; practical courses for developing skills in drafting, CAD, and presentation software; and studio courses, which focus on universal, residential, commercial, and sustainable design. These courses help students develop the essential technical, creative, and communication skills necessary for the design profession.

Required EID courses in the four-year program sequence are as follows:

First year:
AR 111  Drawing
EID 201+201L  Fundamentals of Interior Design
EID 202  Introduction to Drafting
EID 205  Color for Interiors
EID 211  Textiles
EID 216  Design Principles & Interior Composition

Second year:
AR 201/202  Survey of Art I/II
EID 217  Introduction to CAD
EID 270  Building Systems & Interior Materials
EID 310  History of Furniture & Interior Design
EID 311  20th Century Architecture & Design
EID 312  Presentation Methods
EID/GE 335  Socio-Cultural Design
Milestone: Comprehensive written exam and practicum

Third year:
EID 319  Advanced CAD
EID 321  Programming & Space Planning
EID 325  Introduction to Lighting Design
EID/AR 355  Intermediate Sculpture & 3D Design
EID 370  Universal Design – Inclusive Environments
EID 384  Sustainability in Design
Milestone: Professional juried portfolio review

Fourth year:
EID 410  Interior Design Business Principles & Practices
EID 415  Professional Practice Internship
EID 470  Senior Studio (Residential)
EID 471  Senior Studio (Commercial)
EID Elective
Milestone: Public portfolio exhibition

Degree Catalog - Detailed Program Information

Refer to page 198 for the Environmental + Interior Design Program


"The diversity of the student population [at CUH] is a strength, aiding in developing a global perspective for design. Specifically, the visiting accreditation team identified students' ability to develop appropriate design solutions for a range of socioeconomic stakeholders as a program strength. Understanding the contributions of interior design to contemporary society was also idenfied as a strength of the program"

-- CIDA accreditation team

EID Faculty

A diverse faculty of reputable, practicing professionals and distinguished educators bring a high level of expertise and experience to the classroom. The average faculty-student ratio (1:8) insures more personal attention to individual students, encourages greater interaction between students and their instructors, and allows students to progress at a pace that is optimal for them.

Design faculty:

  • Joan Riggs (ID/ED)
  • Liza Lockard (Architecture/ID/ED)
  • Faith Milnes (Fine Arts/Textiles)
  • Walter Takeda (Fine Arts)
  • Yukio Ozaki (Fine Arts)
  • Duane Uchida (Adjunct, Architecture)
  • Victoria Reventas (Adjunct, ID/ED)
  • Jay Marion (Adjunct, Architecture/Graphic Design)
  • Laurent Chouari (Adjunct, ID)
  • Junghwa Suh (Adjunct, Architecture/ID/ED)

Interdisciplinary Studies:


The Chaminade campus, located on the island of Oahu, is nestled in the hills overlooking Diamond Head Crater and downtown Honolulu. The EID program is housed in Eiben Hall, one of the original buildings on campus built in the Spanish/Mission architectural style. Because of Hawaii’s location between the continental U.S. and the Asian/Pacific Rim nations, the university is a hub of international, multicultural influences that bring a global perspective to the university.

Campus Picture

The campus geography affords a number of natural amenities: a relaxed island atmosphere; picturesque, panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean; a beautiful, lush tropical landscape; and grounds that are peaceful and secure. In addition, there are frequent cultural events that take place on campus during the academic year, to which the entire Chaminade community is welcome.

The Chaminade Interior Design Studios and Resource Center are designed for individual or collaborative study and support all levels of the curriculum. Newly remodeled facilities include dedicated classrooms and a resource center for the design program.

EID Facilities & Resources

Our EID facilities have been recently renovated (inspired by design proposals produced in the Programming and Space Planning class) to include new dedicated studios and a resource center for use by all EID students in the program.

The studios feature:

  • State-of-the-art workstations, with individual computers, adjustable monitors, and design software packages (including AutoCAD, Revit, Form Z, 3DS Max, SketchUp, Adobe suite)
  • Sustainable and energy-efficient architectural finishes, fixtures, and equipment
  • Durable pin-up surfaces throughout for individual and group presentations

The resource center includes:

  • A full-size working kitchen incorporating universal design principles for maximum accessibility for students of all abilities
  • A well-stocked materials sample room containing a wide selection of architectural finishes
  • A design library including current design textbooks, magazines, journals and reference resources
  • Full in-house reprographics capabilities (copier, scanners, printers, and plotters)
  • Informal student meeting and presentation areas to foster a collaborative work/learning environment

EID students also enjoy access to the Fine Arts department workshop for sculpting, ceramics classes, constructing project mock-ups, or building large-scale assemblies.

EID Student Work

Design projects are geared towards providing a platform for students to apply what they have learned in their courses to solve real design problems. Students are encouraged to be creative and imaginative, while not losing sight of the need to develop practical, viable, cost-effective solutions. As part of the design process, students explore both the abstract and the theoretical in conjunction with the pragmatic considerations.

EID 201 – Fundamentals of Interior Design

EID 270 – Building Systems & Interior Materials

EID 321 – Programming & Space Planning

EID 370 – Universal Design

EID 470 – Senior Studio (Residential)

EID 471 – Senior Studio (Commercial)

Networking & Related Links

ASID  (American Society of Interior Designers)
IIDA  (International Interior Design Association)
LEED  (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design)
IDpro  (Interior Design Professional Resource Organization)
E+ID Student Blog
CIDA (Council for Interior Design Accreditation)
IDEC  (Interior Design Education Council)
NCIDQ  (National Council for Interior Design Qualification)
AIA (American Institute of Architects)
DCAB (Disability & Communication Access Board)
NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association)

Career Opportunities in Design

Professional Fields

  • Commercial Design (i.e., retail, restaurant, and recreation design)
  • Hospitality, Healthcare, Government, Institutional Design
  • Contract Design (i.e., corporate and office landscape design)
  • Residential Design

Consultant Positions

  • Programming Consultant
  • Space Planning Consultant
  • Environmental Design Consultant
  • Universal Design Consultant
  • Sustainable Design Consultant
  • Evidence-Based Design Research Consultant


  • Kitchen & Bath Design
  • Theatrical Set Design
  • Space Habitat Design
  • Graphic Design & Illustration
  • Project Management
  • CAD/Revit Contract Documents & Specifications
  • Design Education
  • Event/Exhibit Planning
  • Sales (Furnishing, Suppliers, Equipment, Fixtures)

EID Alumni

Notable firms in which our graduates have secured positions include:

Wimberly Interiors
Architects Hawaii
Group 70 International
Philpotts & Associates
WCIT Architecture
NEXT Design
Graham Builders
RIM Architects
Leo A. Daly