The business of Interior Design is perfect for those who love to be creative and work with others. It is also a rapidly growing profession. Economic expansion, growing homeowner wealth and an emerging interest in interior design are all increasing the demand for professionally trained interior designers.
Interior designers draw upon many disciplines to enhance the function, safety and aesthetics of interior spaces. Their main concerns are with the ways that color, texture, furniture, lighting, accessories and space planning combine to satisfy the physical and emotional needs of a building’s occupants. They plan interior spaces and, to some extent, the exteriors of almost every type of building, including offices, airport terminals, theaters, shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals and private residences. To realize their designs, they work with clients, contractors, architects and any number of specialists to create functional and pleasing environments where people live and work. They make decisions about flooring materials, wall and ceiling paints and treatments, lighting, window treatments, appliances, furnishings and accessories.
Research shows that good design can boost office productivity, increase sales, attract a more affluent clientele, provide a more relaxing hospital stay or increase a building’s market value. In the past, interior designers tended to focus on decorating - choosing a style and color palette and then selecting appropriate furniture, floor and window coverings, artwork and lighting. But today, well-trained interior designers are also capable of producing custom architectural detailing for components such as crown molding and built-in cabinetry, as well as planning comprehensive layouts for buildings that are undergoing renovation. And because they have a solid understanding of construction and building systems, they can determine the ideal location for walls, windows, stairways, escalators and walkways.
Interior designers must be able to articulate their ideas concisely to a wide variety of professions through drawings, written text and oral presentations. They need to be comfortable meeting and working with people from diverse backgrounds, in addition to possessing good leadership and collaboration skills, because many design projects are accomplished by teams.
The VCUQatar experience is a multi-cultural exploration. Students are exposed to local customs and traditions as well as real-world problems that face the global community today. Studies in interior design encompass knowledge about interior spaces and how they are used, materials and finishes, interior building systems and life/safety codes, color and lighting, furniture design and cabinetry, and construction documents and specifications. Students must have a firm knowledge of technical graphic communication and they develop the ability to present information both manually and digitally. Additionally, students study the history and theories of architecture and interior design.
Students at VCUQatar are taught by professors who are interior design professionals and who bring their backgrounds and current professional experiences to the program to ensure the highest quality of interior design education. The professional expertise of the VCUQatar faculty adds tremendous value to both the classroom and studio setting.
The curriculum blends the breadth of a university education with the practical value and insight gained from a professional program. Classroom instruction is supplemented by real world experiences: faculty input is supplemented with practicing professional designers who conduct workshops, critiques and design juries, and class trips expose students to examples of high quality interior design installations and design markets both locally and internationally. Students also benefit from the practical value of internships. Students directly apply the knowledge they gain from internships to their projects, their studies and their overall professional development.
Interior Design students at VCUQatar earn a four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degree that is equivalent to the degree offered on VCU’s home campus in the United States. Our graduates can be found working as professional interior designers, event planners, product developers and textile and furniture designers. Many work for prominent design development firms, while others have gone on to obtain graduate degrees or have started their own successful businesses.
VCUQatar’s goal is to prepare students to succeed and become leaders in the region and beyond. The VCUQatar Interior Design program is fully accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).