CCAS interior design program to move into Corcoran

Media Credit: Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Christina Filipescu, a professorial lecturer of interior architecture and design, teaches an interior architecture and design studio class. GW's interior design program will move into the Corcoran College of the Arts and Design.

This semester marks the last time the Corcoran will have its own interior design program.

The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design started phasing out its interior design program this past fall to move GW’s existing program into the Corcoran, the school’s director said. The consolidation is one in a series of shifts that will take place over the next two years as departments in the Corcoran and the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences merge.

Sanjit Sethi, the director of the Corcoran, said students enrolled in its bachelor’s and master’s programs in interior design who enrolled before August 2014 will complete their degrees “as intended when they enrolled,” but GW’s interior architecture and design program will solely function out of the Corcoran from then on.

He added that after renovations of the second floor of the Corcoran’s 17th Street building are complete, GW’s current interior design program will move there from its current home on the Mount Vernon Campus.

“Interior Architecture and Design is an outstanding program and will continue to be a key part of our comprehensive arts and design curriculum,” Sethi said in an email.

Only one faculty member at the Corcoran is part of their current interior design program. Students said other faculty in the Corcoran department lost their jobs following the school’s merger with CCAS in 2014.

Students were not admitted to the program in fall of 2015, but will be able to pursue a bachelor’s of fine arts in interior architecture and design, according to the program’s website.

Students enrolled in the program are still encouraged to join student groups in other professional design organizations to help students with career networking, according to the website.

The chair of the Corcoran’s interior design department did not return multiple requests for comment.

The Corcoran and CCAS art departments are set to fully merge next fiscal year, Sethi said earlier this month, but didn’t give specifics on how the faculty would work together. CCAS’s theater and dance programs will also move into the Corcoran.

The Corcoran School has been housed in CCAS since GW acquired the art school in 2014.

Officials gave one-year contracts to all full-time Corcoran faculty as a part of the merger, but 150 professors lost their positions in the acquisition.

Marilia Rojas, a senior in the interior design program, said there has not been clear communication between GW and Corcoran advisers about how students are expected to complete their degrees and about extra opportunities while the program was being phased out.

“Before the merge we used to get a lot of communication from our department about internships, events and opportunities to get to know the design community in D.C., we also used to receive much guidance from our department director, which helped us with our development as designers,” Rojas said.

Rojas added that since faculty in the Corcoran program left, students had fewer course choices.

Catherine Moran contributed reporting.

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