Terry Kleinberg, RA, principal of her eponymous firm, designs commercial and residential interiors, new houses and additions. She has taught design studio classes at NYSID for over 20 years and has most recently been teaching the Thesis Preparation and Thesis Studios in the MFA-1 program. She also was the faculty member of NYSID’s Board of Trustees for six years during the planning of the Graduate Center.
What kinds of opportunities does an MFA degree from NYSID open for students?
Some students go on to work in related fields but the vast majority work in interior design or architectural firms. In general, students with masters' degrees achieve leadership positions in design firms more quickly than those with only an undergraduate degree. Also, the MFA degree is now the credential required for teaching interior design.
What projects are you currently working on outside of NYSID?
I am working on a few projects including the interiors of a Long Island vacation house for former Tribeca loft clients, and the renovation of a downtown apartment for recent empty-nesters.
As an architect, how would you say this discipline intersects with interior design and how do you bring your professional life into the classroom?
Being an architect with a small firm in NYC means I have had a career comprised largely of interiors projects. There is a discipline of design thinking and problem solving that applies across the board to both architecture and interior design. I try to teach my students to define the design problem, ask the right questions, understand the users and all their functional and aesthetic needs, and then apply a process of creative reasoning towards finding the right solution.
How do you think the interior design profession has changed since you began teaching at NYSID?
As school accreditation requirements have resulted in more complex curricula and the expectation has risen for interior designers to become NCIDQ and LEED certified, the current crop of interior designers has become extremely well-trained and technologically adept. They are also tackling a broader range of projects in which they take on a greater leadership role.