Karen Clarke

Associate Professor Emeritus, Art & Design

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Interior Architecture & Design 

Teaching Philosophy

I have a real passion for sustainable design, and I want to share that interest, knowledge and strategies for sustainability and green design with my students. As a LEED certified designer, I guide students through the LEED certification process. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green building rating system developed by the US Green Building Council. I’m seeing a real rise in interest in sustainable issues. If you study interior design, environmental issues are very important, and it’s our responsibility as designers to make sure we select and specify materials that are environmentally friendly. Some of the topics that I address in the Sustainable Design course are product life cycle, chemical composition, indoor air quality, water efficiency and energy use. Sustainable design is at the forefront of my professional practice as well.


  • Master of Fine Arts , Boston University
  • Bachelor of Interior Design, Ryerson Polytechnical University

Professional Highlights

  • 2013: ASIDNE, Excellence in Design Award Honoree 
  • 2013: Panelist, Micro-Housing: Rethinking Urban Living - Building Boston 2030, Sponsored by the Center for Real Estate, a collaboration with Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School & NESAD’s MA Interior Architecture Sustainable Design class
  • 2011: Design Intelligence 25 Most Admired Educators of 2012
  • 2011: Design New England, Midcentury Modern Progression, Lincoln (Sept/Oct. 2011)
  • 2010: Co-Winner American Society of Interior Design (ASID) Educator Excellence Award

Professional Affiliations

  • Professional Member, International Interior Design Association (IIDA)
  • Professional Member, American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)
  • Certified #9222, National Certification of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ)
  • Corporate Member, Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC)
  • Certified, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED AP)