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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.

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Programme structure

A view of the study programme

Programme description

MIARD is a nationally accredited two-year programme with a focus on design-research, experimentation and critical strategies within the field of Interior Architecture and alternative spatial practices. The programme is multidisciplinary and designed to achieve the Final Competencies to earn a Master of Interior Architecture (MIA) degree.

Students actively engage in course modules that develop their skills, resources, and knowledge towards self-directed research. Curriculum modules are integrated and planned to support and critically engage with the subject and student interests, synthesizing research, innovation and professional expertise.

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.

Structure

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.

Curriculum

The curriculum is based on a multidisciplinary concept; following three module threads that provide the framework:

  1. Design Projects
  2. Critical Strategies
  3. Multiple Media

Over the course of the two-year programme (120 ects) there are four Design Projects structured over six trimesters. In the last two trimesters, students work independently on their Graduation Project and Thesis. All classes are taught in English.

Design Projects

Design-research projects are the core of the curriculum. The intensive project-based design studios explore contemporary issues and ideas that shape our culture, society, and the built and natural environment.  Themes circulate along multiple agencies, perspectives and scales, from the local to the global, from objects to architecture and beyond.

Complementary events, lectures, excursions and guest visits run parallel with the project to provide students with historical, theoretical, technical and professional knowledge, skills and expertise. Craft and material workshops are integral to the development of the design project.  Contingent on the subject, students explore tectonic principles and logics, technology and fabrication methods, materiality, and environmental/social performance as it relates to the students’ research agenda.

Critical Strategies

Theory & History

The seminar explores critical and analytical practices across disciplines within a variety of media. It is intended to develop a student’s maturity in forming ideas and creative vision, building opinions, and a critical approach to the subject matter. Attention is paid to the way interiors and the larger built and spatial environments have historically been shaped by the conceptual intentions of the designer and the need of the user, in addition to other social, economic, political, cultural, and technological factors. Relevant media is assembled in the seminars to offer a theoretical and critical backdrop to the design activity. Pedagogical and learning activities vary to provide students with a contemporary, exciting and diverse platform for inquiry.

Research Methods

The research module focuses on developing a student’s study and writing methodology within their own design process. Analytical and critical skills are explored through different types of research methods, structuring concepts, literature search, and other forms. The priority is for students to recognize and develop their own or collaborative forms of inquiry and experimentation.

Multiple Media

Design relies on a multiplicity of media systems. These systems are in flux as new technologies, tools and paradigms shift contemporary culture. Students investigate analogue and digital tools, as well as notable and present-day forms of visual and content methods to develop and express their work. Communication is explored through diverse platforms such as exhibition, publication, voice, Internet and social media.

Design projects

Design-research projects are the core of the curriculum. The intensive project-based design studios explore contemporary issues and ideas that shape our culture, society, and the built and natural environment.  Themes circulate along multiple agencies, perspectives and scales, from the local to the global, from objects to architecture and beyond.

Complementary events, lectures, excursions and guest visits run parallel with the project to provide students with historical, theoretical, technical and professional knowledge, skills and expertise. Craft and material workshops are integral to the development of the design project.  Contingent on the subject, students explore tectonic principles and logics, technology and fabrication methods, materiality, and environmental/social performance as it relates to the students’ research agenda.

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.

Location

Where will you study?

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