Retail and Hospitality Design

The paradigm shift from brick-and-mortar to online retail, together with the growth of place-based hospitality design, has recently compelled major changes in retail and hospitality design. At the same time, interactive experiences and integrated technologies are further transforming today’s competitive landscape. Critical business strategies integrated with complex economic, environmental and cultural design criteria for dynamic retail and hospitality markets are a necessity for the future.

The M.Des. concentration in Retail and Hospitality Design offers dynamic learning scenarios for exploring business-centered strategies that address industry demand for increasingly creative and technical design solutions. The proximity of the University of Arkansas to the world’s leading retailers, as well as its legacy of leadership in hospitality design, provides students a unique learning environment in which to consider strategies for these dynamic, high-demand specializations.

The M.Des. concentration in Retail and Hospitality Design offers students unique specializations supported by the  Fay Jones School’s architecture, interior design and landscape architecture departments and by nationally recognized programs in the Center for Retail Excellence within the Sam M. Walton College of Business and the graduate program in hospitality innovation within the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.

Curriculum

Cross-disciplinary, design-focused studio courses form the backbone of the M.Des. curriculum. Along with the studios, elective courses allow students to craft a forward-focused degree program to advance their own unique professional goals. 

Sample Curriculum in Retail Design

Fall Semester (15 credit hours total) 

  • Advanced Design Studio 1
  • Methods of Design Inquiry
  • Business Analytics*
  • Introduction to Marketing*

Spring Semester (15 credit hours total)

  • Advanced Design Studio 2
  • Design Leadership
  • Retail Strategy*
  • Consumer and Market Research*

Summer (6 credit hours total)

  • Graduate Residency

Sample Curriculum in Hospitality Design

Fall Semester (15 credit hours total) 

  • Advanced Design Studio 1
  • Methods of Design Inquiry
  • Global Travel and Tourism*
  • Meetings and Convention Management*

Spring Semester (15 credit hours total)

  • Advanced Design Studio 2
  • Design Leadership
  • Destination Marketing*
  • Wellness Trends in Design*

Summer (6 credit hours total)

  • Graduate Residency

*The Retail and Hospitality Design concentration requires students to identify one of the focused areas and select four courses (12 credit hours) to support that focus. Topics include industry trends and strategies, quantitative analysis and marketing. Courses will be identified in the Sam M. Walton College of Business and in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. Some prerequisites may be required. Dependent upon the area of interest and previous coursework and experience, graduate level courses may be selected from Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, Art or other departments with approval from the Graduate Coordinator. 

Faculty
Carl Matthews
Jennifer Webb

The M.Des. at the University of Arkansas’ Fay Jones School offers design graduates and professionals the opportunity for advanced targeted study. Students in this intensive one-year program will achieve specialized knowledge by investigating critical and emerging issues in advanced design studios, graduate-level electives and a professional residency. Other concentrations in Health and Wellness Design, Integrated Wood Design and Resiliency Design are open for enrollment, and additional concentrations are planned.

Contact our Graduate Coordinator to learn more!