Ga direct naar de content

Interior Architecture & Retail Design fulltime

Two-year master in English, starts in September

The Piet Zwart Institute's English-taught two-year master programme in Interior Architecture & Retail Design has two study streams: Interior Architecture and Retail Design.

The Master Interior Architecture & Retail Design [MIARD] at the Piet Zwart Institute is a postgraduate program and part of the Willem de Kooning Academy at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. MIARD is an accredited program structured over two years; students earn a Master Interior Architecture (MIA) degree.

Our international course situates itself in applied-research, experimentation, critical reflection and the professional field of interior architecture. We provide an educational platform to train and support designers to be critical and progressive in the field of interiors and to expand the boundaries of the profession. The programme embraces a contemporary and multidisciplinary approach to foster the creative practice of the designer, his or her ideas and creative fascinations.

Students work closely with a distinguished international staff of architects, interior architects, designers, scholars and specialists from other disciplines. MIARD teachers, guest lecturers and collaborators provide a stimulating educational culture for students to expand their knowledge, skills, professional networks and future career opportunities. Students' work on their design projects in spacious studios throughout the year. They have access to production "stations" equipped with analogue and digital technologies and expert technicians are available to help the students realize their projects.

MIARD plans opportunities to publically exhibit and promote student work and expose students to international networking platforms. We participate in professional design and architecture events as well as other external collaborations. Recent work by MIARD students and alumni have been exhibited at Milan Design Week, Biennale Interior, Dutch Design Week, TENTLondon, Het Nieuwe Instituut and projects have earned international press in publications such as Domus, Frame, Dezeen, Archinect, and Designboom, among others. Frame Publishers recently published MIARD as a 'leading international master program' in the book entitled, Masterclass: Interior Design, Guide to the World's Leading Graduate Schools.

We are based in the center of Rotterdam, an international city renowned for architecture, design and the arts. And as a contemporary and young program, we operate from the point of view that today education must be adaptable to a variety of external forces to remain relevant and forward thinking.

Join us at Facebook!

for MIARD content and news

Programme structure

A view of the study programme
Interior Architecture

The programme is full-time and structured over two years, which are divided equally in four semesters of 19 weeks. The total course consists of 120 ECTS earned points and the course is taught in English.

The curriculum is organised around an intensive studio-based structure; conceptual outlines frame semesters one, two and three. During semester four, students work independently and with a chosen adviser on their degree project. The final projects are presented during a graduation presentation and exhibition. This final project leads to the Master of Design diploma.

During the first three semesters, design projects are crafted and motivated around the following conceptual frameworks:

Semester 1: Society & The Interior City

Diverse cultural projects are driven by research on the needs of contemporary societies and the 'interior' urban condition.

Semester 2: Dwellings & Habitats

Projects explore how we live today to form novel dwelling types and other emerging forms of habitat.

Semester 3: Networks & Curriculums

Projects investigate how present-day societies learn and work as groundwork to propose new interior typologies.

Semester 4: Degree Project Self-directed research and design project

Four instructive threads consisting of 'course modules and workshops' are integrated in semesters one, two and three. These modules and workshops are structured to provide specialised expertise and technical proficiency to the semester's design and research projects.

Instructive Threads

  • Craft: Materials, Construction and Detail
  • Digital Technology, Visualisation and Communication
  • Histories and Theories
  • Specialised Modules and Workshops (e.g. lighting design, sustainability, professional practices)
Retail Lab

The Retail Lab is a curriculum component that is intrinsic to the course. It offers students knowledge in contemporary retail design from a critical ‘design-research’ perspective and within a boarder interior architecture framework. The topic of retail is expanded from its commercial strictures and understood as cultural networks of consumption, commodification and trade. Students’ study, experiment and are encouraged to craft project ideas and strategies that go beyond the normative parameters of today’s trade industry.


The Retail Lab is typically offered in trimester three of the first year of study and is structured as a collection of integrated courses. Complementary events, lectures, excursions and guest talks run parallel with the Thematic Design Project to provide students with historical, theoretical, technical and professional skills and expertise.

Trimester 3

Courses: 20 ECTS
Thematic Design Project
Research Methods
History & Theory
Visualisation & Communication / Workshop

Trimester 5 and 6

Graduation Project: 40 ECTS

During the last two trimesters, students work on their graduation project. Each student selects his or her research subject.

Public events

In addition to our curriculum, taught by our core faculty and invited project leaders, we organise an ongoing public event series based on issues related to the curriculum, but reaching beyond the framework of the seminars. The public events are an important resource for students, tutors and guests, serving as bridge to the city and building a community around areas of interests.

Research Opportunities

The Piet Zwart Institute includes the two research programmes:

  • Communication in a Digital Age - investigates the future shape of communication design and artistic professions in a time of massive social, economic and technological changes of media, communication culture and the production and distribution of so-called creative work.
  • Cultural Diversity - reflects changes of contemporary art and design through migration, post-colonial relations and transnational visual cultures, with a focus on the city of Rotterdam and its population of currently 48% immigrants.

As a master student at the Piet Zwart Institute, you can attend all conferences, lectures and workshops organised by the two research programmes, have guest lecturers as personal tutors and contribute your own projects to its published research.

After your study programme

Different possibilities
After your graduation

Congratulations! You just received your Master of Interior Architecture (MIA) degree.

With your degree, you will receive a supplement, a DS-label. With this English document, you can show the value of your degree abroad when applying for other study programmes or when applying for a job.


Where will you study?

Not interested in this programme?

Take a look at these options

We gebruiken cookies om de website te verbeteren.