Interior Design involves the creation of imaginative and stimulating environments in specific places - often within existing buildings. The revitalisation, reuse and re-imagining of the latter requires a sensitivity to the particular qualities of a site, along with an understanding of the needs of the people who will populate the eventual construction. In proposing fresh ways people might use a building, a skilled interior designer is able to creatively embrace the constraints of brief and context, engaging in a dialogue between existing architectural form, and contemporary approaches to the organisation, detailing, and decoration of a space.
Clever interior design is a key contributor to an improved quality of life, and it helps generate business success. It has an established professional structure which allows graduates the opportunity to gain invaluable experience at various levels of responsibility before choosing to set up in independent practice or take leading roles in established studios.
Head of Department, Interior Design
The Interior Design department at GSA is focused upon the production of appropriate, practical and creative solutions while working within specific types of constructed space. It asserts that, as interior designers, digital methods of representation, such as CAD, 3D-printing and immersive virtual-imaging are integral to the way our proposals are understood and developed, produced and discussed. This opens up a space to further investigate other, more physical concerns such as the narrative properties of materials and the relationship between site and proposal. It is this interior design 'project/problem' based learning that helps generate a thorough awareness of the key components in an interior designers repertoire.
We offer the opportunity to prepare for the increasingly distinct and challenging world of professional interior design. We encourage bold, critical, conceptual thinking and the clear communication of ideas. Creativity is developed through sustained involvement with the design process via a broad arc of diverse projects, supportive and diagnostic tutorial discussion, and reviews with an informed audience of staff and student peers, both from within the specialist area, from other design disciplines and from the wider school. This comprehensive exposure to the breadth of the discipline provides a foundation from which, in the final year of the programme, students are able to self-direct and finely-tune their particular interests and hone both practical and intellectual skills in preparation for practice.
The programme has around 20 students in each year. We believe that facilitates a particular creative cohesion, and allows staff to form a clear perception of individual abilities and aspirations. All full and part-time tutors are actively engaged in practice and/or research, and as a team, offer a complimentary range of specialist experience. Visiting tutors bring additional experience of major specialist activities, such as retail, hospitality, exhibition/interpretation and set design. The work of staff members is regularly published and exhibited in the UK and abroad.
Forum for Critical Inquiry
A element of the programme is delivered by the Forum for Critical Inquiry (FoCI) The Forum is an essential component of the programme. For most of the four years of undergraduate programmes in design and fine art, one day per week of the student timetable is allocated to the Forum. It is a cross-school and externally linked critical mass of diverse research expertise in broad-based critical studies for contemporary creative practices in design, art and architecture.
The range of teaching styles varies from traditional keynote lectures to interactive discussion groups and experiential learning. Courses are constructed in order to both underpin studio practice and to open out and extend the range of student research.
All students are required to attend lectures and discussion groups, to make oral presentations, to write essays and in the final year, to present a piece of personal research in the form of an Extended Essay (20% of the final degree mark) or a Dissertation (30% of the final degree mark).
Students requiring learning support are provided with additional teaching tailored to individual needs. Each student also has a departmental contact tutor who acts in an advisory and pastoral capacity in relation to progress in Forum for Critical Inquiry.