International School of Art and Design

Integrated Design

Bachelor of Fine Art in Integrated Design

Design impacts all of us every day. Whether at work or play, connecting to others or seeking solitude, the effect of design is everywhere.

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Integrated designers, like yourself, use the skills and creativity of product design, interior architecture and sustainable systems to engage form and function, health and safety, and harmony with the Earth. You specialize at being non-specialists. You are adaptable, flexible and at ease crossing professional boundaries to solve real problems for real people.

Sustainable design is an exciting call for change. Many of the problems humanity faces in the 21st Century are the legacy of industrial-age thinking. Design is moving on. What we need most now are creative responses to the challenges of sustaining human life in harmony with Earth.

The bachelor’s degree in integrated design program at Finlandia offers young designers a new context with revolutionary design strategies, preparing the next generations of designers to operate in a period of accelerating change and unpredictability. They will be able to cross disciplines and forge diverse collaborations.

integrated design


Students in Finlandia’s Integrated Design program will have access to three different studio spaces. You’ll be able to use our drafting table studio to develop ideas, build miniature versions of their ideas in our prototype studios, and bring their ideas to life in our woodshop studio. You’ll have a space for each phase of your project here so that you can fully experience the creative process from start to finish.

"The approach Finlandia’s faculty and staff took with students, providing space for growth and exploration while holding us accountable to produce great work, meant so much. Learning how to experiment, problem solve and critically evaluate were key takeaways from my education."

Jordan Siegler ('09)


  • Sustainable Design Systems
    Introduces students to an evolving array of alternative design systems that are based on a philosophical paradigm shift toward Earth-awareness and environmental stewardship. Also contains a design studio component in which students select a specific sustainable design system and use it to address a particular design problem.
  • Technical Aspects of Materials
    Students gain ‘hands-on’ experience with a wide range of materials, discover inherent characteristics of materials, and learn the processes used to produce and form them. New materials generated in response to concerns about conservation, renewable and reusable resources, recyclability, product life cycle analysis, and associated environmental impacts are explored.

The Degree

Progress Sheet


  • Communication: Students will be able to solve design challenges of the form and function in architectural interior spaces and the design of the products used by people.
  • Creative Insight: Students will be able to view these design challenges with the holistic perspective of the non-specialist and apply sustainable systems design that adapts to the earth’s natural cycles and systems.
  • Analytical and Critical Thinking/Global Perspective: Students will be able to apply the creative problem solving processes to any design-related issues in the built- environment that complement a bio-regional sense of place.
  • Personal Perspective/Global Perspective: Students will be able to apply principles of sustainability with the highest ethical standards in addressing social and ecological impacts.
  • Global Perspective:  Students will be able to combine the wisdom of nature with ecologically sensitive technology and to be empowered by design seen as a meta-discipline integrating human activity with that of other life forms.


ISAD hosting open house and portfolio review July 31

July 11, 2018

Finlandia University’s International School of Art & Design (ISAD) is hosting an open house and portfolio review day for prospective art students on July 31.

“We are dedicated to making the arts strong in the Upper Peninsula,” ISAD coordinator Gini Brewer said. “We are hosting this event to bring in prospective students and show them what we have to offer.” Find the details here.

Van Pelts matching donation for Art & Design school

July 20, 2017

The generosity just keeps coming for Finlandia University’s International School of Art & Design – this time from longtime friends of the university Patricia and Peter Van Pelt. The couple is donating $1,000 to the school if a new promotional video is shared 1,000 times on Facebook. Check out the video here.

Promotional video highlights FinnU’s Art & Design programs

June 8, 2017

At Finlandia University’s International School of Art & Design students from around the world are inspired to create. Students work with highly trained and experienced professors that push them to be their best creative self, they are surrounded by the ruggedly beautiful setting of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and utilize creative spaces that are second to none in access, utility and possibilities. Watch the video here.


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Faculty and Staff

Denise Vandeville

Dean, International School of Art & Design Associate Professor, Ceramic Design
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