February 15, 2018 Celebrate a Century of Design at UT on March 24

Black-and-white image of female students in the early 1900s during design class.

A century ago on a campus in Knoxville, a design movement started that today is called Interior Architecture, and on March 24, the School of Interior Architecture opens its doors to celebrate this design legacy.

Design studies at UT started in Home Economics as house planning and decoration and evolved to related arts, home planning, interior design, interior architecture and others. The program of study has been housed in the College of Home Economics, College of Human Ecology, School of Art and College of Architecture and Design.

While the evolution has had a varied path, one thing unites the faculty and students who spent time in the classrooms and created in the studios: A shared passion for design and how it touches our lives.

On March 24, the School of Interior Architecture recognizes and celebrates that shared passion and invites former faculty, alumni and friends of design to the Centennial Jubilee of Design Studies at UT. On this special day, we will honor the faculty who brought design passion and vision to our campus and today’s faculty who are continuing that visionary legacy.  We will salute the students who answered their calling to study design and in doing so, built an incredible and enduring reputation for design excellence at UT.

The Centennial Jubilee includes a walking tour of campus in the morning and a lovely evening celebration at the home of the School of Interior Architecture, the Art + Architecture Building.  The event includes a lecture by world-renowned design historian, Penny Sparke, a grand reception, live music, a showcase of student work, a reverse auction and more.  We’ll also unveil a stunning Centennial Exhibit.  See the full schedule below.

The celebration will value the many generations of contributions and celebrate the history and future of design and today’s interior architecture.

Student presents during 2017 review in Interior Architecture


RSVP for the Centennial Jubilee of Design Studies at UT.

Let’s celebrate the shared yearning that brought us to a design classroom, the passions that inspire us, our unique paths after graduation and the 100-year evolution that brings us back together.

On March 24, come back to Rocky Top.  Come celebrate together.




Centennial Jubilee of Design Studies at UT, March 24, 2018

10:00-11:00 a.m.

Walking Tour of Campus and Interiors of Iconic Buildings

11:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Explore Knoxville with its many museums, galleries, dining and attractions

5:30-6:30 p.m.

Lecture:  “Evolution of Design,” Penny Sparke, World-Renowned Author and Design Historian

Following her lecture, Ms. Sparke will sign copies of her books.

6:30-8:30 p.m.

Jubilee Celebration

Enjoy grand hors d’oeuvres, a selection of wines and beers and a sumptuous dessert bar, with live music, class photos, a showcase of student work and a chance to give back.

6:30-8:00 p.m.

Reverse Auction

Come ready to help the students in the School of Interior Architecture by supporting scholarships, study abroad expenses, technology and materials

7:30 p.m.

Centennial Exhibit Unveiling

See a stunning exhibit designed by Diane Fox depicting a century of design and be ready to help the exhibit “grow” with your own memories and memorabilia


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