Interior Design and Architecture Studies

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    Certificate Requirements

    • Course requirements: 6-8 online and/or on-campus courses, 4-6 required courses, and 2 electives. You may enroll in Interior Design Basic Core OR Color Theory, Basic Interior Space Planning, and Basic Drafting as your first required course(s). You may enroll in Interior Rendering, Perspective Drawing, and Interior Design (or Residential Interior Design) OR History of Interiors, 1400 to 1800; History of Interiors, 1800 to 2000; and Antiques Connoisseurship as your next required courses.
    • Timeline to completion: Most courses last nine weeks or more. Courses meeting for fewer than (9) nine sessions count as half of an elective and would need to be combined to fulfill one elective requirement. Most students take two courses per semester. The certificate must be completed in two years.
    • Cost: $748 per course ($1,670 for Basic Core); estimated $5,410-$5,984 total.

    Interior design and architecture studies courses develop students' sensibility in space design; decorative arts history courses introduce them to antiques and furnishing.

    Required Courses

    Foundational Courses

    Option 1

    1) Interior Design Basic Core

    Learn basic drafting, rendering, and space layout while studying interior materials and professional practices and methods. Explore the philosophy, art, and science of constructing interior spaces. Taught in separate studio sections by two instructors, the course begins with basic drafting and rendering exercises and the fundamentals of interior construction. Through coursework and pinups, students engage in critique and critical analysis. Students acquire a basic skill set with which to address more complex problems.

    Option 2

    1) Color Theory


    Discover color and its implications for designers and artists. Study ideas of space and the use of color to solve spatial problems. Look at color harmony and the way colors interact, as well as color qualities and combinations. Online students must have access to a scanner. There are no prerequisites.

    2) Basic Interior Space Planning


    This is an introduction to planning interior spaces for students without drafting skills. Learn what it means to be an interior designer and apply conceptual approaches to interior design problems. Through sessions on color, scale and proportion, lighting, furniture arrangement, floor and wall treatments, and client psychology, learn to conceptualize and plan creative solutions for interior spaces. Master freehand drawing of floor plans. Complete one interior design project, from beginning concept through finished visual and verbal presentation. Learn about the use of equipment, tools, and scale drawings. No previous experience in interior design is necessary.

    3) Basic Drafting

    An introduction to the preparation of drawings for architectural purposes. Topics covered include identification and use of drafting equipment, drafting in scale, basic lettering, line weights, and standard notation conventions. The emphasis is on orthographic projections related to floor plans, elevations, and ceiling plans. Trade information related to the practice of architectural and interior design is integrated throughout the curriculum. Learn the skills and techniques necessary to express any design concept graphically. Drafting tools are required. Materials cost approximately $100.

    Track Options

    Option 1: Space Design

    1) Interior Rendering


    Students explore the design process for a commercial or residential project in a studio environment. They begin with a concept and develop their idea into a coherent interior space, exploring issues of spatial layout and significance, materials and finishes, lighting, and furniture. Students present their final projects, complete with rendered drawings and a materials board. Prerequisite: Basic Drafting, Basic Interior Space Planning, or equivalent experience.

    2) Perspective Drawing for Interiors


    Learn the mechanical skills needed to visually communicate spatial concepts. Develop the ability to translate floor plans into three-dimensional interiors by exploring the principles of one- and two-point perspective drawing. Learn about isometric views, plan and section perspective, introductory pencil rendering, and concepts of light and shadow.

    3) Interior Design


    Explore the design process by developing a commercial or residential project in a studio environment. Begin from a concept and develop your idea into a coherent interior space, exploring issues of spatial layout and significance, materials and finishes, lighting, and furniture. Present your final project, complete with rendered drawings and a materials board. Prerequisite: Basic Drafting, Basic Interior Space Planning, or equivalent experience.

    Option 2: Decorative Arts

    1) History of Interiors, 1400 to 1800: From the Medicis to Louis XVI

    This class offers a critical survey of the decorative arts of Europe and America, with a focus on the key stylistic movements of the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassicism. Special topics include the Palace of Versailles and the history of dining culture. Furniture, architecture, textiles, metalwork, glass, and ceramics are examined in relation to style and function, with special consideration given to the social contexts in which they were designed and used. Students acquire the design vocabulary and analytical skills necessary to identify and discuss the many traditional forms, ornamental motifs, and architectural elements that continue to be relevant in contemporary design.

    2) History of Interiors, 1800 to 2000: From Napoleon to Michael Graves

    This course provides a foundational understanding of developments in European and American decorative arts from the turn of the 19th century to the end of the 20th. Particular attention is given to the complex design trends and the expressions of the 20th century as the foundation of interior design today.

    3) Antiques Connoisseurship

    Modern fabrication techniques make it increasingly difficult to distinguish antiques from reproductions. Students develop an eye for good design and authenticity, learning to evaluate the quality of objects and distinguish masterpieces from lesser models. They examine, firsthand and with experts in the field, American, English, and French pieces in New York City museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and fine antiques galleries. They study objects' historical contexts, production techniques, and methods of conservation and become familiar with the industry's specialized vocabulary. Field trips to historic homes and conservation studios enhance students' learning.