Interior Design

Master of 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 field. 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 interior design, architecture and other design related fields will be particularly suited for this program. A demonstrated ability to draw and sketch, knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite and CAD software programs, as well as a strong portfolio of selected projects, are criteria for admission.

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 ensure depth and breadth of content.

Faculty

Alix de Mercey

Alix de Mercey

Chair of Interior Design
Klaus Fruchtnis

Klaus Fruchtnis

Associate Dean of Graduate Studies
Linda Jarvin copy

Linda Jarvin

Chief Academic Officer
MASMONTEIL Laurent

Laurent Masmonteil

Adjunct Faculty
Nikola Meyer

Nikola Meyer

Adjunct Faculty
robbins-juliette

Juliette Robbins

Adjunct Faculty
Marcos Rojo

Marcos Rojo

Adjunct Faculty
Tolouie, Shiva

Shiva Tolouie

Adjunct Faculty
Fourmon Geraldine

Géraldine Fourmon

Adjunct Faculty

MA Curriculum

Credits

One-Year Program

fall

Interior Design Studio I

Code
MINT 0500
Description

In this year long course (ID studio 1 and 2), students explore and test conceptual thinking, design process and design tools required to develop proposals for inhabited spaces. Students are encouraged and expected to challenge themselves by investigating new ways of thinking and designing. In the second semester, a final brief will require students to push their designs further in terms of detail, materiality, structure and assembly. Using either the school’s 3D workshop or printing facilities, or affiliated fab lab resources, students will fabricate and assemble a large scale model or prototype of an extract of their proposal as a means to test and implement their design first-hand.

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 such as 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.

Practice Fundamentals I

Code
MINT 0501
Description

In this year long course, a practical approach is applied to each phase of the interior design project, from inception to completion. Working through the 4 principal stages of a scheme (feasibility and analysis; sketch proposal; detailed design; construction phase) students are led to identify, in sequence, the specific objectives, challenges and communication requirements relating to each phase. In the first semester, using the Creative Practice Studio project as an application, students consider the professional feasibility of an idea and the implications behind a sketch proposal: estimation of timeframes of each part within the whole project, measurements, budget comparisons, contract and constructions costs, clarity and coherence of a scheme with respects to client requirements and programmatic constraints. In the second semester, students follow the elaboration and perfecting of a project through the detailed design process, as well as the rigour and attention required to carry a project through to completion, addressing construction team management skills and professional ethics. Throughout the duration of the course and following each phase of the design process students are encouraged to apply the technical proficiency they have acquired in the fall CAD course to develop and explore new concepts, methods and ideas to illustrate and present each stage: concept boards, fast scale models, graphics, material samples and mock-ups. Oral presentation skills to accompany their visual communication are the focus of continuous feedback for improvement.

Creative Practice Studio

Code
MINT 0502
Description

In this advanced studio course, students work on a shared design brief, set within an existing space in Paris. Addressing new forms of design interventions, mixed-use or hybrid programs, students are encouraged to develop a personal and creative approach. Following focused and specialized investigations, the emphasis is on experimentation and innovation. Each student is invited to identify a particular and unique angle when responding to the brief and given context, by determining how they wish to approach critical design issues, such as working with sustainable materials, defining a socially engaged proposal, revisiting the process of fabrication and assembly or exploring new ways of inhabiting existing structures with either permanent or temporary design solutions.  Students are encouraged to develop a strong agenda as confident designers, while elaborating a personal architectural language, preparing them for the challenges of their degree project which they will complete over the following semester.

 

Degree Project I

Code
MINT 0512
Description

For their degree project students will elaborate a detailed design proposal over the course of 2 semesters, applied to a chosen interior typology.

The Fall semester will be dedicated to formulating a design research problematic, collecting and analyzing relevant data, carrying out in situ observations and surveys while identifying the project’s principal considerations. By the end of the semester, students will have developed a diversified knowledge of the chosen program and an in-depth understanding of the given context, be it cultural, social, historical, architectural. They will have prepared a set of comprehensive documents and drawings of the chosen site, which will enable them to undertake the detailed development of their design proposal in the Spring.

History of Architecture and Interiors

Code
MINT 0506
Description

This course explores the flourishing theoretical debate around architecture and design in the Modern Era. By providing students with the knowledge and skills required to understand and analyze their built environment, we will focus on significant periods that have marked architecture in Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. Starting from the industrial revolution, the course will cover the prevailing theoretical movements that have characterized and formed Modern Architectural History.

By adopting Paris as a paradigmatic area of study, students will be first introduced to the redefinition of a “National Style” in 1840ies France while focusing on the interpretation of history in contemporary architectural language. Students will then look into emerging artists and building forms in North America and Europe starting with the School of Chicago and moving forward with the Arts & Crafts, and Art Nouveau movements, together with the Prairie School. Students will be also introduced to the influential Avant-garde schools such as the Art Déco and Bauhaus before approaching the International Style. Although the course offers a diachronic approach of History, Architecture and interior design will be also tackled through a thematic analysis with a series of exercises (In-class activities; field trips and visual analysis) where students will assess, explore and compare built structures in our urban environment.

spring

Interior Design Studio II

Code
MINT 0503
Description

In this year long course (ID studio 1 and 2), students explore and test conceptual thinking, design process and design tools required to develop proposals for inhabited spaces. Students are encouraged and expected to challenge themselves by investigating new ways of thinking and designing. In this second semester, a final brief will require students to push their designs further in terms of detail, materiality, structure and assembly. Using either the school’s 3D workshop or printing facilities, or affiliated fab lab resources, students will fabricate and assemble a large scale model or prototype of an extract of their proposal as a means to test and implement their design first-hand.

Practice Fundamentals II

Code
MINT 0504
Description

In this year long course, a practical approach is applied to each phase of the interior design project, from inception to completion. Working through the 4 principal stages of a scheme (feasibility and analysis; sketch proposal; detailed design; construction phase) students are led to identify, in sequence, the specific objectives, challenges and communication requirements relating to each phase. In the first semester, using the Creative Practice Studio project as an application, students consider the professional feasibility of an idea and the implications behind a sketch proposal: estimation of timeframes of each part within the whole project, measurements, budget comparisons, contract and constructions costs, clarity and coherence of a scheme with respects to client requirements and programmatic constraints. In the second semester, students follow the elaboration and perfecting of a project through the detailed design process, as well as the rigour and attention required to carry a project through to completion, addressing construction team management skills and professional ethics. Throughout the duration of the course and following each phase of the design process students are encouraged to apply the technical proficiency they have acquired in the fall CAD course to develop and explore new concepts, methods and ideas to illustrate and present each stage: concept boards, fast scale models, graphics, material samples and mock-ups. Oral presentation skills to accompany their visual communication are the focus of continuous feedback for improvement.

Degree Project II

Code
MINT 05XX
Description

For their degree project, students will elaborate a detailed design proposal over the course of 2 semesters, applied to a chosen interior typology.

The Spring semester will build upon the extensive research undertaken in the Fall, a diversified knowledge of the specific program and an in-depth understanding of the given context. Basing themselves on the set of comprehensive documents and drawings of the chosen site they will have prepared, students will develop a detailed design project summarizing all of the interdisciplinary skills and knowledge acquired over the year. Emphasis will be on the relevance of the design problematic, the depth of research and creative initiative, and the quality of the visual and written proposal.

Professional Networking Series

Code
MINT 0511
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. This class brings together students from all the graduate programs.

Portfolio Preparation

Code
MINT 05XX
Description

This course consists of intensive workshops dedicated to the experimentation of various techniques allowing students to choose how to present their degree project, as well as to develop their printed and digital portfolios for further career or education prospects.

Masters Electives

Description

You may select an elective from the many course offerings in your department or in other departments with the approval of your department chair.

  • French
  • Drawing Technology and Perception
  • Advanced Printmaking*
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Concept Development Storytelling
  • Photography as Installation*
  • Photography in the Expanded Field*
  • History of New Media*
  • Designer’s Ethical and Social Responsibility
  • Educational Principles
  • Alternative Processes Image-Making*
  • Digital Fabrication Design
  • The Art of Code I & II
  • 4D Studio I & II*
  • The Fashion Editorial
  • Design Thinking
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Project Management*

* Undergraduate level courses

 

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 interior design, decorative arts, architecture, and other design related fields 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 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 choose 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 series of studio projects including a degree project, demonstrating research and applied design skills. Students are encouraged to develop an online portfolio throughout their year of study. A portfolio preparation class allows students to develop their printed and digital portfolios for further career and education prospects.