Meet Susan Ray-Degges, Professor and Coordinator of the Interior Design Program at North Dakota State University
Meet Susan Ray-Degges, Interior Design Program Coordinator at North Dakota State University. Susan has been in the industry for almost 40 years, equipping so many creative minds to succeed along the way. Originally from southern Missouri, Susan relished the opportunity to work at design companies and a hospitality center while attending college. These experiences encouraged her to pursue graduate studies which culminated in her obtaining her doctorate. at the University of Missouri and eventually moved to Fargo in the early 90s.
Susan has been recognized for many accomplishments, including having the opportunity to serve as National Chair of the Interior Design Educators Council (2019-2020), two national professional awards, including Most Admired Educator in interior design (2019, awarded by Design Intelligence), as well as an ASID fellow (2019). Election to the ASID Fellowship College, the Society’s highest honour, is awarded to less than 1% of ASID’s membership.
Although her primary role is to mentor future interior design professionals while managing various aspects of the interior design program at NDSU, Susan enjoys collaborating with constituents throughout the region to increase awareness of design practices. and modification of accessible houses.
“Interior designers bring essential knowledge to an interior design project and can help a client avoid costly mistakes,” Susan said. “The interior designer has a network of different trades that they bring to a project – they work closely with the client to meet their budget and set a realistic schedule.”
“My goal is to ensure the next generation of interior designers are ready to support diverse users with evidence-based design solutions”
Inspiration, Colors & Trends
Susan can’t wait to see the next large-scale patterns and warm textures emerge. She is also excited to see new advances in lighting design inspired by Nordic shapes and vintage finds.
One of Susan’s favorite moves was the Arts & Crafts period. Women, though often under-recognized during this period of design, produced some of the most remarkable embroidery and handicrafts ever produced. Mary “May” Morris, daughter of William Morris, is a name many will recognize from the era.
“To renew my creativity, it is important for me to follow the three ‘R’s: Read, Actualize and Reflect”, said Susan. “I have a stash of books that I keep on hand that help me recharge, as well as blank journals for drawing and taking notes.”
After 38 years, Susan’s ultimate desire continues to ensure the next generation of interior designers are ready to support diverse SUSAN RAY-DEGGES users with evidence-based design solutions.