INTAR is the name by which the students, faculty, staff and alumni of the Department of Interior Architecture refer to themselves as an entity on the RISD campus. INTAR stands for “Interior (INT) Architecture (AR)”, and also for “Intervention (INT) & Adaptive Reuse (AR)”. It is an acronym for who we are and what we do. It refers to all things and people related to the department of 11O-plus students: approximately 33% undergraduate and 67% graduate. Students in both our undergraduate and graduate programs are highly international, with representation from Europe, Canada, Asia and the Middle East.
The mission of INTAR is to provide a unique spatial design education relating to the existing built environment. With a focus on the adaptive reuse of existing structures, the department curriculum speaks to change within the interior environment, but also in the realm of building in the urban landscape. Our pedagogical philosophy is to establish a clear aesthetic, theoretical and technological framework for the investigation of design interventions in adaptive reuse, in order that graduating students are properly equipped to engage in and disseminate such design practice that recognizes the importance of social and environmental responsibility.
INTAR is part of RISD’s Division of Architecture and Design, which also includes the departments of Apparel, Architecture, Furniture, Graphic Design, Industrial Design and Landscape Architecture. INTAR’S history spans more than a century.
1912 Began as an Interior Decoration course. 1917 Established course in Interior Decoration, housed within the Department of Architecture. 1955 Department changes its name to Department of Interior Architecture, under Department Head Ernst Lichtblau. The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Architectural Design was awarded for the first time. 1969 Division of Architectural Studies formed, with the “Three Architectures” (Architecture, Interior Architecture and Landscape Architecture), and Industrial Design. 1975 First professional Bachelors in Interior Architecture (BIA) degree awarded. 1998 Masters of Interior Architecture offered for the first time. 2002 Department established its own home in the CIT, Center for Integrative Technologies. 2006 Summer Program established in Copenhagen, Denmark. 2011 Introduction of MDES in Interior Studies (Adaptive Reuse) and MA in Interior Architecture. 2015 MA in Interior Architecture changed to MA in Adaptive Reuse. 2017 Introduction of MDes in Interior Studies (Exhibition & Narrative Environment).
INTAR is housed in the Center for Integrative Technologies (CIT), in downtown Providence. Home space for all INTAR students is located on two floors, in open studio format. The departmental facilities include classrooms and a making lab. Within CIT, the students share access to a full woodshop, the graduate student lounge, Co-Works a RISD making facility and the Sol Kofler Gallery.
Our Journal, Int/AR: Interventions in Adaptive Reuse is an annual publication by the editors in chief: Markus Berger + Liliane Wong, and the Department of Interior Architecture, Rhode Island School of Design. Advised by an international board with a global distribution, the journal contributes to the international discourse on Interior Architecture with a focus on issues of existing structures and adaptive reuse by promoting creative explorations of this subject through exemplary works in which sustainability is one important facet. The production of the journal is integrated into the graduate program through research assistantships and provides experience in architectural journalism and graphic design for several students each year.By selecting contributions through a peer-review process, Int/AR is conceived as an engaging forum in which different and possibly controversial views are expressed.