Our programme provides a dynamic and contemporary training experience in the wide field of the interior built environment, placing emphasis on personal creative freedom, environmental and social responsibility and design innovation. Teaching is delivered by experienced, award-winning practitioners and academics who recognise that 'interior space' spans a vast range of environments, from the short term (e.g. exhibition and pop-up events) to the longer term (e.g. hotels and offices). We encourage students to fully understand their sites, not just within the context and history of the individual building, but also in the wider urban and social context. Teaching is Studio based, replicating the professional design studio environment.
There are three main components to our programme: studio design work; the development of technical skills, such as drawing, modelmaking and CAD; and professional practice focused experiences. Studio design work is based on a series of progressive innovative projects which are a mix of live and theoretical, individual and group, short and long, large and small. In your design projects you will explore social and environmental responsibility and the implications for designers of responsible materials specification, lighting strategies, energy use and construction methods. You will be exposed to a wide range of skills and briefs prior to your graduate year, when you will devise a major project of your own choosing.
The studio environment allows for research and regular presentation of development work to peers and staff, which encourages discussion and, importantly, self-reflection. Being part of ECA encourages collaboration with other design subjects and Architecture through our elective options. There is also a close relationship between the Interior Design undergraduate programme and the postgraduate MA IASD programme. At undergraduate level we are involved in the University Exchange programme, welcoming students from other international Universities to our studio for a semester, and some of our students taking the opportunity to study abroad for a semester in their third year. These include exchanges with Universities in Melbourne, Hong Kong, Stuttgart and Lahti. Since 2014 we have had a collaborative partnership with Shanghai International College of Fashion and Innovation, where Shanghai based students have the option, both to be taught in China by our flying academics, and to spend two of their four years of study in Edinburgh.