Berkeley Today Stories
Graphic and Interior Design Chairs discuss program similarities, differences, and highlights.
B.F.A. Degree Programs Emphasize Design Talents
There are many specialties that fall under the umbrella of the design industry. While they all share similarities, there are distinct differences in these fields. Understanding these distinctions is an important part of determining the Berkeley College program that is the best fit for you.
Carlos Cruz, Chair, Graphic Design, and Alfonso Torino, Ph.D., Chair, Interior Design, both of the Berkeley College School of Professional Studies, guide their students toward the program that works for them.
Mr. Cruz said that when he meets with students, he works with them to identify their skills, interests, and potential. “It is important to give students a chance to learn about the industry, enhance their skills, network, and build their professional portfolio,” he said. “At Berkeley, we have an intellectually innovative environment that challenges design potential and helps students target a field that is tailored to their individual talents.”
He enjoys working one-on-one with his students. “Our curriculum is rigorous and each student gets a chance to express ideas that are borne out of visual, conceptual, and commercial training in design. I emphasize high standards that students will need to meet either when applying to work with design firms or launching their own entrepreneurial ventures.”
For those inclined toward architecture and creating livable spaces, Dr. Torino recommends a course of study in interior design.
“My Interior Design students are thinkers and problem solvers,” said Dr. Torino. “I give them the chance to study the aesthetics of space, form, color, and light. Concentration is also placed on the history of interior environments, design theory, business procedures, and current trends in the profession.
“Unlike many colleges, you don’t need a portfolio when you come here,” he added. “We will help you create one.”
Students also benefit from good relationships with the many architectural firms in the area. These contacts have led to professional critiques, guest lectures, internships, and international study tours.
“We get out of the classroom also,” Dr. Torino said. “Students are always excited about the travel opportunities to museums, showrooms, and design firms throughout the year.”