Chatham University

Interior Architecture Curriculum

The three year Bachelor of Interior Architecture is a Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) accredited first professional interior design program consisting of 121 credits. The curriculum includes foundation courses in interior architecture, a dynamic studio sequence, an internship, electives, and a tutorial. The Bachelor of Interior Architecture prepares students for practice in an interior design or architecture firm.

Students in the interior architecture must earn a C+ or better in all major courses. Failure to earn this minimum grade will result in the need to repeat the course thereby possibly extending the student‘s course of study beyond three years.

At the completion of IAR225 Interior Architecture II, students participate in a mandatory Portfolio Review.

Interior Architecture students must take six credits each Maymester. If a student is unable to take six credits during a given Maymester, she must either complete the credits during a summer term or the Maymester before graduation.

Chatham University Interior Architecture‘s Program Philosophy:

The philosophy of the Interior Architecture program at Chatham University is fundamentally founded in responsibility for the outcome of design and global public service. The Interior Architecture program believes in evidence-based design and ethnography, an approach to analyzing user needs by studying the user, their practices, and artifacts in the context of their existing interior environment.

With a curriculum that balances spontaneity and creativity with the critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary to meet practical concerns, our graduates are world ready women, prepared to excel in the profession of interior design. Our students must be able to solve design challenges, communicate, and present their solutions with authority, a strong design vocabulary, and professional communication skills.

We believe it is our responsibility to train engaged stewards of the environment, globally conscious interior design professionals with consideration for the responsibility and outcomes of design and the needs of all user groups.

Chatham University Interior Architecture‘s Program Mission:

The Mission of the Interior Architecture Program at Chatham University is to prepare students to be world-ready women who excel in the profession of Interior Design, to be engaged stewards of the environment, and to provide lasting contributions to a global society. Central to this mission is a holistic, evidence-based program that integrates knowledge and appreciation of architectural and design theory with ethical, responsible, and entrepreneurial practice.

Chatham University Interior Architecture‘s Program Goals:

  1. To accept a sustainable approach to interior design and make "green design" a minimal standard and not a trend.
  2. To transform students into critical thinking professionals who see inquiry as the norm.
  3. To prepare students to identify, research, and solve design challenges with a logical methodology while promoting creative solutions and applied spontaneity.
  4. To provide pathways and opportunities for applied research.
  5. To produce professionals able to present their ideas with authority by drawing on their education, a strong design vocabulary and professional communication skills.
  6. To train globally-conscious interior design professionals with consideration for the responsibility and outcomes of design and the needs of all user groups.
  7. To prepare students to be proficient in the most current cutting-edge technology while instilling readiness in adapting to emerging techniques, processes and systems.

Program Requirements

+ Major Requirements

Major Requirements

27 courses, including:

IAR105 Environment and Behavior

Intended for interior architecture majors or potential majors, this course introduces students to significant theories concerning the interaction of people and interior architecture. Emphasis is placed on shared human needs and differences based on age, culture, gender, and occupation.

3
IAR202 Theory of Interior Architecture Studio

This course is intended only for majors or potential majors and cultivates the ability to use formal architectural ordering to develop creative abstract designs that translate into three-dimensional compositions of space and form. Architectural theories and manifestos are explored through process tools and applied utilizing design exercises and projects. Prerequisite(s): IAR 210 and IAR 219.

3
IAR210 Drafting Studio

Intended for interior architecture majors or potential majors, this course develops graphic literacy as a language and philosophy for observation, analysis, expression, and presentation of interior architecture. An understanding is developed of architectural scale, plans, elevations, and sections. Additional fee(s): applied art fee.

3
IAR215 Digital Drawing

Students learn the basic computer drafting and drawing skills associated with AutoCAD software. Projects include creating new work from scratch and working from existing files. An understanding of drawing layers, detailing, layout, and printing will be presented. Pre-requisite: IAR 210 or permission of instructor. Additional Fee: Course Computing fee.

3
IAR218 Building Codes

Students learn and apply relelvant building codes as they relate tot he health and life safety of the occupant. This course addresses energy laws, the principles of universal design and accessible code compliance. Prerequisite(s): IAR 220, 235.

3
IAR219 Drawing and Model Making

Students will develop the skills needed to generate design drawings using markers and colored pencils which communicate interior environments. One-point, two-point, isometric, and axonometric drawing methods will be covered. Students wille explore three-dimensional model making techniques. Prerequisite: IAR 210.

3
IAR220 Interior Architecture I

This studio addresses problem identification and problem solving in the context of small scale projects of modest scope. Emphasis is placed on human factors, space planning, spatial experience, scale, materials, furniture, fixtures, equipment, and color with respect to user needs. Prerequisite(s): IAR 102 and IAR 210.

3
IAR225 Interior Architecture II

This studio addresses problem identification and problem solving in the context of small scale projects of modest scope. Emphasis is placed on human factors, space planning, spatial experience, scale, materials, furniture, fixtures, equipment, and color with respect to user needs.Prerequisite(s): IAR 220 and IAR 215. Additional Fee: Course Computing fee.

3
IAR230 Interior Materials

This course is intended only for interior architecture majors or potential majors and addresses architectural materials and finishes. Students learn to select, specify and apply architectural finishes. They create specifications, execute take-offs, and produce cost estimates for interior construction. Manufacturing processes, installation methods, maintenance requirements, code regulations, and testing standards are covered.

3
IAR231 Green & Sustainable Design

Global issues of energy use, resource depletion, and indoor air quality have promoted design professionals to re-evaluate design and construction processes. This course provides students with the knowledge of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system to promote environmentally responsible design.

3
IAR232 Color and Textiles

The first part of this course examines theories of color in relation to light and space. In the second part, key topics include the selection, specification adn application of textiles based on their properties and performance critieria, sustainability, installation methods, maintenance requirements, and regulations and standards.

3
IAR235 Construction Methods

Intended for interior architecture majors, this course provides an overview of architectural building systems including exterior and interior construction methods and terminology.

3
IAR257 20th- and 21st-Century Architecture

This course is designed to relate the impact of architecture on both public and private spaces throughout the twentieth century and provide a view towards the future of architecture in the twenty-first century. The course will guide you through the major styles of architecture of the twentieth century and investigate the socio-historic context of the works and determinants of that architecture. Emphasis will also be placed on the interior spaces, furnishings and the arts and artists of the day.

3
IAR259 History of Interior Architecture: pre-20th Century

This survey course examines world architecture from prehistoric times through the 19th century, including the built environment of Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas. Emphasis is placed on the role of interior spaces, furnishings, and art within architecture.

3
IAR310 Advanced Computer Applications

This advanced course focuses on Building Information Modeling (BIM) that integrates and synchronizes three-dimensional building modeling for use in all phases of the design process. Students are introduced to Revit and Sketch-up. Graphic rendering skills are also developed to help students communicate interior spaces. Prerequisite(s): IAR 215. Additional Fee: Course Computing fee.

3
IAR315 Construction Documents

Construction techniques are studied through the production of a set of construction documents. Issues addressed include the selection and assembly of materials, construction methods, detailing of interior finish systems and cabinetry, building codes, and accessibility. Prerequisite(s): IAR 320, 335, and 310, taken concurrently with IAR 330. Additional Fee(s): Course Computing fee.

3
IAR316 Visual Communication

This course explores color theories, psychology of color and light, typology, and compositional layout relative to interior design presentation, communication and development. Through a variety of media, techniques and applications of visual composition skills are applied to architectural interiors and exterior context. Prerequisite(s): IAR 215, 310, 219. Additional Fee(s): Course Computing fee

3
IAR320 Interior Architecture III

This advanced studio addresses concept development, design development, and detailing of medium- and large-scale projects. Emphasis is placed on program analysis, user needs, space planning, three-dimensional spatial development, design language and composition, materials and assemblies, color, lighting, acoustics, environmental systems, and building codes and life safety. Prerequisite(s): IAR 225, 310, 335, and 218.

3
IAR325 Interior Architecture IV

This advanced studio addresses concept development, design development, and detailing of medium- and large-scale projects. Emphasis is placed on program analysis, user needs, space planning, three-dimensional spatial development, design language and composition, materials and assemblies, color, lighting, acoustics, environmental systems, and building codes and life safety. Prerequisite(s): IAR 310 and 320. Additional fee(s): Course Computing fee.

3
IAR330 Building Systems

This course provides an overview of environmental control systems, including HVAC, plumbing, fire protection, power distribution, security, and data/voice telecommunication. Emphasis is placed on energy consumption and conservation, human comfort, and health and safety.

3
IAR335 Lighting & Acoustics

This course is an introduction to lighting and acoustics. Emphasis is placed on the psychology of lighting, visual comfort criteria, measurement and calculations, available technologies in lighting design, the selection of fixtures, and the application of computer-aided lighting simulation tools. Principles of acoustics, acoustic properties of materials and building systems in relation to building structures, sound transmission between rooms, and design methods in room and building acoustics are also addressed. Prerequisite(s): IAR 225, IAR 215. Additional Fee(s): Course Computing fee.

3
INTIAR301 Internship - Interior Architecture

1
INTIAR302 Internship - Interior Architecture

2
INTIAR303 Internship - Interior Architecture

3
IAR443 Environmental/Sustainable Community Service

Encouraging environmental stewardship, students are required to participate in an environmental community service project under the supervision of a field leader or faculty member.

3
IAR445 Professional Practice

In this course, students are introduced to the specialized services provided by the professional interior designer. Emphasis is placed on office operations and personnel issues, marketing strategies, project management, contract documents, ethics, and the legal and financial aspects of professional practice.

3
IAR498 Tutorial I: Interior Architecture

This course is the first part of a year long tutorial that stresses evidence-based design. Students create a program for a project selected by the instructor using the latest research and literature available. The program serves as the foundation for design decision-making in IAR 499. Prerequisite(s): IAR 325

4
IAR499 Tutorial II: Interior Architecture

This course is the second part of a year long tutorial that stresses evidence-based design. Using the program developed in IAR 420 as a foundation, students investigate a problem from concept generation through design development and detailing. Prerequisite(s): IAR 498 Additional Fee(s): Course Computing fee.

4
3 courses (9 credits) from any program