Woodbury’s Interior Design Program Awarded $75,000 Grant from the Donghia Foundation

Woodbury School of Architecture has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the Angelo Donghia Foundation in support of the school’s Interior Design program. The grant will be split into $25,000 over three years for a Senior Studio program for Interior Design students. The Angelo Donghia Foundation is part of Donghia Inc., a world-renowned name in home furnishings founded by the late American interior designer Angelo Donghia. His vision lives on through the Foundation, which has provided scholarships each year to promising interior design students in the United States.

The grant will fund fieldwork study expenses including travel costs and material costs so that students can engage in hands-on empirical research during their final year of study. The grant will be led by Professor Heather Peterson who wrote in the grant proposal that “One of the promises of fieldwork is the potential to expand learning beyond the academic environment, synthesizing many types and modalities of education, and providing an active relationship between knowledge acquisition and knowledge content. It also seeks to broaden student understanding of where and how learning can happen, and produce greater magnifications within their work, and the relevancy of their work to the world. We believe that the capstone year is uniquely suited to bring the merits of empirical study into alignment with the focus and specificity of each students self-directed Senior Project work, allowing them to enhance and develop their voice and values as designers as they bridge from academia into the wider world.”

Christoph Korner, Professor of Interior Design, and co-author of the grant said, “It is hard to simulate the actual, physical experience of interior spaces. Images, or even movies leave out essential aspects of the interior. The grant will allow our students to visit exemplary places. To go and see spaces, smell them, hear the sounds of their bodies moving through them and use all senses for a holistic experience.”

Branka Olson, the Chair of Interior Design at Woodbury, said: “This grant will enable our students to conduct field research toward improving the human experience through the power of design.  Defining the design problem requires critical inquiry into the human ecology and the physical environment that sustains it.  Students will now have additional resources to explore these relationships in real-world settings.”

About Angelo Donghia Foundation

Founded in 2001, the Angelo Donghia Foundation is a private foundation based in New York, NY. The Foundation has made such donations as the Angelo Donghia Materials Library and Study Center and the Angelo Donghia Studio for Interior Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design, as well as smaller donations to organizations for research.


Last Updated on August 15, 2022. 

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