Design (Interdisciplinary)


Kimberly Zarecor, an associate professor of architecture at Iowa State, is the first director of the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Design program in the College of Design.

Zarecor serves as the primary contact for students and faculty interested in the new degree program and works with the college's student services office to recruit and advise students in this major. She chairs the program's curriculum development committee and coordinates course delivery. She also provides input on hiring and professional development of faculty associated with the program.

Zarecor continues her teaching and scholarly work in the architecture department on a half-time basis.

The state Board of Regents approved the new Bachelor of Design degree program in June 2011, and the first 14 students enrolled in the major for the fall 2011 semester. In June 2016, the degree name was changed to Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Design to meet accreditation standards of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The four-year, studio-based degree continues to focus on interdisciplinary design as a way to generate ideas and solve problems. It emphasizes innovation and prepares students to think and act creatively in addressing society's increasing economic, social and environmental challenges.

The degree consists of one year in the College of Design's Core Design Program followed by three years in the bachelor's program. The flexible curriculum is well suited for transfer students and community college graduates, who can complete the degree in as few as two years after receiving an associate's degree in a related discipline.

"Members of the committee who reviewed applications and recommended Zarecor for this position believe her record in student-centered academic engagement and successful efforts to build bridges between architecture and other programs in the college and university make her an excellent choice for the first Bachelor of Design director," said Marwan Ghandour, associate dean for academic programs.

"Zarecor brings to the position a strong understanding of the uncertainties and opportunities that accompany the management of the first interdisciplinary degree in the College of Design. We greatly appreciate her willingness to take on this leadership role and thank her for her continued efforts to advance academic excellence in the college," Ghandour said.

Zarecor joined the ISU architecture faculty in 2005. She teaches architectural history courses and design studios for undergraduate and graduate students, including lectures and seminars on the history of modernism, Czech architecture, and the American city.

Zarecor received a Bachelor of Arts in art history from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Master of Architecture and a doctorate in architecture, both from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University. She also holds an advanced certificate in East Central European Studies from the Harriman Institute at Columbia.

Zarecor was named a Fulbright Faculty Research Scholar for 2011-12 and has spent fall semester in Ostrava, Czech Republic, studying the current condition of socialist-era neighborhoods in that country for a new book project. While in Europe, she has been invited to lecture at universities in Scotland, Slovakia, and around the Czech Republic. She also co-organized an international student design workshop on housing with her colleagues in the Department of Architecture at the Technical University in Ostrava.

Zarecor's recent book, "Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity: Housing in Czechoslovakia, 1945-1960" (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), is the first full-length historical study of socialist-era housing in an Eastern Bloc country.

For more information on the Bachelor of Design degree program, contact Zarecor,, or Michelle Rasmussen, student services coordinator, (515) 294-6983,