Q&A: David Sprouls

President David Sprouls has a long history with NYSID, serving as vice president of enrollment management and director of admissions before being appointed president in 2012.  President Sprouls brings his degrees in Art History and the Restoration of Decorative Arts and his deep knowledge of NYSID and the interior design industry to move the institution forward.


What are the greatest assets of a NYSID education?
We have a fantastic faculty that includes many of the leaders in their areas of expertise; we have an extremely dedicated staff; excellent facilities, from our extensive library and model making facility to our LEED-certified Graduate Center; and we’re located in New York City, the design center of the world. The stars are all aligned! An institution should be judged in part on the success of its graduates - and I’m proud to say our alumni are much sought-after in the design industry.  

Because of our size, NYSID is the sort of place where we are all on a first name basis. The personal attention here is amazing, whether it is in the classroom, student services, or advising. Our student faculty ratio is seven to one. And yet the range of classes that we offer is utterly astounding. I can say with certainty that there is no other educational institution in this country offering what we do. 

What is your vision for the future of NYSID?
Quite simply, to continue to provide the best interior design education in the country and ultimately to become a global leader in interior design education. We can achieve this by maintaining the high caliber of education we provide, and continuing to evolve our curriculum to adapt to the changes in higher education. How individuals attend college in the near future will not be how they did it five or 10 years ago.  Traditional education is becoming more expensive, so now there is more self-directed education; distance or online study is quickly becoming standard for many colleges. In response to this, NYSID offers online courses as well as the Basic Interior Design certificate online, which allows people across the country and the world to take lecture and studio classes at their own pace. No matter what format of delivery, our curriculum will continue to be deep and broad and in small and focused learning environments.

What advice do you give students on how to succeed in the world of interior design?
I think our students are poised for success just by the fact they graduated from NYSID. For almost 100 years, our programs and curriculum have been tailored to meet the demands and needs of a growing and changing profession. Our faculty and staff are working towards one goal - preparing students to be creative, knowledgeable, conscientious, and technologically skilled designers.

Our students also have many opportunities to make connections within the industry - they present their work to juries of professional designers and architects, they get great internships, and they can attend countless lectures, luncheons, and other events with top designers. The key to having a successful career in interior design is maximizing the networking opportunities and industry relationships we have at NYSID. 

Sometimes being successful means staying on top of a changing field and enhancing your credentials. That could mean taking a class or two from our Institute for Continuing and Professional Studies or perhaps enrolling in one of our one-year MPS programs, geared toward working professionals who want to become experts in emerging fields like lighting and healthcare interior design. Education does not end at graduation - new things are learned every day. Be curious because it will feed your creativity. And being creative is what made you go into design in the first place! 

Phyllis Greer