Melinda LaGarce | School of Architecture | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Melinda LaGarce

Associate Professor Emerita

LaGarce Faculty Photo

Melinda La Garce, IIDA, NCIDQ, RID was a professor at SIUC for over 20 years and received numerous teaching and research awards and fellowships.

Research and Teaching Interests

The effects of environmental lighting on human psychology and physiology, and the medical science of light.

Primary teaching areas include environmental design, studio, and graduate seminar topics. Major focuses are healthcare design, sustainable design, advanced energy producing/conserving systems, environmental ethics for design, environmental psychology, advanced materials for architecture and interior design, and effects of light on human behavior and physiology.

LaGarce is a terminally qualified, practicing design professional and has been for more than thirty years; held executive and Director of Design positions in St. Louis and Washington, D.C. before beginning her own design firm and research and development firm in Chicago; has built work in major U.S. cities in the corporate, healthcare, retail, and hospitality design specialities; served on Boards of Directors for the major design profession associations and President of one; and served on NCIDQ’s National Professional Qualifying Practicum Exam Development Committee.


  • Master of Fine Arts, Texas Tech University
  • Bachelor of Science, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

Courses Taught

  • Interior Design 361: Design Programming I
  • Interior Design 391: Design III: Context
  • Interior Design 432: Seminar
  • ARC 502: Seminar
  • Architecture 482: Environmental Design III -  Lighting and Acoustics
  • Interior Design 382: Environmental Design III-  Lighting and Acoustics