Interior Design


Sandra Olave

Chair of Interior Design

Post-graduate Degree, Elisava-Universidad Politecnica de Catalunya
Post-graduate Degree, LAI, Escola de disseny
Interior Design, Universidad Autonoma del Caribe

Research Interests:

Life is about growth and change, as a designer I am in constant evolution driven by curiosity. I believe in the transformation and good vibration for every human that traces us. I believe that through education I am able to impart knowledge, waking up curiosity, questioning, disrupting the system and responding in harmony; subsequently those will impart as well. Design is my tool, the tool that allows me to impart and apply knowledge, the tool that allows others to share what they learned and like the domino effect, I am in a way improving our lives and the lives of others.

As a designer that focuses on environments and how those impact our quality of life, my curiosity lies in on how we communicate and receive vibrations from inanimate materials, how we perceive them and subconsciously respond to them. I am interested in the perception, production, and response, as well as interactions with objects and scenes that evoke an emotion.

My work expands to physical environments as well as the pedagogy. In my pedagogy, I aim for quality and in depth research to formulate new concepts and to react meaningfully to problem solving in context. Pedagogy allows me to foresee and experiment, inspired by a set of students that are always eager to learn. As academia is a discipline that needs to stay ahead of the curve, as an educator I have to think in terms of curriculum to support a student cohort in 4 years of advance. Forecasting educational and industry trends is extremely important to have industry ready professionals.

Professional Experience:

Sandra Olave has served as an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Interior Design Department at the College for Creative Studies (CCS) for 15 years. During her tenure at CCS, she facilitated the Interior Design department advancement, through sponsored projects, accreditations, recruitment efforts, professional accomplishments, and above all, teaching. Olave has led sponsor projects with companies such as Quicken Loans, Ford, dPOP, 36th District Court, Toray, Czarnoswki, Shinola, Detroit Public Library, and Henry Ford Cancer Institute. Thanks to organizations like these, students are receiving real-world experiences that develop their critical thinking skills and business acumen. Under Olave’s leadership, the department accomplish the CIDA, Council for Interior Design Accreditation. Both accreditations, one in 2010 and a further in 2016, resulted in the recognition of CCS for preparing highly skilled graduates that contribute to the Interior Design profession.

Significant Publications/Presentations/Exhibitions:


  • IES award of merit and the Edwin F. Guth Memorial Award for Interior Lighting Design FNB Lobby
  • Outstanding Graduate Distinction Award, Mario Ceballos Araujo