Department of Interior Design
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Margaret Portillo, Ph.D.

Margaret Portillo, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair
Department of Interior Design
office: 336 ARCH
phone: (352) 264-1430

  • Ph.D University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • M.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • B.S. Fine Arts and Psychology, Carroll College


  • Interior Design Educators Council
  • American Psychological Association: Special Interest Group on Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts
  • Inter-Society Color Council
  • Association for Academic Women

As Head of the Interior Design department in the College of Design, Construction and Planning, Margaret Portillo likes to connect the right people (i.e., students and faculty) with the right opportunities on campus and in the profession. In addition to being an administrator at UF, Portillo is active in research and teaching. For two terms, she has served as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Interior Design, contributing to the dissemination of scholarly research around the world. She has written a book on the multiple roles of color in interior design, and also co-authored a book on design thinking and memorable design experiences told through original narratives. Whether teaching color or research methods for design inquiry, Margaret is energized by students who are just joining the program as freshmen as well as by graduate students. Over the years, she also has enjoyed guiding thesis and dissertation research. Additionally she has developed and taught creativity classes to non-design majors in the Innovation Academy on campus. Outside the academy, Dr. Portillo believes in investing in the “common good” to help advance the discipline. For example, she is leading the standards development project for Council for Interior Design Accreditation as this organization develops educational quality standards for interior design graduates entering the field in 2017 and beyond.


  • Color Planning
  • Design Creativity
  • Design Pedagogy and Thought Development
  • Narrative Studies

Teaching Focus

  • Design Innovation
  • Environmental Color
  • Creative Person, Process, Product and Press
  • Design Research and Methodology


  • IND 1020 Design Innovation
  • IND 3311 Color Theory, Process and Practice
  • IND 4930 Issues in Creativity
  • IND 5937 Design Research & Communications
  • DCP 7794 Doctoral Seminar Research Foundations