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Interior Architecture Degree: Classes to Expect

by Academy Contributor

Contrary to people’s common perception, interior architecture & design isn’t simply all about picking out furniture and incorporating design elements that would improve an interior’s aesthetics.

It’s also not just about deciding the layout out of the floor space.

Interior architects work to assure that interior spaces meet client needs in terms of form, function, and decor. Typically, an interior architect would be a part of a building team from the outset, offering insights about room dimensions, wall and window placements, lighting, air quality, acoustics, plumbing and electrical systems, finishes and materials, and decor details, among others.

The Future of Interior Architecture

If you have a “good eye,” an interest in art and design, and the ability to use modern computer skills to develop functional solutions, you just might have the knack to pursue an interior architecture degree.

Requirements vary, but there are a variety of programs that lead to an AA, BFA, BA, MFA or a four-year professional certification. Course programs will typically include color theory, drafting techniques, spatial relationships, building codes, structural basics, basic business skills and presentation principles. In addition, you’ll learn to read plans and blueprints, complete hands-on design projects, and practice making professional presentations.

Blurring the Lines Between Function and Décor

Although the focus might be on structure, form, sustainability and innovation for a home or commercial building, the interior architect also addresses color and light, and how they impact and influence people; sound transference and sound absorption techniques; and solutions optimize both beauty and function.

Interior Architecture & Design Student Work by Anthony Nguyen
Student Work by Anthony Nguyen

A Course Overview

Mastering the concepts and principles of interior architecture and design involves study of structure, form and function, as well innovative ideas for aesthetics and sustainability.

As an interior architecture student, you will study:

Design Principles and Elements, as well as Digital Imaging

A basic introduction to 2D and 3D design allows students to visualize rooms from a variety of perspectives, and then proceed to solve design problems and effectively communicate the same to others. New digital imaging techniques will also be explored as a way to produce effective, cohesive images through computer manipulation.

Perspective Drawing Techniques Plus an Introduction to Construction Documents

These technical courses move discussion beyond the theoretical. A thorough understanding of scale and perspective are vital tools for the interior architect, as is the technical ability to read, understand and interpret construction documents.

Professional Practice for Interior Designers

An advanced level course, this is where all the learned theory and classroom practice come together to provide a comprehensive opportunity to draft a solution for a “real-life” project. Research skills, conceptual needs, design documentation, creative talent and presentation skills will all be factors that influence successful project completion.

School of Interior Architecture & Design facilities
School of Interior Architecture & Design facilities

Building Codes and Systems

If you’re involved in any way in the building trades, you must have a working knowledge of codes and regulations. This class will introduce you to the “mechanics” of building, and gain an important understanding of regulatory requirements. Classroom quizzes, in addition to design projects emphasize this holistic approach and encourage a sense of teamwork.

Human-Centered Design

The science of ergonomics is not only fascinating, but integral to the idea of creating people-friendly spaces that address physical as well as psychological needs of their inhabitants. Accessibility, mobility, convenience, and comfort must all be addressed to ensure that the space is safe and welcoming enough to be utilized on a regular basis.



These are just some examples of the types of classes you’re most likely to encounter when earning an interior architecture & design degree.  Are you ready to join us in Academy of Art University? Apply now. Need more information? Contact our admissions representatives.


Hero image: Interior Architecture & Design by Academy of Art University Faculty member Kathleen Valkuchak

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