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.

– Alix de Mercey, Chair of Interior Design

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 and written thesis which is presented before a panel of critics, followed by a 6 month mandatory internship. 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

Alix de Mercey

Alix de Mercey

Chair of Interior Design
Loli, Nora

Nora Loli

Adjunct Faculty
MASMONTEIL Laurent

Laurent Masmonteil

Adjunct Faculty
Nikola Meyer

Nikola Meyer

Adjunct Faculty
robbins-juliette

Juliette Robbins

Adjunct Faculty
Tolouie, Shiva

Shiva Tolouie

Adjunct Faculty
Lisa Salamandra

Lisa Salamandra

Adjunct Faculty
Portrait-SCLUZEL

Sébastien Cluzel

Adjunct 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, and Photography) 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, 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. In the final project, students respond to the brief using the medium of their choice.

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.

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. 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.

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.

Materials & Dimensions II

Code
FFND 0111 or FFND 0112
Description

Depending on the individual student’s interests they will enroll in either the 2D or 3D focus of Materials and Dimensions II:

Materials and Dimensions II: Printmaking

Building on the practical knowledge acquired in ‘Materials and Dimensions I’, students develop their ideas with more autonomy, through more personal projects, whilst being supported by the technical expertise of their instructor.

The course focuses on the relationship between design, process and final outcome in two dimensions through color. Students are taught to search for the most effective and pertinent way to communicate their ideas.

Through printmaking explorations students investigate image-making as a multi-layered creative process that enables them to transform and push their work forward in all areas of 2-dimensional image-making.

Materials and Dimensions II: Photography

Building on the practical knowledge acquired in ‘Materials and Dimensions I’, students develop their ideas with more autonomy, through more personal projects, whilst being supported by the technical expertise of their instructors.

The course focuses on the relationship between design, process and final outcome in two dimensions in photography. Students are taught to search for the most effective and pertinent way to communicate their ideas.

Explorations of analog and digital techniques encourage students to investigate image-making as a multi-layered creative process which will enable them to transform and push their work forward in all areas of 2-dimensional image-making.

Materials and Dimensions II: 3D

Building on the practical knowledge acquired in ‘Materials and Dimensions I’, develop their ideas with more autonomy whilst being supported by the technical expertise of their instructors.

With a specific focus on ‘The Body’ students are introduced to the many ways that the human form is central to art and design practices, whether it is in the design of clothes, products, buildings, or furniture. Students gain an understanding of the different possibilities for 3D Design (architecture, fashion, product design, furniture, fine art sculpture).

Projects are based on investigations into how the physical structure, dimensions, and the functions of the human body inspire and direct the design of forms. The influence of context and environment on the generation and development of ideas will be essential to the work. Students experiment with the potential and limitations of materials and different material combinations through a study of color.

Foundation Year Departmental Elective

Description

In addition to the required curriculum, in the spring semester students are encouraged to take an elective in the department they are considering entering in sophomore year.

Paris Yesterday and Tomorrow: history, art and urban culture

Code
FLIB 1105
Description

This course acquaints students with the neighborhoods, cultures, people, customs, institutions and organizations in Paris through a thematic approach based on three main modules: the city and its history; the literary and artistic representations of the city; the city, its citizens, and its future. Students will learn about key moments in French history, from the Romans on, via the Middle Ages, the Revolution, Haussmannization, and May 1968; 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 learning is accomplished through a variety of means: 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 to establish the inherent principles that structure space from a sensorial and a practical point of view. The course will provide students with the cultural and technical tools needed to understand inhabited spaces. Exemplary projects drawn from housing, workplace, leisure and retail environments are investigated, while addressing building codes and conventions. Students will learn how to elaborate and develop clear ideas and conceptual principles, while considering urban context, space organization, negative and positive spaces, lighting and furniture functions. The ability to generate design solutions, select materials, color and finishes are emphasized.

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.

Introduction to Project Communication

Code
FINT 0210
Description

This course is intended as an introduction to the communication of interior design projects. It is meant to provide students with a basic understanding of practical skills used to describe and represent space. Through a series of tasks, students familiarize themselves with basic design tools – conceptual sketches, study models, two dimensional drawings, volumetric representations and presentation techniques – which accompany the elaboration and communication of interior design proposals.

History of Architecture

Code
FHCA 0230
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. We 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.

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 department page for more information.

spring

Project Fundamentals 2

Code
FINT 0203
Description

These first project courses (P.F. 1&2) aim to establish the inherent principles that structure space from a sensorial and a practical point of view. The course will provide students with the cultural and technical tools needed to understand inhabited spaces. Exemplary projects drawn from housing, workplace, leisure and retail environments are investigated, while addressing building codes and conventions. Students will learn how to elaborate and develop clear ideas and conceptual principles, while considering urban context, space organization, negative and positive spaces, lighting and furniture functions. The ability to generate design solutions, select materials, color and finishes are emphasized.

 

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 2D

Code
FINT 0206
Description

This first course in Project Communication is meant to provide students with the necessary practical skills to describe and represent space in two dimensions. The 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, with an understanding of their application as both powerful conceptual and presentation tools.

Introduction to Design Studies

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 department 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.

Project Communication 3D

Code
FINT 0306
Description

This second course in Project Communication is meant to provide students with the necessary practical skills to describe and represent space in three dimensions. The semester is dedicated to 3D technical drawings such as axonometry or perspective, as well as physical and digital 3D models, with an understanding of their application as both powerful conceptual and presentation tools.

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.

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.

Math/Science Elective

Description

Go to the Liberal Studies department page for more information.

spring

Project 2: Temporary Space Design

Code
FINT 0301
Description

In Project 2, students will focus on the design of temporary retail and exhibition spaces, including trade show exhibits, pop-up stores or corporate / public events. The art of display, lighting, visual and sound communication, color schemes, and materials selection to generate a complete sensory experience for the customers / visitors will be emphasized. Guest experts and suppliers will introduce professional reality in this studio course.

Furniture and Display Design

Code
FINT 0301
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.

Alternatives in Project Communication

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, alternative methods and ideas to visually illustrate and present the various phases of the design process: from concept boards, fast scale models and graphics to rendering techniques and digital fabrication tools.

Art History Elective

Description

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

Senior Year

fall

Creative Practice Studio

Code
FINT 0400
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 specialised 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 1

Code
FINT 0401
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.

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.

Senior Thesis

Code
FLIB 4500
Description

This seminar provides the theoretical and methodological foundation necessary for completing a senior thesis in the departments of Fine Arts, Photography, Communication Design, Interior Design and Design Management. Over the course of the semester, students will continue to conduct research and write their thesis for the Bachelor degree. The Senior Thesis course includes individual and group tutorials, peer assessments, and research and writing workshops. This course is intended to guide students through the final stages of the thesis (from finalizing the written submission to preparing the oral defence) and it seeks to make the thesis process and oral defence as painless (and, ideally, as enjoyable) as possible.

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.

spring

Degree Project 2

Code
FINT 04XX
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.

Portfolio Preparation

Code
FINT 0403
Description

Intensive workshops dedicated to the experimentation of various techniques provided for students: they will be able to choose how to present their final individual project and their print and digital portfolios for further career or education prospects.

Art History Elective

Description

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

Internship Year

fall

Internship and Internship Report

Code
05XX
Description

Following on from Senior year, students undertake a 6 month internship over the Summer and Fall semester in an interior design or architecture agency. Within the practice, students are to actively participate in set tasks, following a structured program of work while actively contributing to the organization. The Chair of the Interior Design department meets with the student 3 to 4 times over the duration of the internship to review progress.

Before the BFA degree can be conferred, students must compile a 15-20 page written report and a digital portfolio/presentation describing their involvement in the agency, analyzing what lessons they have learned and evaluating to what extent they have acquired essential skills related to their profession.

Overall Credits Total
124

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.
erotokritos

Interior Design Highlight: EROTOKRITOS Project

For the Fall '17 semester, chair of Interior Design Alix de Mercey and Interior Design faculty Deirdre Philips will be leading a class in collaboration with retail company EROTOKRITOS. Students will be rethinking the design and use of the company's boutique, 109 boulevard...
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