Alumna Carmen Ferrer Pursues PhD at University of Genoa


College of Architecture + The Arts alumna Carmen Ferrer (MIA ’14) has recently been accepted into the Doctorate degree program at the Naval Architecture at the Università degli Studi di Genova (University of Genoa – UniGe), FIU’s partner university in the subjects of Architecture, Interior Architecture + Nautical Design, Urban Landscape Architecture, Humanities + Social Sciences, Sustainable Tourism, and Art + Art History.

During her time at FIU Interior Architecture, Ferrer chose to study Cruise Ship and Super Yacht design. She had the opportunity to study abroad with classmates and work alongside Italian students from the University of Genoa. While in Italy in March 2013, Ferrer discovered the PhdD program in Boating and Nautical Design and decided to pursue this prestigious degree after graduating with her Master of Interior Architecture degree.

With the encouragement of FIU Interior Architecture Chair Janine King and Massimo Musio-Sale, the Chair of Nautical Design at UniGe, Ferrer prepared an application to the PhD program. The process of earning this degree will enrich Ferrer’s expertise as she explories innovative solutions to problems and creates new knowledge regarding interior architecture and its role in making naval architecture support human occupation. “I get to learn from [experts] who are so famous for their design and craftsmanship skills,” said Ferrer, “I get to learn a third language, and I get to explore another country and its culture.

Ferrer said, “I have to thank the faculty of the FIU Interior Architecture Department for their support, advice, recommendation letters, and planning – especially Janine King for having faith in me, offering me a position with the Interior Architecture department and helping throughout the whole process.”

Ferrer, born in Cuba, received her Associates in Arts in Interior Design from Miami Dade College (2011) and her Masters of Interior Architecture and Cruise Ship and Super Yacht Design Program certificate from FIU (2014). She has interned as an Interior Designer Assistant at NCQ Design, and she has worked as a Junior Interior Designer at International Design Fusion/Creed Fusion Interiors. She is currently the helping coordinate the Cruise Ship and Super Yacht (CSSY) Design at FIU Interior Architecture. Ferrer said that her position at the FIU department “exposes [her] to the maritime industry, giving [her] opportunities to meet professionals, as well as visit shipyards, boat shows, and ships that can be valuable for [her] research.”

She is grateful to FIU for her present experience and place in the field. “Being enrolled in the School of Architecture for three years offered me opportunities that I never thought of having, like meeting professionals in the field and attending activities like the Festival of the Trees and Design Mix with them….[W]e [constantly got] internship offers…through which we [got] to work and experience real life projects.

“We get to create relationships with people that think differently from us, either because we are from different cultures or have different backgrounds, and learn how to work in the same team; we get to share our experience with lower-level students; we get to travel either for international exchange or to attend a conference in another state or city, or just to experience design works somewhere else. All of this adds up to our growth as individuals and professionals.”

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