Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Streaming Media

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Art and Design

Committee Chair(s)

Susie Tibbitts


Susie Tibbitts


Steven Mansfield


Holly Murdock


Jeannie Thomas


Nicholas Morrison


Storytelling can function as a crucial element in interior design, offering a powerful means to captivate and engage individuals within a space. The allure of storytelling lies in its ability to evoke emotions, convey messages, and create memorable experiences. Humans are naturally drawn to narratives that transport them to different worlds, evoke nostalgia, or inspire. This fascination with storytelling has led to a notable increase in themed spaces across various industries, from amusement parks and hotels to restaurants and retail spaces. The integration of storytelling into interior design not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of a space but also serves as a means to convey the brand's identity, values, and purpose, fostering deeper connections with the audience.

Building upon the significance of storytelling in interior design, this research aims to explore and practice the integration of narrative elements into spatial design. Recognizing the need for interior designers to embrace storytelling as a fundamental aspect of their practice, this project seeks to practice developing an immersive environment from the basis of a compelling story. The project deliverables born from this research are the conceptualization and design of a hotel inspired by the beloved animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. By drawing inspiration from the rich mythology, characters, and landscapes of the show, each space within the hotel serves as a representation of moments or ideas from the show. From the lobby adorned with elements reminiscent of the four nations to themed suites reflecting the distinctive cultures and elements of bending, every detail is meticulously curated to convey the journey undertaken in the world of Avatar.

The successful execution of the Avatar-themed hotel serves as a testament to the future opportunities for interior designers to explore innovative and narrative-driven design frameworks. This case study not only showcases the effectiveness of storytelling in creating memorable and immersive environments but also highlights the demand for unique and experiential spaces that resonate with contemporary audiences. Moving forward, interior designers have the opportunity to push the boundaries of traditional design practices by embracing storytelling as a central pillar of their work. Whether through themed hospitality experiences, branded environments, or experiential retail spaces, the integration of storytelling offers a dynamic avenue for designers to engage with clients, evoke emotions, and leave a lasting impact on those who inhabit their creations. As the demand for immersive and narrative-driven experiences continues to grow, interior designers stand poised to innovate and redefine the boundaries of spatial design, opening doors to a world of endless creative possibilities.