MA in Interior Design

Master of Arts /
Master of Fine Arts
in Interior Design

Aimed towards emerging designers interested in specializing in interior design, the Master of Arts proposed by PCA provides them with the necessary tools and skills to become professionals in the industry.

The Master of Arts (MA) in Interior Design is a one-year program aimed at emerging designers and conceived to provide them with the necessary tools and skills to become professionals in this fields. This program prepares students to meet the demands of an expanding high-end residential and commercial property market in capital cities around the world. Students with an undergraduate background in the arts or in design will be particularly suited for this program. A demonstrated ability to draw and sketch is an admissions criteria.

Interdisciplinary in nature and structure, the program conceives the studio and the classroom as complementary spaces for developing design thinking, technical and professional skills, as well as creative expression in developing an interior design project. Since this is an initial terminal degree where graduates are expected to join the job market upon graduation, the focus of the program is on studio and research, rather than on scholarship and preparation for teaching.

Graduates of the program will be able to apply their skills in settings as varied as independent interior design consultants and entrepreneurs for individual residential clients, for commercial clients (hotel chains and luxury brand flagship stores), as in-house designers for commercial retail and hotel chains, or in architecture firms. The combination of core, supporting and elective classes ensures depth and breadth of content.

 

Faculty

MA Curriculum

Credits

MA One-Year Program

fall

Interior Design Studio I

Code
MINT 0500
Description

In this year-long course, students are first provided with the cultural and technical tools needed to understand inhabited spaces. Exemplary existing projects (published projects or on location in Paris) are analyzed for space elements such as: urban context, masses, negative and positive spaces, lighting, furniture functions, interior decoration, textures, color schemes. Students work on short projects to demonstrate their progressive ability to generate design solutions, select images, color and finishes, consider building-code constraints and barrier-free design.

Practice Fundamentals I

Code
MINT 0501
Description

In the first semester of this year-long course the focus is on business and management, shifting to communication in the second semester. Using the team project as an application, students consider professional feasibility of an idea: estimation of timeframes of each part within the whole project, measurements, budget comparisons, contract and construction costs, construction team management, and professional ethics. In the second semester, students apply the technical proficiency they have acquired in the fall CAD course to perfect their mastery of digital and hand drawing and sketching to visualize and communicate interior design projects. Students develop and explore new concepts, methods, and ideas to visually illustrate and present the various phases of the design process: concept boards, fast scale models, graphics and materials samples. Oral presentation skills to accompany their visual communication are the focus of continuous feedback for improvement.

Team Project

Code
MINT 0502
Description

In the first semester, students work in teams on either a residential or a commercial space. They select an existing space in Paris and build the project on a proposed transformation of this space. This is a two-credit course because the majority of the work is done by students outside direct classroom instruction time. Students work in teams and meet with their instructor for 2 hours per week to review progress, receive feedback and technical conceptual suggestions for moving the project to completion. A peer review and critique with all student teams is organized at the end of weeks 5, 10, and 15. For the final critique after week 15 several faculty and at least one outside professional are also part of the jury that sets the grade.

History of Architecture & Interiors

Code
MINT 0506
Description

The course will analyze and compare 20th and 21st century architectures and interiors in Japan, Scandinavia, North America, South America, and the Mediterranean. Students will work towards situating design and architecture practices within larger intellectual and historical frameworks by exploring the indissoluble connections linking ideas and products of human culture. Students will acquire the critical methodologies applicable to design and architecture to think more systematically about the evolution of architecture and interiors over time.

Technical Drawing and Project visualization

Code
MINT 0507
Description

This course is meant to enable students to develop and perfect the required practical skills to describe and represent space. It is dedicated principally to 2D technical drawing (measures, plan, section, views, axonometric projections, detail and construction drawings) using CAD software programs Adobe Creative Suites, AutoCAD and SketchUP, as needed for most projects. Students will also be given the opportunity to explore 3D visualization techniques and rendering tools so as to perfect their project communication skills. PCA has a license for all its students, faculty and staff to use lynda.com, an online tutorial for all software programs required for art and design.

Still Life Photography

Code
FHOT 0500
Description

The main aim of this class is to provide students with the tools and techniques required to document their work in a professional manner in order to share it with prospective clients. Students in all the new M.A. programs (accessories design, fashion design, fashion photography, interior design) will need to be proficient in photographing objects and/or interiors. Photographing still life is different from portraiture or street photography, and requires mastery of lighting and mise en scène.

Electives

Description

You may select an elective from the elective options bellow.

spring

Interior Design Studio II

Code
MINT 0503
Description

In this year-long course, students are first provided with the cultural and technical tools needed to understand inhabited spaces. Exemplary existing projects (published projects or on location in Paris) are analyzed for space elements such as: urban context, masses, negative and positive spaces, lighting, furniture functions, interior decoration, textures, color schemes. Students work on short projects to demonstrate their progressive ability to generate design solutions, select images, color and finishes, consider building-code constraints and barrier-free design.

Practice Fundamentals I

Code
MINT 0501
Description

In the first semester of this year-long course the focus is on business and management, shifting to communication in the second semester. Using the team project as an application, students consider professional feasibility of an idea: estimation of timeframes of each part within the whole project, measurements, budget comparisons, contract and construction costs, construction team management, and professional ethics. In the second semester, students apply the technical proficiency they have acquired in the fall CAD course to perfect their mastery of digital and hand drawing and sketching to visualize and communicate interior design projects. Students develop and explore new concepts, methods, and ideas to visually illustrate and present the various phases of the design process: concept boards, fast scale models, graphics and materials samples. Oral presentation skills to accompany their visual communication are the focus of continuous feedback for improvement.

Final Individual Project

Code
MINT 0505
Description

A semester-long project will be conducted individually to give students the opportunity to apply all the interdisciplinary skills and knowledge gathered during the first semester to either a residential or a commercial space. The project will be accompanied by a written thesis summarizing the research (historical, social, contextual and technical) in which the project is grounded and comprising a budget and timeline. This is a two-credit course because the majority of the work is done by students outside direct classroom instruction time. Students meet with their instructor for 2 hours per week to review progress, receive feedback and technical and conceptual suggestions for moving the project to completion. A peer review and critique with all student teams is organized at the end of weeks 5, 10, and 15. For the final critique after week 15 several faculty and outside professionals are also part of the jury that sets the grade.

Professional Practice Workshop Series

Code
MINT 0509
Description

Professionals from the Parisian art and design world will come in to introduce students to their professional practice and engage them in practical exercises preparing them for the job market. Instructors will be drawn from a broad range of fields: photographers and videographers; designer and architects; galleries, museums, auction houses and private collections; art fairs and international exhibitions; art dealers; curators; historians; journalists and iconographers; artists; magazine editors; I.P. and licensing lawyers, etc.

Master's Thesis

Code
MINT 0510
Description

Students will document the research they conduct on the theme of their final project, as well as the research they have done on the cost and means of production of their project. Some of the criteria for evaluating the thesis will be the extent to which the student’s work is situated in a historic and cultural context, the quality of the student’s research, and the appropriate use of documentation, artifacts, and the learning resources available to them in Paris.

Electives

Description

You may select an elective from the elective options bellow.

Elective Offering Graduate Level

fall

French

Description

Students take a placement test to be placed into one of three levels of French language: introductory, intermediate and advanced. Classes meet twice a week for written and oral exercises designed to strengthen vocabulary and grammar. These courses use dialogues, oral exercises, short compositions and literary texts to establish a firm foundation in the language. Students approach everyday life situations in French, while learning the fundamentals of grammar and the complexity of conversation. The intermediate and advanced courses serve as a more sophisticated introduction to French culture and lifestyle and as a means of consolidating grammar and vocabulary.

Concept Development: Storytelling

Code
MFFP 0508
Description

In this semester-long course students learn to quickly develop and research concepts to tell a story in images and words. The aim is to provide them with the tools, skills and processes that they will need to respond to a client’s brief in a professional and convincing manner. It is open as an elective to students from other departments, since the ability to come up with creative ideas, researching them and then “packaging” them in a compelling verbal and visual story is a key skill for any designer, whether it is to develop a story for a fashion editorial, an accessories line, or the concept for a new restaurant interior. The disciplinary mix of students also serves to prepare them to work within interdisciplinary teams, which is what they will be faced with in the professional world.

spring

French

Description

Students take a placement test to be placed into one of three levels of French language: introductory, intermediate and advanced. Classes meet twice a week for written and oral exercises designed to strengthen vocabulary and grammar. These courses use dialogues, oral exercises, short compositions and literary texts to establish a firm foundation in the language. Students approach everyday life situations in French, while learning the fundamentals of grammar and the complexity of conversation. The intermediate and advanced courses serve as a more sophisticated introduction to French culture and lifestyle and as a means of consolidating grammar and vocabulary.

Intellectual Property Rights

Code
MFMT 0512
Description

The I.P. course covers issues related to copyright, patents, contracts and liabilities as they apply to art and design. Students will learn about international laws related to copyright and patents and understand how to protect their intellectual property and the best strategies to adopt in different circumstances.

Designer's Social & Ethical Responsibility

Code
MFMT 0508
Description

In this course, students are brought to think about the ethical implications of a designer’s choices on the life cycle of an object or built environment (materials, means and conditions of production, recycling, etc..) Each student will select an object or built environment and research its life cycle.

Overall Credits Total
30

Frequently Asked Questions

How is this program cutting edge in contrast to other masters programs?

The cutting edge curriculum emphasizes practiced-based learning and focuses on personal and professional development. The program combines technical knowledge and principles of interior design research and theory. Studio classes and workshops conducted by active and prestigious professionals emphasize the mastery of contemporary techniques and professional practices, while theory-based and methodology courses help students develop their personal creative visions. Thanks to guest speakers and an international faculty and student body, graduates will be well prepared to enter the international job market and will have started to create a professional worldwide network.

What is the range of disciplines from which the students will be pooled?

We seek to have a diverse student group. Candidates from backgrounds including fine art, decorative arts, craft, architecture, and product design are all encouraged to apply.

How do you know if the program is right for you?

This one-year program is for students and emerging professionals who want to specialize in interior design. The proposed MA meets the demand of an expanding market which has been steadily growing since 2010 and netted $3 billion in 2014 according to a survey by the trade journal Interior Design. If you’re interested in a practical and professional program in the capital that is Paris, this is a program for you.

What are the prerequisites?

The program is open to any applicant who has successfully completed an undergraduate degree (BFA, BA, BSc, BID, BArch, etc.) with a studio component, or acquired basic technical skills (drawing, prototyping, CAD) through other educational or professional experiences. Your previously acquired technical skills and creative potential will be evaluated through your portfolio.

What is the advantage of enrolling in this program in its first year?

The boldest ideas are generally implemented first. Faculty will work all the harder to mold the program to the needs of individual students in the first year. The faculty in the program are well-established interior designers in Paris, and have substantial teaching experience.

Are there other graduate students at PCA?

PCA launched the MA/MFA in Transdisciplinary New Media in Fall 2015, and two MA programs in Fall 2016 (MA in Fashion Film and Photography and MA in Fashion Design: Haute Couture & Haute Technology.) In addition to this MA in Interior Design, three new programs will be launched in September 2017: MA in Accessories Design, MA/MFA in Photography and Image Making and MA/MFA in Drawing. PCA also collaborates with Toulouse Business School in offering English language MSc degrees in marketing and communication specializing in the fashion and luxury industries; and with the French engineering school École de Ponts in offering English language Master’s degrees in Computational Design These programs draw student from around the world to the PCA campus.

What are the advantages of studying in Paris?

Paris, like New York, Milan and London, is doubtlessly a capital that plays a key role in the world of interior design, as suggested by the many industry leaders who are based here. In addition, and contrary to New York, it offers a rich history of decorative arts and interior design, and students will have access to such archives as the Chateau de Versailles, the Museum of Decorative Arts, or the Mobilier National, a unique collection and center of contemporary creation dating back to the 17th century. Furthermore, the international dimension of both the city and Paris College of Art provide a unique platform for students who would aspire to experience an internship or work abroad.

What are concrete projects students can expect to complete?

This program focuses on technical and professional skills. Students will be able to:
> Manage projects, taking into account feasibility, financing, sourcing, team management and professional ethics;
> Communicate on projects using hand and digital drawing;
> Conduct historical, social, contextual and technical research;
> Demonstrate mastery of the CAD software programs used in the industry;
> Respond to professional commissions.

How do faculty facilitate the collaborative work?

Our PCA faculty, all active professionals, is best suited to impart the skills and knowledge required to prepare students to enter a rapidly changing professional world. They facilitate much the way a project manager would-by having a weekly meeting to make sure everyone is working towards a commonly defined goal. Then they break down to smaller teams/individuals to define milestones and address any difficulties.

What are the faculty’s credentials?

Their expertise lies in Architecture, Architectural and Art History, French, Interior Design, Intellectual Property, Professional Business Practices, Concept and Storytelling, Art Direction and Marketing.

What are the expected outcomes in terms of employability?

Students graduating from the Master in Interior Design will be prepared to enter the international job market with specific knowledge and skills in interior design, but also with a greater understanding of arts, architecture, space and interior design markets and professions. The combination of studio work, research, and professional practice preparation will enable graduates to work in interior design companies (focusing on residential or commercial projects), consultants to interior design firms, private clients or magazines, or they can chose to start their own practice.

What types of projects and companies will alumni be prepared for?

PCA has closely established links with industry and other partners through past industry sponsorship agreements with companies such as Les Compagnons du Devoir, L’Oréal, Shiseido, Galeries Lafayette, Hermès, and more. Our career services office assists students with securing internships. New links are sought and explored, to provide students with a pertinent professional network both in residential and commercial interior design.

What will students have in terms of a portfolio by the end of the program? Is a portfolio even the right way to look at the end result?

Upon graduation, students are expected to have achieved demonstrable skills in interior design, an understanding of applied research methodologies, and increased teamwork and management skills. They will have practiced talking about their skills and competencies with professional employers and clients. The final portfolio is comprised of the visual outcomes of a team project and an individual project, along with a written thesis demonstrating research and budgeting skills. Students are encouraged to develop an on-line portfolio throughout their year of study.