Meet Susan Ray-Degges, the Interior Design Program Coordinator at North Dakota State University. Susan has been in the industry for nearly 40 years, equipping so many creative minds for success along the way. Originally from southern Missouri, Susan enjoyed the opportunity to work in design firms and a home center while attending college. These experiences encouraged her to eventually pursue advanced degrees that resulted in completing her Ph.D. at the University of Missouri and finally moving to Fargo in the early 90s.
Susan has been recognized for many achievements, including having the opportunity to serve as the national president for Interior Design Educators Council (2019-2020), two national professional awards including Interior Design Most Admired Educator (2019, awarded by Design Intelligence), as well as ASID Fellow (2019). Election to the ASID College of Fellows, the Society’s highest honor, is awarded to less than 1% of the ASID membership.
While 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 across the region to increase awareness of accessible home design and modification practices.
“Interior designers bring critical knowledge to an interior design project and can help a client avoid costly mistakes,” said Susan. “The interior designer has a network of different tradespeople they bring to a project—they work closely with the client to meet their budget and establish a realistic timeline.”
“My goal is ensuring that the next generation of interior designers are prepared to support diverse users through evidence-based design solutions”
Inspiration, Colors & Trends
Susan is looking forward to seeing the continuation of large-scale patterns and warm textures emerge. She’s also excited to see new advances in lighting design inspired by Nordic forms and vintage finds.
One of Susan’s favorite movements was the Arts & Crafts period. Women, though often underrecognized during this period of design, produced some of the most outstanding embroidery and handwork ever produced. Mary “May” Morris, the daughter of William Morris, is a name that many will recognize from the era.
“To renew my creative juices, it is important for me to follow the three ‘R’s: Read, Refresh, and Reflect,” said Susan. “I have a stash of books that I keep on hand that helps me recharge, plus blank journals for sketching and taking notes.”
After 38 years, Susan’s ultimate desire continues to be ensuring that the next generation of interior designers are prepared to support diverse users SUSAN RAY-DEGGES through evidence-based design solutions.