Interior Architecture

The goal of the Department of Interior Architecture is to foster an environment that encourages creativity and pushes the boundaries of design with an emphasis on conceptual thinking and the design process. The studio-based curriculum, the core of the program, is where students learn to design three-dimensional space through the use of dynamic concepts, leading-edge materials, and innovative methods and techniques.

Associate Professor S. Travis (Director)

Assistant Professors E. Speck, N. Evans, C. Anderson, N. Volchansky

Adjunct Professors M. Abrams

Explanation of Course Numbers

  • Courses in the 1000s are primarily introductory undergraduate courses
  • Those in the 2000s to 4000s are upper-division undergraduate courses that can also be taken for graduate credit with permission and additional work
  • Those in the 6000s and 8000s are for master’s, doctoral, and professional-level students
  • The 6000s are open to advanced undergraduate students with approval of the instructor and the dean or advising office

Note: Enrollment in interior architecture courses requires candidacy in the degree program or permission of the program director. A course fee is charged for all IA courses.

IA 1000. Dean's Seminar. 3 Credits.

The Dean’s Seminars provide Columbian College first-year students focused scholarship on specific intellectual challenges. Topics vary by semester. See the department for more details.

IA 2100. Studio 1. 6 Credits.

Introduction to design through study and application of fundamental design principles and elements to two- and three-dimensional projects. Restricted to undergraduate IA majors.

IA 2125. Introduction to Graphic Communications. 3 Credits.

Introduction to a variety of techniques used in communicating design ideas; image creation, logo design and branding, rendering, basic layouts, modeling, printed and digital presentation skills.

IA 2150. Beginning Sketching for Designers. 3 Credits.

Freehand sketching developed and applied as a tool in all phases of the creative design process.

IA 3200. Studio 2. 6 Credits.

All phases of design, from development of a concept through producing a complete presentation; implementing the different aspects of the design process. Restricted to undergraduate IA majors. Prerequisite: IA 2100.

IA 3225. Understanding Materials and Color. 3 Credits.

The visual perception and interaction of color; interior and exterior materials for use in residential and commercial environments.

IA 3250. Introductory Digital Design Tools. 3 Credits.

Introduction to CAD technology, two-dimensional drawings, plotting, and enhancement of presentations; using CAD for the production of construction drawings.

IA 3300. Studio 3. 6 Credits.

Studio course emphasizing continued refinement of the design process as applied to multifaceted and complex problems in non-residential space. Restricted to undergraduate IA majors. Prerequisite: IA 3200.

IA 3325. History of Modern Architecture and Design. 3 Credits.

Introduction to the history and concepts of architecture, interiors, and furniture from the Bauhaus movement until the present; critical thinking and cross-cultural perspectives emphasized.

IA 3350. Basic Sustainability Design Strategies. 3 Credits.

Introduction to sustainable design and to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating Systems for Interior Design and Construction.

IA 4400. Studio 4. 6 Credits.

Continuation and refinement of the design process to further advance conceptual thinking for development of larger-scale and more complex design problems Restricted to undergraduate IA majors. Prerequisite: IA 3300.

IA 4425. Fundamentals of Lighting and Acoustics. 3 Credits.

Terminology, concepts, and principles of lighting design; acoustic principles as they relate to building design.

IA 4450. Pre-Design for Studio 5. 3 Credits.

Research methodology applied to development of the capstone project. Restricted to undergraduate IA majors. Prerequisite: IA 4300.

IA 4450W. Pre-Design for Studio 5. 3 Credits.

Research methodology applied to development of the senior project. Includes a significant engagement in writing as a form of critical inquiry and scholarly expression to satisfy the WID requirement. Restricted to undergraduate IA majors. Prerequisite: IA 4300.

IA 4500. Studio 5. 6 Credits.

Culmination of skills and knowledge gained through the program as demonstrated by the development of an interior design project covering all aspects from conception through presentation. Restricted to undergraduate IA majors. Prerequisite: IA 4400.

IA 4525. Professional Practice and Internship. 3 Credits.

Industry professionals provide students with guidance concerning the roles and responsibilities of the professional interior designer; written business procedures and practices, legal implications, ethics, trade relations, and designer-client relations. Restricted to IA majors. Prerequisite: IA 4400.

IA 4550. Building Systems: Methods and Processes. 3 Credits.

Organization and preparation of construction documents; methods and materials; application of codes; building systems (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) relevant to function and design of interior spaces.

IA 4560. Selected Topics. 3 Credits.

Topics vary by semester. May be repeated for credit provided topic differs. See department for more details.

IA 4570. Independent Study. 1-3 Credits.

Independent research and special projects. Students must submit a written plan of study and obtain approval of the faculty member directing the study prior to enrollment. Restricted to junior and senior IA majors.

IA 6100. Studio 1 Graduate. 6 Credits.

Introduction to the theory and application of design principles and elements in the built environment and to two- and three-dimensional projects; understanding the design process while adhering to a concept or parti. Restricted to graduate IA majors.

IA 6125. Graphic Communications. 3 Credits.

Concepts and techniques used successfully in communicating design; graphic design principles, including hierarchy, emphasis, balance, rhythm and contrast, tools used in creating two-dimensional communication ideas; image creation, logo design and branding, rendering, basic layouts, three-dimensional modeling, printed and digital presentation skills.

IA 6150. Sketching Architecture and Design. 3 Credits.

Three-dimensional mechanical drafting and free-hand sketching developed and applied as a tool in all phases of the creative design process; using line value, 2D and 3D representation of the built environment.

IA 6200. Studio 2 Graduate. 6 Credits.

Application of fundamental knowledge of design to complex three-dimensional projects and small scale interior projects. Restricted to graduate IA majors. Prerequisite: IA 6100.

IA 6225. Interior Materials and Color Theory. 3 Credits.

Visual perception and interaction of color; interior and exterior materials for residential and commercial environments; interior building methods and materials as they relate to interior build-outs, furniture grade materials, and construction; materials qualities, strengths, weaknesses, and appropriate usage.

IA 6250. Digital Drafting and Modeling. 3 Credits.

Introduction to CAD technology, two-dimensional drawings, plotting and enhancement of presentations. Use of CAD for the production of construction drawings.

IA 6300. Studio 3 Graduate. 6 Credits.

Continued exploration of the design process as applied to medium scale projects. Restricted to graduate IA majors. Prerequisite: IA 6200.

IA 6325. Modern and Contemporary Architecture. 3 Credits.

Modern and contemporary architectural ideas and concepts explored through key buildings and interiors of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; focus on modernist works in Washington, DC.

IA 6350. Sustainability and the Built Environment. 3 Credits.

The application of sustainable design; introduction to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, the Living Building Challenge, and the WELL Building Standard.

IA 6400. Studio 4 Graduate. 6 Credits.

Continued refinement of the design process to further advance conceptual thinking for development of larger-scaled and more complex design problems. Restricted to graduate IA majors. Prerequisite: IA 6300.

IA 6425. Lighting and Acoustics. 3 Credits.

Terminology, concepts, and principles of lighting design; acoustic principles as they relate to building design.

IA 6450. Research Seminar for Studio 5. 3 Credits.

Students synthesize knowledge and define an area of interest that is well established or newly emerging within the discipline in preparation for the capstone project in Studio 5. Restricted to graduate IA majors.

IA 6500. Studio 5 Graduate. 6 Credits.

Students create and design an individual capstone interior design project that meets the learning objectives, accreditation standards, and requirements of the program. Prerequisite: IA 6400.

IA 6525. Practicum and Internship. 3 Credits.

Students work with professional interior designers, architects, or industry-related professionals participating in a project based setting. Roles and responsibilities of the professional interior designer; business procedures, legal-implications, ethics, trade relations, and designer-client-contractor relations. Restricted to graduate majors.

IA 6550. Structures and Building Systems. 3 Credits.

Organization and preparation of construction documents; methods and materials; application of codes; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing building systems as related to function and design of interior spaces.

IA 6560. Selected Topics. 3 Credits.

Topics vary by semester. May be repeated for credit provided the topic differs. See department for more details.