• Design Arts Seminars Mission Statement

    Our Mission

    DAS is committed to providing accredited and actionable high quality continuing education to licensed professionals in the most seamless, professional, and customer-centered way possible. Our mission is to inspire our clients to explore and change the world around them, to support them as they make it a healthier, safer, and more beautiful place in which all of us can thrive.


  • Design Arts Seminars Vision Statement

    Our Vision

    As a continuing education company, we are lifelong learners who strive for continuous improvement and aim to become, alongside our clients, a driver of change. We are dedicated to what’s new and what’s next to help our customers think ahead of their time. And we also know that today is when tomorrow is realized.  Therefore, in keeping with our founder’s idea of learning happening beyond the confines of a classroom, our vision is that by our 30th anniversary in 2022, we’ve remained a highly respected provider of continuing education, that sustains a robust professional internship program to help train, connect, and empower the next generation of professionals.


Our Story

In 1992, the late Manuel León Ponce founded Design Arts Seminars, Inc. (DAS), in Tallahassee, Florida.  Manuel started DAS as a way to serve the continuing education needs of the Florida Interior Design Community, hence our original name: Interior Design Seminars.

At that time, Manuel was the sole instructor for DAS; however, he also served as a professor of Interior Design at Florida State University.

Manuel León Ponce
Manuel León Ponce

Manuel, known to his friends as Manny, combined an infectious passion for the field with an insatiable curiosity to create unforgettable learning experiences for students and professionals. His motivation grew out of his childhood dream to discover Europe with a mentor. Unable to fulfill that dream, he designed study abroad programs that afforded professionals the opportunity he never had: Learning from the world's greatest architectural treasures one sight, one sound, one touch, one bite, and one step at a time.

He broke free of the traditional brick and mortar classroom, preferring to use historic cities as “classrooms without walls.” Manny’s study tours were among the first continuing education programs to take groups of professionals abroad. His programs were highly regarded and featured in interior design publications such as Florida Design (Vol.5 and 8 # 3).

In the late 90s, DAS started hiring other practitioners to develop and teach courses in their area of expertise. This is when Interior Design Seminars became Design Arts Seminars.

Since then, we have kept expanding our area of service and diversifying the type of programs we offer, but we remain committed to providing professionals around the country with the quality continuing education programs and the professionalism they have come to expect from us.

Styled with the practitioner in mind, we offer nearly one hundred seminars per year online and in selected cities across the United States. We also offer distance learning and study abroad programs. For those interested in learning more about our founder, here is a link to the remembrance booklet published when Manuel passed away in 2001 after two-year battle with brain cancer.