DSGN 351: Syllabus


Fall 2016 / M 4:00 – 6:50pm / DM 201
Prerequisites: Junior Standing Recommended
Instructor: Brandon Young / brandon.young@acu.edu / DM 326

ACU, Department of Art & Design and Interior Design Program Mission Statements

Course Description

Selection and specification of interior materials and finishes based on performance, decision-making criteria, resources, and estimating processes. Writing intensive designation.

Course Purpose

The purpose of this class is to develop an understanding of interior components options and performance qualities. Methods of application and installation of materials and finishes will be explored. The impact of material quality and relevant building codes and standards will be discussed as they impact decision-making. The specification and maintenance of interior finishes for structural and movable surfaces will be explored. Students will learn how to use estimating and figuring to determine necessary quantities of finishes and materials. Current topics related to interior components in the interior design and architectural field will be explored, including health, safety, welfare, environmental and sustainability issues.

Christian Perspective in Course

In this course students will gain knowledge as they seek to serve the public through appropriate stewardship of the earth’s natural resources in the creation of safe environments. Through the application of God-given aesthetic talents, students will endeavor to create environments for people that are supportive emotionally, functionally, and physically. Students will learn methodology in which to take care in the selection of materials and finishes for interiors with the purpose of protecting the health, safety, and welfare of building occupants. In all aspects of the course activities students must model ethical, honest, and discerning judgement.




  • American Institute of Architects. The Graphic Standards Guide to Architectural Finishes -using Masterspec to Evaluate, Select, and Specify Materials
  • Ballast, David Kent. Interior Construction & Detailing for Designers and Architects
  • Godsey, Lisa. Interior Design Materials and Specifications
  • Harmon, Sharon. Kennon, Katherine. The Codes Guidebook for Interiors
  • Kubba, Sam. Space Planning for Commercial and Residential Interiors
  • McGowan, Maryrose. Specifying Interiors
  • Reznikoff, Sivon. Specifications for Commercial Interiors
  • Riggs, Rosemary. Materials and Components for Interior Architecture
  • Rupp, William and Arnold Friedman. Construction Materials for Interior Design
  • Yates, Mary Paul. Fabrics: A Guide for Interior Designers and Architects

Class Format

This is a lecture course with activities that enhance research and learning capacity. In-class activities and discussions will be interactive. A significant amount of visuals will be shared with the students in order to help them become more familiar with actual materials and finishes. Outside class assignments will aid the student in knowing where to find information through an array of resources while building a perspective of current technologies, methods and trends. The student’s professional development will be aided through the professor’s quality and performance standards as what would be expected of a professional Interior Designer. Hands-on skill building will give the students practice in figuring necessary materials quantities. Additional assignments will illustrate the student’s competency level in writing and in communicating design thinking and strategies for the use of materials and finishes.

Course Goals

Students completing this course will have gained knowledge in the critical analysis and decision-making processes relative to the selection and performance of interior finishes, materials, and furnishings. Students will have learned to compare, evaluate, implement, and predict performance of these materials based on issues such as sustainable design, aesthetics, current trends, performance, maintenance, installation requirements, availability, and by an awareness of codes and standards which may guide decision-making. These skills will have been demonstrated during class discussion, investigative web assignments, written reports and essay testing. Written assignments will collectively have a 30% value in this course in response to the Writing Intensive Designation.

Course Objectives

The student will (evidence of competency in parentheses):

  • Develop an ability to describe interior finish materials and surface performance (tests, written reports, class discussion)
  • Develop an understanding of the installation of interior finish materials (tests, written reports, class discussion)
  • Utilize mathematical calculations for estimating quantities required (assignments, tests)
  • Select finishes according to performance criteria, aesthetics, sustainability and environmental impact (tests, written reports, creative writing, assignments, class discussion)
  • Explore other resources: periodicals, internet and other media to broaden the student’s knowledge and understanding of interior components (written reports, assignments, class discussion)
  • Explore the impact on health, safety and welfare of the public as it relates to the decisions made by the professional Interior Designer (tests, written reports, class discussion)
  • Investigate written specification and codes affecting the selection and use of interior finishes and surfaces (assignments, tests, class discussion)
  • Demonstrate the use of creative thinking to stimulate design concept development and the communication of design ideas through writing (creative writing assignment)


Each student is required to complete all class assignments in order to pass the course. The professor will not accept any late assignments other than those related to extreme situations. The student should discuss this in advance with the professor.

  • 30% – 3 Major Tests (will include writing intensive essays)
  • 5% – Estimating problems
  • 10% – Written Report (typed and presented orally/visually)
  • 15% – Specification Assignment #1
  • 15% – Specification Assignment #2
  • 20% – Creative Thinking & Writing Assignment
  • 5% – Attendance Policy*
*Please see Attendance Policy (link below) for explanation of Attendance Grade.

Grading Scale, Descriptions and Deadline Information

Follow this link for grading scale, descriptions and deadline information.

Policies and Supplies

PLEASE NOTE: While every effort is made to ensure the information and schedule above is accurate and complete, from time to time there are errors and/or adjustments are needed as the semester progresses. Information in this course syllabus is subject to change at any time during the semester. All changes will be announced in class.