Interior Design

Bachelor of Fine Arts
in Interior Design

with an Emphasis on Retail & Commercial Spaces

Interior design is the art of defining spaces that surround us…from the inside out. Whether within intimately small spaces or much larger schemes, within residential, commercial or work related places, the interior designer must demonstrate the ability to adapt and develop, way beyond simple decoration, subtle design proposals both sensitive to context and responsive to complex constraints and specific requirements.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Interior Design encourages a thorough yet versatile design approach, following systematic and coordinated methodologies. With an emphasis on Retail and Commercial Spaces, the program is intended for undergraduate students aiming to become professional interior designers specialized in retail, commercial, exhibition and event spaces. Inter-disciplinary in nature and structure, the studio and the classroom serve as complementary spaces for design thinking and creative expression as well as technical and professional skills development.

The course builds up towards a final individual project which is presented before a panel of critics, followed by a 6 month mandatory internship and thesis. The significant studio practice and the plurality of choices offered by this program prepare graduates for immediate insertion into the interior design field in Paris and internationally, or for entry into specialized Masters degree programs.

Set within the unique context of Paris, with its rich historical and cultural heritage, prestigious and innovative interior design concepts and renowned leading figures in the field, the school is an ideal setting to pursue the development of a clear and personal creative direction within this discipline.

Faculty

Curriculum

Credits

Foundation

fall

Drawing I

Code
FFND 0176
Description

Drawing–across all first year studio courses and in every progression track at PCA–is considered a fundamental discipline for creative practice. The aim is to give students both a vital course in traditional skills and an introduction to contemporary and emerging approaches to drawing. Included in this class are subject specific workshops such as: digital illustration, gesture/dance, experimental fashion drawing, drawing and film. The purpose of this course is to instill a lively and inspired discipline that students will continue to practice in many forms beyond their foundation year.

Materials and Dimensions I

Code
FFND 0110
Description

This course is an introduction to dimensions in art and design (2D, 3D, Photography and Moving Image) through material processes. Over the course of the semester students rotate for one month through three discipline areas. A common theme links the three courses and projects overlap and develop progressively. All first years take part in a joint critique of their work. Students are taught how to use practical tools and shown methods for handling materials that provide concrete starting points for creative practice. These include, but are not limited to: book-making, basic printmaking, black and white printing, sewing inductions, moving image workshops, and the operation of woodwork machinery.

City as Studio

Code
FFND 0174
Description

Students explore their immediate neighbourhood and the city at large as a site of inspiration. The city and its spaces become an extended classroom. Students respond to a theme designed to encourage interaction and integration with their surroundings and new, unexpected ways of looking at their environment. Site visits, walks, lectures, readings, and practical exercises guide students through different approaches to the creative process with the aim that they develop their own methodologies and engage with the city as potential artists and/or designers.

Introduction to Digital Media I

Code
FFND 0170
Description

This course aims to equip all first year students with the necessary skills and confidence to be able to use digital tools. The curriculum is project-led and structured so that students can apply their growing skill-set to realize their ideas. All projects are contextualized with examples of work by contemporary artists and designers who are working with digital media. Students are introduced to the possibilities for digital tools as part of their creative work.

Personal Project

Code
FFND 0175
Description

All students are given a common theme from which to design and create their own project over the course of the Spring Semester. ‘Personal Project’ is a seminar-led course where students present their ideas and the evolution of their work for critical feedback to their peers. This course is run by Instructors with specialist knowledge in areas of art and/or design and students are allocated a group according to their emerging interests.

Introduction to Art & Design

Code
FHCA 0103
Description

This course introduces students to themes and topics relevant to the production and reception of the art and design disciplines taught at PCA. Using art and design objects located in Parisian collections as the basis for visual, contextual and cultural analysis, students will develop ways of seeing, contextualizing and describing art and design, while tackling a common set of issues, including but not limited to: chronology, style, authorship, form, function, composition, originality, narrative, and the decorative. Students will be guided as to how to conduct research in local collections and libraries and will produce a short contextually-oriented research paper on an art or design object or an artist or designer based on first-hand access to the object, artist, designer and archives.

Critical Thinking & Writing I

Code
FLIB 1011
Description

This year-long course is designed to improve critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. Students learn to understand the inherent argument and logic of a text, to think more systematically and critically, and to write more effectively by developing skills in the structure, grammar, and mechanics of writing. Students also work toward the more focused goal of situating design and art practices within larger intellectual, historical and philosophical frameworks by exploring the indissoluble connection between ideas and the products of human culture. This is achieved by introducing students to texts representing and describing various methodologies applicable to art and design, which can then be used to critique and analyze visual and material artifacts.

spring

Drawing II

Code
FFND 0177
Description

Students require the fluency and confidence in the act of drawing developed in Drawing I in order to engage in more ambitious work. ‘Professional’ drawing classes are designed to relate directly to art and design specialisms (Fine Art, Illustration, Fashion, Interior Design, Communication Design and Photography). Students are encouraged to take a self-motivated and questioning approach to drawing; equipped with the basic skills they become increasingly open to experimentation and the potential to communicate in many forms. Through a series of workshops stereotypical ways of thinking and seeing are challenged so that students understand drawing as an activity that continues to be relevant and re-invented.

Materials and Dimensions II

Code
FFND 0111
Description

Building on the practical knowledge acquired in in ‘Materials and Dimensions I’ students develop their ideas with more autonomy whilst being supported by the technical expertise of their instructors. In this course students focus on the relationship between design, process and final outcome in 2-Dimensions. After an introduction to color theory and symbolism, students learn about color through print. Students are taught to question and analyze the image-making process. Through set assignments students explore different media and techniques and learn how to select the most effective methods to communicate their ideas.

Introduction To Digital Media II

Code
FFND 0171
Description

Students develop projects with a growing complexity, employing the computer less as a tool and more as a medium to be manipulated with greater confidence and control. The aim of the course is to create an awareness of the potential for digital techniques to solve visual and communication problems. Advanced skills are taught during the Semester that support and encourage an ambitious approach to the digital field. Students integrate digital and non-digital practice and explore mixing different softwares and media. All projects are contextualized with examples of work by contemporary artists and designers who are working with digital media. By the end of the course all students are confident to use digital tools as part of their creative work.

Studio Elective

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.

Artistic Migrations: Paris

Code
FLIB 1104
Description

This course introduces students to the notion of the city as palimpsest and the center of cultural and social exchanges. It will expose them to a selection of writers and artists who have travelled to and from Paris, and help them understand the role played by this city in relation to cultural and political capitals throughout the world. The city itself will be the subject of a visual and intellectual inquiry via themes that focus on Paris as a historically significant urban social, political and cultural center past and present.

Students will learn about key moments in French history, from the Romans on, via the Middle Ages and the Revolution, they will be introduced to such themes as political migrations and colonialism, and will explore the city from a variety of points of views including literary and artistic exchanges, urban history, architecture, and ecology. Active exploration of the environment is strongly encouraged and students are asked to observe and analyze phenomena of the city through site visits, the examination of texts and images, and first-hand encounters with museums, galleries, and libraries, as well as other art and design-related resources in the city.

Critical Thinking & Writing II

Code
FLIB 1012
Description

This year-long course is designed to improve critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. Students learn to understand the inherent argument and logic of a text, to think more systematically and critically, and to write more effectively by developing skills in the structure, grammar, and mechanics of writing. Students also work toward the more focused goal of situating design and art practices within larger intellectual, historical and philosophical frameworks by exploring the indissoluble connection between ideas and the products of human culture. This is achieved by introducing students to texts representing and describing various methodologies applicable to art and design, which can then be used to critique and analyze visual and material artifacts.

Sophomore Year

fall

Project Fundamentals 1

Code
FINT 0202
Description

These first project courses (P.F. 1&2) aim at providing students with the cultural and technical tools needed to understand inhabited spaces. Exemplary projects drawn from housing, workplace, leisure and retail environments are investigated. Space elements are analyzed on published architectural projects and within real locations: urban context, masses, negative and positive spaces, lighting, furniture functions. The ability to generate design solutions, select images, color and finishes are emphasized. Building codes and barrier-free design compliance are also be studied.

Materiality

Code
FINT 0204
Description

The course aims at introducing students to the world of materials’ sensorial qualities, requirements, and performances. Students explore the relationships between colors, light and four specific materials (glass, wood, metal and plastics) from a sensorial point of view. Through a theoretical and practical approach of materials and tool technologies, students discover possibilities and ways to apply, combine and assemble materials within interior environments. The course will also encourage critical thinking with regard to an understanding and application of the life cycle analysis, as well as introducing organizations dedicated to sustainability and the rating systems they use. Visits to materials workshops and suppliers showrooms will complement this course.

Project Communication 1

Code
FINT 0206
Description

These courses (P.C. 1&2) are meant to provide students with the necessary practical skills to describe and represent space. The first semester is dedicated to 2D technical drawing (dimensions, scale, plan, section, elevation views, and axonometric projections) by hand as well as in AutoCAD and the illustration of interior design proposals in Illustrator and Photoshop. In the second semester, students learn the systematic use of perspective sketches and are introduced to digital techniques.

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.

Studio Elective

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.

Liberal Studies Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies Program page for more information.

spring

Project Fundamentals 2

Code
FINT 0203
Description

These first project courses (P.F. 1&2) aim at providing students with the cultural and technical tools needed to understand inhabited spaces. Exemplary projects drawn from housing, workplace, leisure and retail environments are investigated. Space elements are analyzed on published architectural projects and within real locations: urban context, masses, negative and positive spaces, lighting, furniture functions. The ability to generate design solutions, select images, color and finishes are emphasized. Building codes and barrier-free design compliance will also be studied.

Architectural Components

Code
FINT 0205
Description

This course aims to introduce and explore the basic components and systems that define the built environment : structure, envelope, floors, walls, roof, stairs, windows, doors, environmental systems (including plumbing, electricity, ventilation, telecommunications, lighting, etc). Over the semester, each session is to address a particular component or system in detail (from exemplary references to technical aspects to graphic representational codes). Sustainability issues and energy-saving systems will also be studied.
The course as a whole intends to provide students with a comprehensive and thorough overview of the numerous aspects and characteristics which need to be considered when developing an interior design project. Bridging with Project Fundamentals 1 & 2, the course will allow students to understand how these components and systems co-exist and interface within the built environment.

Project Communication 2

Code
FINT 0207
Description

These courses (P.C. 1&2) are meant to provide students with the necessary practical skills to describe and represent space. The first semester is dedicated to 2D technical drawing (dimensions, scale, plan, section, elevation views, and axonometric projections) by hand as well as in AutoCAD and the illustration of interior design proposals in Illustrator and Photoshop. In the second semester, students learn the systematic use of perspective sketches and are introduced to digital techniques.

Studio Elective

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.

Culture of Design

Code
FLIB 1162
Description

As an introduction to design in general, this seminar provides students with a contextual understanding of specific movements in design history. ‘Design’ has come to mean many different things. It has been defined as problem solving, communication of an idea, an aesthetic decision, but it is rarely discussed as a vital business concern, though design communicates to us and makes us desire things in order to sell something. The weekly sessions will incorporate topics ranging from avant-garde movements, technology and media, information theory, business and marketing practices, sociology, and psychology, set within a broad historical narrative.

Liberal Studies Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies Program page for more information.

Junior Year

fall

Project 1: Permanent Space Design

Code
(FINT 0300)
Description

In Project 1, students will focus on the design of permanent retail and commercial spaces, including restaurants, banks, boutiques, specialty shops and department stores. The differences in the treatment of tangible products retailing and intangible services offering will be emphasized through the exploration of content communication and the differential features that outline the character of a brand in a specific space. Design research methods and programming of client requirements are introduced, as well as techniques of diagramming space to provide proper circulation and activity relationships.

Lighting Design

Code
FINT 0303
Description

The course aims at helping students to become aware that light is, first of all, a material, a tool to shape spaces, and thus handled and processed as such. Space lighting will be approached from the creative point of view – without it being limited to technological aspects. Students will understand the physiological and psychological aspects of lighting in interior design and will learn to define lighting project intentions in different types of spaces such as an apparel store, an art exhibition space or a restaurant.

Project Communication 3

Code
FINT 0304
Description

In this class, students perfect resources for the visualization and the communication of interior design projects, both orally and visually. 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.

Studio Elective

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.

Liberal Studies Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies Program page for more information.

spring

Project 2

Description

Furniture and Display Design

Code
FINT 0310
Description

This course aims to establish the inherent principles of furnishing space while adopting a practical approach to the design process of furniture within a retail and commercial context.

It introduces the main categories of commercial space furnishings and the merchandising practices in stores. The role of human considerations with such approaches as physical anthropology and ergonomics related to furniture design will be studied. Students will learn how to maintain cohesiveness with brief and given context while designing the details of basic elements of custom components within interior spaces.

Studio Elective

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.

Art History Electives

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Art History Program page for more information.

Liberal Studies Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies Program page for more information.

Senior Year

fall

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.

Project Management

Code
FDMT 0275
Description

This course addresses practical issues of project management. Emphasis is placed on understanding how to create a project plan and manage a team to meet the scope of the project, milestones and deliverables.

Liberal Studies Electives

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies Program page for more information.

spring

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.

Studio Elective

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.

Art History Electives

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Art History Program page for more information.

Liberal Studies Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies Program page for more information.

Overall Credits Total
130

Interior Design Students Visit the Cité Musicale Construction Site

Laurent Masmonteil, architect and faculty of the Interior Design Department at PCA, recently took his class Project Fundamentals II on an exclusive tour of the construction site of the Cité Musicale on Île Seguin, project led by the famous Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, and his associate on this adventure, the French architect Jean de Gastines.