Interior Design

Message from the Director

As interior designers and those interested in interior design, we all have the same basic desire to create beautiful spaces that make people feel comfortable. We are especially attuned to the many subtle details that surround us.

Being an interior designer is more than a profession; it is a way of life. We never stop observing and we notice all the details and find inspiration from them wherever we go.

Fairfield University’s Master of Arts in Interior Design is designed to encourage that passion. To develop the creativity and understanding of good basic design is important. Imparting knowledge of construction and public safety requirements is needed as well. To this end, all aspects of interior design are covered to prepare you for a successful career. The development of an impressive body of work will be the key to gain the confidence to present oneself as a true professional ready to enter the field.

If you have always been interested in design but have not pursued its study, this program can be the beginning of an exciting new career.

The curriculum has a core of courses which provides firm grounding in the field for students. In addition, electives may be chosen according to each student’s interests and in consultation with a faculty advisor. We offer day and evening courses during the summer term as well as the traditional semester schedule to make earning credits that much easier for working professionals and returning students.

The Fairfield interior design MA culminates in a faculty-mentored major capstone project which involves research and which will develop into a major interior design project of your choosing.

I encourage you to look over the courses we offer and consider joining us for an in depth study of a very exciting, and creative field.

Robert A. Hardy, ASID, IDEC, NCIDQ
Director of the MA in Interior Design

IDSN 5405 Drawing and Presentation    3 Credits

This course is an introduction to drafting techniques for the preparation of architectural interior drawings emphasizing drafting and detailing room plans, elevations and sections. Course covers drafting for architectural purposes, drawing for client presentation, techniques of presentation, and board mounting. A final project with finished floor plans, elevations, and sample boards is required. Previously IN 0405.

IDSN 5407 Color Design    3 Credits

Prerequisite: IDSN 5405.

Students develop proficiency in discerning basic color differences and visualizing color application. Students learn color mixing and identification, color scheme planning, pattern and scale. Previously IN 0407.

IDSN 5409 Basic Computer-Aided Design (CAD)    3 Credits

Prerequisite: IDSN 5405.

An introduction to computer aided drafting and design concepts, methods, and skills used in Interior Design. Students learn to use the basic commands of AutoCAD software to produce architectural and interior drawings including floor-plans, elevations, sections, and details. Students should note that this course will be taught using Microsoft Windows. Students should bring their own laptop with AutoCAD LT software installed to each class. Previously IN 0409.

IDSN 5410 Interior Design I    3 Credits

Prerequisite: IDSN 5405.

Students develop the judgment and skill needed to conceive and execute a successful residential interior design project. Through weekly design problems, students integrate aesthetics and function. Students experience the issues and difficulties a professional must face, learning the appropriate steps from client interview to presenting accurate scale drawings in plan and elevation. Previously IN 0410.

IDSN 5411 Textiles for Interiors    3 Credits

A survey of textile manufacture from fiber to finished fabric with emphasis on the textile's attributes for determining quality and usage. The student is introduced to construction methods, dyeing, printing, and finishing processed with discussion of various applications. Previously IN 0411.

IDSN 5413 History of Furniture I    3 Credits

This course examines the major styles of furniture from Egyptian through the Renaissance and Baroque (15th-17th centuries) to the Rococo and Neoclassic periods (early 19th century). Examples will be drawn mainly from Italy, France, England, and Germany, with emphasis on mastering the specific features of each style and on understanding the ideas that influenced the furnishings in each era. Previously IN 0413.

IDSN 5414 History of Furniture II    3 Credits

This course examines American furniture from 1650-1830 and its relationship to English prototypes. The course covers Victorian furniture styles through contemporary trends in both the United States and in Europe. Emphasis is placed on learning the characteristics of each period as well as a discussion of the materials culture of the time. Previously IN 0414.

IDSN 5417 History of Architecture and Interior Design    3 Credits

A survey of architecture and interiors from antiquity to the present and the cultural factors affecting them. Among the civilizations, periods, and styles to be included are Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Modern. Previously IN 0417.

IDSN 5421 Sustainable Design    2 Credits

This course aims to simplify the complex world of sustainable design and how it relates to global environmental issues, climate change, and health. Course topics include an overview of the big picture of sustainability, case studies, the LEED rating system, best practice systems and the integrative design team, the impact of design and construction practices and specification of non-toxic materials on the health of occupants and the environment, guest speakers, and field trips for green resources. Previously IN 0421.

IDSN 5422 Rendering    3 Credits

Prerequisite: IDSN 5405.

A rendered drawing relies on tone as the basis for the perception of form. Using the media of pencil, colored pencil, pen and ink, markers, watercolor, and their various combinations, students learn to achieve a higher degree of professionalism in interior design presentations and perspective drawings. Previously IN 0422.

IDSN 6509 3-D Architectural Computer-Aided Design (CAD)    3 Credits

Prerequisite: IDSN 5409.

Continuing with skills learned in Basic CAD, this course is an introduction to the application of 3-D Computer Aided Design concepts, methods, and skills used specifically in interior design projects. Autodesk REVIT software applications will be used to produce fully rendered 3-D architectural computer aided designs for portfolio. Previously IN 0509.

IDSN 6511 Interior Design II    3 Credits

Prerequisite: IDSN 5410.

Building on the design fundamentals of Interior Design I, students continue to practice space planning, and learn to prepare and deliver persuasive presentations. Class covers tools designers have to work with, including color, special finishes, building materials, furnishings, fabrics, window treatments, floor coverings, and accessories, with special emphasis on kitchen and bath design. Creativity is fostered through a series of residential design problems reinforcing the logical nature of the design process. Previously IN 0511.

IDSN 6512 Interior Design III    3 Credits

Prerequisite: IDSN 6511.

Students document, by blueprint and/or photos, an existing residential space, including complete floor plans, furniture detailing prospective drawing of one space, lighting plans, and detailed presentation boards, showing all fabrics, furniture, wall coverings, and rugs obtained solely from New York showrooms. Previously IN 0512.

IDSN 6513 Interior Design IV    3 Credits

Prerequisite: IDSN 6512.

Through a series of lectures, hands-on developmental planning, and individual guidance, students deal with different topics including: major residential/small commercial space planning and remodeling, kitchen and bath design with plumbing and HVAC, architectural and furniture design with detailing and construction drawings, estimating, and application of design materials including flooring, wall-covering, window treatments, and upholstery. This knowledge will be applied to the renovation of an existing New York City brownstone. Previously IN 0513.

IDSN 6514 Commercial Design    3 Credits

Prerequisite: IDSN 6513.

Students learn the importance of the surrounding environment in a working situation and professional techniques for planning and executing business interiors. Readings, lectures, project organization, and studio assignments stress the principles of good design and the practical skills needed to function professionally. Previously IN 0514.

IDSN 6515 Lighting for Interiors    3 Credits

Prerequisite: IDSN 5405.

An introduction to various types of lighting equipment and their characteristics. Students learn how to accurately interpret professional lighting catalogs, to calculate appropriate light levels, and to apply this knowledge to a professional lighting plan. Previously IN 0515.

IDSN 6516 Kitchen and Bath Design    3 Credits

Prerequisite: IDSN 5405.

This specialty course addresses the specific principals of kitchen and bath design with emphasis on function, style, and health and safety. Attention will be paid to the industry guidelines as established by the National Kitchen and Bath Association. There will be segments on products and materials, lighting, and plumbing. Design and drafting principals will be a major emphasis of this overview course and will touch on universal design. There will be an opportunity to design an actual case study of a kitchen/bathroom. This course will expose students to the knowledge and professionalism required to be a successful kitchen and bath designer. Previously IN 0516.

IDSN 6518 Interior Design V    3 Credits

Prerequisite: IDSN 6513.

Students begin to deal with the more technical aspects of contract design, commercial design and construction, including large-scale space-planning, structural coordination, barrier-free design, building codes/regulations, and contract documents. This is an online course. Previously IN 0518.

IDSN 6519 Interior Design VI    3 Credits

Prerequisite: IDSN 6518.

Through lecture, reading, and a series of design problems, students will continue to increase their skill in the application of the many aspects of contract design. The semester will culminate in the execution of a large-scale commercial space planning project. Previously IN 0519.

IDSN 6520 Perspective Techniques    3 Credits

Prerequisite: IDSN 5405.

Existing design projects are turned into three-dimensional interior perspectives, which are invaluable in communicating ideas to the client. Completed drawings will become part of the student portfolio. Previously IN 0520.

IDSN 6521 Business of Interior Design    1 Credit

This course consists of a series of six sessions, each conducted by a different practicing interior designer. The guest instructors will share their experiences in developing a business and dealing with the many practical issues related to the interior design profession. Previously IN 0521.

IDSN 6999 Capstone and Studio    3 Credits

Prerequisites: IDSN 6514, IDSN 6519.

With guidance from a faculty instructor, students undertake a major research project focused on well-established or newly-emerging interior design concepts. Following thesis methodology, students research and then write a defense of their position to lay the foundation for an extensive, more complex commercial, institutional, or residential space. All phases of a professional project are explored: research, programming, analysis of existing conditions, design criteria, concept development, detailed schematic presentation drawings, models, materials, and selected details. The course culminates in a formal presentation and critique by a jury of professionals. Previously IN 0525.

Instructors in this program are adjunct faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences and are highly regarded in their area of expertise in the field of interior design. They are dedicated with a deep commitment to teaching and enriching the lives of our students.

Instructors of the Practice

Hardy, director

Assistant Professors of the Practice