Interior Design Course Descriptions

Core: Level One Courses

Refer to Certificate Program Guide for specific semesters offered.

Drawing is an essential means of communicating, and central to every artist’s and designer’s practice. This class is a more rigorous and sustained introduction to the drawing medium. Drawing I students begin learning to define shapes and forms with line: investigating weight, direction and speed through gesture, contour and planar analysis. Then moving on to value, using both additive and reductive ways of working, they learn to utilize the power of light and dark to create a sense of texture, volume and space. Spatial systems, including perspective, are investigated as well as fundamentals of composition to construct dynamic imagery. Measuring and attention to negative space are essential skills used and reinforced throughout the learning process. Transcribing what is seen or imagined into visual form utilizing multiple approaches, from note taking to rendering to diagramming and sketching, is explored. The class is structured around demonstrations, guided exercises, and sustained drawing of varied subject matter including still-life, landscape, architecture and the human form.

Design is the discipline underlying all forms of visual expression, and an understanding of design principles is the basis for all art forms. This course introduces students to the formal elements of design: line, shape, pattern, value, texture, color and space. Working through a variety of challenging exercises, students use these elements to engage with problems of visual organization. Deliberate and considered placement of visual elements into an organized whole is the basis of composition, and skills acquired in this course have direct applications to anyone working in art and design, from painters and artists to art directors, illustrators, interior designers and interactive designers.

Color is one of the most powerful, and complex, tools at the artist’s disposal. Bridging the divide between color theory and color practice, this studio course distills the essentials of color mechanics into workable studies and projects. Students explore color through creative exercises using collage and paint to understand color and how to use it effectively. Explorations of the role of light, the psychological impact of color, and how such factors as hue, value and intensity affect design are integral to the learning. Slide-illustrated presentations address the historical background of the use of color. Through the process of experiencing the interface of color theory and color application, guidelines toward developing a personal palette are discussed. Mastery of color is essential in the work of artists, illustrators, craftspeople and designers, making this course an ideal starting point.

This introductory course focuses on the process of design as it applies to spaces we inhabit. Students build an acute awareness of core principles — scale, proportion, light, circulation and progression — as a means to create visual harmony. Functional, utilitarian, economic and safety requirements of interior spaces in an architectural framework are examined and students develop a process book that is a document of their new appreciation for lighting, acoustics, textiles and materials choices. Through exercises and a final project, students learn to apply the basic principles of visual design to interiors, and to better understand how form and function can be translated into practical designs for livable interior spaces.

Explore the interdisciplinary relationship between imaging, coding, text, animation and video that come together as the designer’s toolkit. This fast-paced digital media course is ideal for the novice or even the intermediate user desiring a better understanding of computer-based workflow. A single unified Web design project, built over 12 sessions, is broken down into manageable lessons that include bitmap editing, vector graphics, page layout, image capture, preservation and manipulation. The terminology, protocols and connections between products are made clear as you become familiar with the techniques necessary for anyone who designs digitally.

Varies by semester. Electives may be taken at any point in the program, provided prerequisites have been met.

Concentration: Level Two Courses

Refer to Certificate Program Guide for specific semesters offered.
Note: Successful completion of the Core curriculum (above) is crucial prior to starting the Concentration level.

This studio course introduces students to architectural drawing, drafting and rendering, as well as their tools and standards. We cover topics and techniques that apply to most projects, such as construction drawings, layouts with dimensions and notations, and presentation renderings used to help the client visualize their finished project. Also introduced are orthographic drawing, bubble diagrams, layout sketches, elevations, 3D and perspective drawing. Skill topics include drafting to scale, dimensioning, proper line weight and pattern used in sections, plans and elevations. Students are introduced to color media used in presentation drawing, including color pencil, watercolor, markers, and computer paint and photo retouch software. Final application of light, shade and shadows brings project drawings to life.

To stay competitive, interior design and architecture professionals need proficiency in computer-aided drafting (CAD) skills for drafting and design layouts. Autodesk’s AutoCAD and AutoCAD Architecture, along with other CAD programs like Google’s SketchUp, have become industry standard. Through lectures, demonstrations and hands-on experience, students learn to use these visualization and productivity software tools to take a project from initial design to a finished two-dimensional plot. Dimensioning, standard drafting and commonly used detailing procedures are followed.

This course introduces you to Autodesk’s Building Information Modeling (BIM) application Revit Architecture, to help you design, build and maintain higher-quality, more energy-efficient buildings. Regardless of your depth of exposure to CAD software for 2D and 3D modeling, learning Revit and its tools that support architectural, interior design and other models will help you be a more productive designer and effectively convey your plans to customers and architecture professionals. You will learn how to lay out, design, build and render models. We’ll also cover customizing family components and creating unique elements. A basic floor plan is imported, scaled and traced into a finished design and rendered as interior and exterior models during the course. Note: Students may load Revit onto their own laptops with Windows capabilities (PC, or a Mac with Boot Camp or Parallels); a mouse is essential. Students may visit the Autodesk student community to download free versions of Revit and other Autodesk products, each with a three-year license.

Students in this course gain understanding of and hands-on experience in the process of designing residential living spaces as they actively participate in the programming and schematic design phases. Students learn to consider residential space in terms of proportion, scale, composition, balance, color, texture, light, surface treatment and material selection, as well as function, circulation and occupancy. Design elements are reviewed in a creative environment that encourages participants to express their own design styles. Discussions and critiques help students learn to reveal the critical thinking behind their drawings and design process. Successful students will have developed a better understanding of universal design, sustainability, and the project management as applied to residential interiors.

Design solutions are more easily found when the designer has a sound understanding of materials, systems and construction methods and when they are properly conveyed using industry-standard documentation software. This project-based course acknowledges both outcomes as students learn the primary tool for building professionals, AutoCAD Revit, to understand architectural anatomy. They’ll gain confidence with the interface and Building Information Modeling (BIM) as they work in class and through self-directed assignments to create cutaway and component architectural views. Students will learn the terminology and specifications of vast libraries of materials, and can expect to exit the course with competency using Revit, leading to a better understanding of structural, electrical, media and HVAC systems and a stronger portfolio.

Lighting is a crucial component in creating atmosphere and enabling function of an interior space: It can be used to define architectural space, enhance texture in surface materials, and reveal form in furnishings. This course introduces students to the equipment, techniques and concepts of lighting design. With a focus on new technologies and sustainable lighting solutions, students learn about sources, fixtures and systems as they develop creative, functional lighting plans for a variety of spaces.

Designing successful shared spaces involves communication, brand identity and project management. You’ll take on these challenges as you consider design strategies for public spaces. Practical lessons include discussion of legislated policies like the ADA, local health and safety codes. Project sites might include offices, retail outlets, hotels or healthcare facilities, each with confining technical criteria, traffic patterns and budgets that inform the design brief and create opportunities for the designer. The workflow is examined and shared for critique as you research, measure, draw, propose and plan in order to deliver a personal design concept that reimagines our shared spaces.

This course provides students with a working process for managing a design project. Students are asked to bring to class a design they’ve completed previously for either a residential or commercial project. After dividing the design into schedules for various elements of the design project (such as furniture, mill work, lighting, paint, floor coverings, fabric and trim, window treatments, accessories and artwork) each item is specified and priced, taking into consideration net/list costs, as well as mark-up standards and time billing. Students are responsible for satisfying the program, resourcing all items on the plan, drafting a proposal to clients, preparing purchase orders for vendors and contractors and tracking the progress of the project. Students leave the course prepared to invoice their client, knowing they are able to meet the client’s budget and, ultimately, make a profit.

In this final studio course, interior design students put it all together, undertaking complex projects that require research into historical styles and/or cultural influences, and that include special-purpose spaces and areas for public and private use. A final project demonstrates the student’s familiarity with major interior design components, including lighting design, detailing of one or more key elements, and a knowledge of millwork, finishes, building codes and material standards. Business practices and methods for presenting design solutions are also covered for those who are about to begin, or who have already commenced, a career in interior design. Certificate students: Your instructor will schedule a final portfolio review date, independent of the scheduled class dates.