Interior Architecture BA(Hons)
If you're fascinated by architecture's place in people's lives and how society is formed through architecture; if you wonder how spaces can be reformed and re-envisioned; if you see structures as more than objects, if you see them as social space in which communities can engage - you could be ideal for the course in Interior Architecture at Brighton.
You'll have plenty of chance to understand the wide range of possibilities in Interior Architecture, and to find your own methods and practices to suit. Questions about ‘interiors’ are central to so many artistic and design practices, ranging from formal architectural work to cultural geography. Our work overlaps with fashion design, furniture design, exhibition design, and installation art. With such rich potential in terms of territory and community, this is a course that will ask you to carve out your own personal position, intellectual understanding and design awareness.
Interior Architecture is concerned with the intimate, with the 'specifics of inhabitation and bodily presence'. It requires a range of unique design skills including distinctive processes of drawing, collection and documentation. Design is at the centre of all our activities and as a student, you will engage with design work, in which human activities, events and habitation are linked to specific places and spaces.
A wide understanding of relationships between, people, place, space and politics is indispensable for any contemporary spatial practice and studying at Brighton will bring you knowledge of a wide historical and cultural context, with all its philosophical, cultural and technological implications.
We are in a very good position to ask the right questions and offer insight into the ways you can contribute towards the necessary environmental changes as you prepare for a life of creative and inventive practice.
Situated within a College of Arts and Humanities we benefit from close proximity to a variety of creative disciplines and techniques. This offers our students a degree of freedom to pursue design possibilities, exploring territory beyond the boundaries of professional categories. It also offers the possibility to learn from and incorporate a wide range of approaches to design methods and practices, which may operate in different ways.
In year 1, design studies will introduce you to the discipline of interior architecture within a wide historical and cultural context, establishing your skills, specialist knowledge and practices. In year 2 you will broaden and deepen your awareness of the field. This is a year for creative experimentation and the exploration of new territories. In year 3 you will have opportunities to apply your skills and spatial design awareness. The intention throughout this year is to consolidate your knowledge, enable you to develop an independent creative voice, and prepare you for entry into professional practice or enable you to engage in further research. Each year, graduating students exhibit their work in the College of Arts and Humanities degree show. You will have opportunities to participate in field trips, work experience and placements and student exchange programmes.
Areas of study
You will explore interior architecture through a range of teaching methods designed to develop your skills and understanding of this constantly evolving subject. Design projects form the backbone of this course, and are supported by analytical studies, design practice, communication, and the development of a range of design skills including drawing, ICT, organisation, management and model making. History and theory sessions develop your understanding of the wider context of interior architecture. The study of design technology provides you with the skills and knowledge to engage professionally with other design disciplines, such as architecture, fine art, fashion and textile and furniture design. Our practical sessions provide you with the opportunity to explore and critically appraise precedents, publications and creative events. Live industry projects will introduce you to the professional, legal and public context of design.
History and theory
Career and progression opportunities
Students from the course have been very successful in finding employment or engaging in further study within the design industry. Our graduates have practiced in a variety of professional fields including in the world of theatre as set designers, as model-makers, retail designers, exhibition designers, installation artists as well as interior designers. A number of our graduates have pursued post-graduate studies in architecture. We have a strong Masters programme at Brighton for our graduating students and the possibility to specialise to PhD level in a variety of related fields. What these many career paths have incommon is a conception of ‘interior’ in their creation of spatial settings. This points to the richness and diversity of the subject and to the wealth of opportunities available. The fact that ‘Interiors’ is wonderfully fluid and mobile may be one of its great advantages and a fitting reward for those who fully engage with it.
We are also adept at bringing outside expertise into the studio environment, collaborating with communities such as the Lewes Writers and Artists Centre. Funding from the Arts Council and the Centre for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Design (CETLD), has enabled students to participate in practices projects such as: ‘Discursive Spaces’ which encouraged disabled artists involvement in studio teaching. Students have also participated in another CETLD funded initiative entitled ‘Sources of Inspiration’, about the way students use museum collections as part of their design development. Interior Architecture students have collaborated with their colleagues on other courses such as designing exhibition stands and layout for the Fashion and Textile degree show. We insert many of these ventures into the course through the ‘Practices’ areas of study where you will be encouraged to work on a variety of projects ranging from short work placements to community engagement.
There are four main areas of study in your Course.
(1) Design Studies are at the centre of your learning and this is where you will engage with the skills and concepts essential to the discipline. A combination of site-based theoretical design projects and occasional ‘live’ design events are intended to furnish you with a personal design process and enable you to acquire skills in professional practice. From the beginning, you will be encouraged to explore your discipline with a critical mind; developing design ideas through discussion, testing and reviewing your assumptions and selecting ways and means most appropriate for your design propositions. As you progress through the course, you will use the skills and knowledge you accumulate to develop proposals for increasingly more complex design problems.
(2) Design Technologies are explored in conjunction with design projects. In this area you will be exposed to a wide range of recognized technical systems, sustainable methods and techniques as they are utilized in the design of interior spaces.
(3) History and Theory will help you to explore particular socio-economic and cultural contexts for the, design, construction, and use of buildings.
(4) ‘Practices’ is the area where you will develop awareness and capability in forms of practices that match your individual creative abilities and personal theoretical stance. In some cases this may entail working on live projects.
Every year we will invite you to participate in ‘field’ trips in Europe (and sometimes beyond), to enable you to gather first-hand experience of exemplary design projects in often-unfamiliar cities and cultures.
At Brighton, you will participate in a vibrant studio culture, where students share ideas creativity and techniques in order to prepare for practice and enterprise beyond graduation. The studio critically replicates the working environment of the professional design world where it is common for groups of designers to work across disciplines and in collaboration with others in a very social community. We aim to encourage and assist you within this mutually supportive culture throughout your studies to enable you to develop your own specialist design focus. The units of study at all levels actively encourage exploration and experimentation whilst cultivating an awareness of your place in the wider design community. In addition we encourage visits from external professionals in order that you will be exposed to the realities of life in practice. At times you will be required, to formally present your work to external consultants, tutors and your peers. It is through such encounters that you will learn to confidently negotiate the future demands of graduate employment and professional or academic practice.
In addition to studio-based discussions, workshops and one-to-one tutorials, you will also participate in lectures and seminars concerned with the acquisition of theoretical concepts along with the development of academic and debating skills. We place a strong emphasis on you developing a high degree of initiative and reasoning, along with the capacity to work effectively to complete project goals.
Assessment is a very important means that we use to reinforce your learning. It provides a way for you to measure your progress against a number of set outcomes. We employ a range of assessment strategies, including public reviews, peer reviews, portfolio submissions, reports and essay submissions. Through these strategies, we aim to provide you with critical feedback to help you achieve the aims and objectives set out in the units of study and ultimately the course as a whole.
Online teaching and learning occurs through Studentcentral, which can be accessed by registered students and staff via the intranet system or by the internet from any location. This has become a key-learning tool whereby staff and students can communicate through text and image. Resources available within this 'environment' include course information, module materials, video clips, discussion forums and administrative information. We will encourage you to utilise Studentcentral as a principal source of information for course material. This powerful tool will allow you to manage your course, set your agenda and establish your own intellectual position within the field. It also allows more time for staff-student contact, important for debate, discussion and teaching and indispensible for your learning.
Our intention is to create a learning environment within which you will enjoy a wide-ranging undergraduate, learning experience, which incorporates professional, learning, skills and experiences and develops a critical awareness of your own design processes and strategies. We are unyielding in our ambition, for each of our graduating students, to have a portfolio of work that they are proud of, that stands out from those of their peers in other institutions and that sets them up for a variety of future careers.
Interior Architecture BA(Hons) at University of Brighton, College of Arts and Humanities
Meet the staff teaching and researching in interior design and urban studies at the University of Brighton College of Arts and Humanities