Interior Architecture

Undergraduate

  • BFA | 4-year program

    Interior Studies majors - as the undergraduate program is known - choose among three specializations or "pathways" through advanced design studios, focusing on design for the theater, exhibition design or retail design. Throughout the program, professors offer hands-on opportunities to learn about practices in the construction industry and beyond, helping each individual to grow creatively and become a socially and environmentally responsible professional.

  • Learning Outcomes

    Graduates are prepared to:

    • evaluate their own individual talents, interests and aptitudes to determine a suitable career path

    • navigate a collaborative work environment in order to investigate aspects of interior interventions through conceptual thinking and critical making

    • develop design strategies that recognize the importance of social and environmental responsibility

    • understand design principles and the tools for implementing them to develop meaningful and coherent design propositions

    • recognize the importance of context in the transformation of space and acknowledge its implications in the formulation of design concepts 

    • articulate design concepts and implement interventions based on the transformation of existing structures

    • communicate design ideas through drawings, projections and both physical and digital models

    • engage with interior interventions in the field and apply this knowledge in design projects of varying scales

  • Inspiring Community

    Approximately 55 undergraduates  and 45 graduate students from around the world work together in the Angelo Donghia Studio for Interior Architecture on the fifth floor of RISD’s Center for Integrative Technologies. Students come from around the world and work with more than 25 full- and part-time faculty members who practice internationally and were educated in Germany, Portugal, Canada, the US and elsewhere. This lends the department a very global, cosmopolitan feel and allows for especially fruitful collaborations and critical exchange

  • Learning Environment

    Interior Architecture professors share a commitment to sustainability and a belief that their profession has a role to play in bettering the lives of people from all economic backgrounds. Having long volunteered at soup kitchens and homeless shelters, Professor Liliane Wong has incorporated her interest in affordable housing into studios on sustainable modular solutions and on designing and building site-specific furnishings for transitional shelters in Boston. Why focus on projects like these instead of more typical private residences? "We want students to see that design has a wide spectrum and can be used as a tool in a larger human context," she says - "that it's not just for people who can afford to pay for it."

  • Curriculum

    In the first year of the program, which begins after students complete RISD’s required year of Foundation Studies, sophomores take introductory courses that cover the ideas and vocabulary of Interior Architecture and provide the basis for subsequent studios. Juniors further explore the field through advanced studios, supplemented by a broad range of technical, theoretical and historical courses.

    Foundation Studies

    • Fall
    • Drawing I
    • Design I
    • Spatial Dynamics I
    • Liberal Arts courses
    • Wintersession
    • Non-major studio elective
    • Spring
    • Drawing II
    • Design II
    • Spatial Dynamics II
    • Liberal Arts courses

    Sophomore

    • Fall
    • Introduction to Interior Studies
    • Drawing for Interior Architecture
    • Building Materials Exploration
    • History of Interior Architecture I
    • Wintersession
    • Open elective
    • Spring
    • Introduction to Interior Studies II
    • Intro to Computing for Interior Architecture
    • History of Interior Architecture II
    • Liberal Arts elective

    Junior

    • Fall
    • Intro to Interior Studies III
    • Human Factors
    • Building Structures and Systems for Adaptive Reuse
    • Liberal Arts elective
    • Wintersession
    • Open elective
    • Spring
    • Spatial Perception: Light and Color
    • Advanced Design Studio
    • Open elective
    • Liberal Arts elective

    Senior

    • Fall
    • Advanced Design Studio
    • Scheme Detailing
    • Liberal Arts elective
    • Wintersession
    • Open elective
    • Spring
    • Advanced Design Studio
    • Interior Architecture Studio Elective
    • Open elective
    • Liberal Arts elective

  • Application Requirements

    All first-year applicants apply to RISD as opposed to a specific department and begin with a required year of Experimental and Foundation Studies. Students select a major midway through the first year but don’t begin those programs until sophomore year.

    For more information or to begin the application process, visit the Apply page.