Margaret Mintz is a graduate of NYSID and has been on the faculty for more than a decade. She is owner and president of Mintz and Partners, Inc., a residential design firm based in Connecticut. She teaches Color for Interiors, Residential Design I and II, as well as the graduate course Interior Design Studio.
What’s it like teaching at NYSID?
Teaching at NYSID is a great pleasure for me. It’s a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and many faculty members have taught here for a long time. There’s really this wonderful collegial feeling. I love each and every student and Ii think it’s great that they come from all over the world. I also think it’s a particularly exciting time at the college; there are a lot of new initiatives and the level of education is really exceptional. I’ve also been able to extend my own knowledge. The field of design changes so fast. I’ve learned a lot about sustainable design and universal design, which is creating spaces that work for people with and without disabilities. The learning never really ends at NYSID. You can take a CE course or go back to take more credits or finish your degree.
What’s the benefit of getting the Associate’s degree?
The associate’s degree offers a good grounding in all aspects of design. At the end of it you can go off and work in a firm as a design assistant. You’ll certainly have much of the background you need to have a nice career. The education you’ll get is broad, deep, and profound. I think for a lot of people, the program opens new doors they never realized would open.
What about people who are looking to change careers?
There are many second-career students at NYSID. It’s a big decision to change your career, but I think it’s an enriching and exciting step to go into this field. It really gives people so many options. You’d be surprised how skills from a previous career—teaching, business, even medicine— can be relevant and transferable to a career in interior design.
I used to be a researcher for a children’s hospital in Toronto. I wanted to do something that was more fun and I stumbled across NYSID one day when I was visiting a fabric store. I started off just to have some fun. I got a certificate, which led to the Associate’s degree and then I went on to get a BFA. Being at NYSID has been a labor of love and a joyful thing for me to do.