Skip to main content

Interior Design Program Model


The Bachelor of Interior Design (IDSN) program provides students wishing to pursue a professional career in interior design with a four-year intensive education focused on the built environment. KPU's Interior Design degree is one of only two Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) accredited undergraduate programs in western Canada. This accreditation ensures that our curriculum meets and exceeds industry standards and helps students build the foundation to become a registered interior designer.
The Interior Design program simulates a professional design environment. This "virtual design studio" offers integrated courses and curriculum, and emphasizes learning outcomes and essential skills throughout. These skills include: leadership, problem solving and creative thinking, teamwork, personal management, writing/oral/visual and interpersonal skills, research, visual literacy, mathematical and technological skills, citizenship, and an ability to view issues through a global perspective.

As part of the degree program students will:

  • practice both oral and written communication skills
  • study and apply technical knowledge of the field
  • research and analyze design theory and history
  • gain an understanding of professional business practices
  • become a member of the interior Designer Institute of BC
  • gain industry knowledge through a work experience placement in a design firm
  • visit design firms, suppliers, manufacturers, completed interior projects, museums, art galleries, and gain an in-depth understanding of the design industry
  • apply all learning through Design Studio projects.

See below for a breakdown of our streams and courses.


Curriculum Links

View Interior Design (IDSN) Course Descriptions

View General Education Component of Bachelor of Interior Design

View PDF icon IDSN Course Curriculum_Fall 2016.pdf

Curriculum Streams

The interior design curriculum is organized into streams, which are integrated both horizontally within each year and vertically over the four years of the program. Although the program is comprised of individual courses, the effect is more aptly described as a series of studio projects, supported by necessary theory, practical experience and skills development.

Here is an overview of the streams into which all courses are organized:

Interior Design Studio

Technical Information

Design Theory / History

This is the heart of the curriculum.

The studio is a place to define, search for and produce solutions to the problems of interior design and becomes a basic method for critical thinking.

The studio is not so much a place for receiving instruction – although there is instruction given in a studio, but more like a laboratory, It is the place where experimentation – search and discovery – takes place.

In the studio the learning process is learning by doing. The studio projects form a foundation of building blocks, which are expanded, elaborated upon, and reinforced throughout the curriculum.

This stream enables the students to acquire technical skills, vocabulary, and a body of technical knowledge specific to the profession of Interior Design and the built environment, which enables students to formulate, validate, and communicate design intentions.

Ultimately the design is intended to give or make form and become part of the built environment.

In this stream students will explore, discuss, and acquire a critical awareness and understanding of the theoretical body of knowledge (old theories, new theories, and yet to be discovered theories, methodologies, etc…) specific to the profession of Interior Design and the built environment.

They will study and analyze the evolution of design (applied history). The stream will also provide opportunities for the students to discover and test their own design processes.

Ultimately this creates the nature of design – the search for what was, what is, and what could be.


Site Tutorial

Work Experience

Seeing, thinking and drawing are intimately interrelated. In the study of making both large and small scale interiors, students should understand that the drawing process is inextricably connected with the design process.

Design ideas that are not externalized remain thoughts only. Design is a visual and physical activity; design ideas must be made visible - understandably visible.

Students are individuals with unique learning, thinking, and doing styles, and will develop this aspect of their design process naturally from their own personalities.

This stream provides for students "in situ" observation and presentations by non-faculty, the profession, projects in process and competed & resources pertaining to the profession of interior design.

In a variety of work experiences, over several semesters, students have the opportunity to experience first-hand the working environments of the interior design and other built-environment professions.

These provide opportunities for observation and application of previously studied theories and methodologies, and assist with the transition of the graduated student from school to workplace.

Business / General Education

Liberal Education


Interior design projects are commercial ventures requiring the knowledge and application of office procedures and financial management, client and public relations.

Matters of business ethics, global issues, sustainability and legal matters must be understood and integrated with practice.

This component of the Degree responds to Kwantlen's intended learning outcomes:

1. That students become culturally literate.

2. That students be prepared to make better informed and more carefully considered decisions in their future lives.

3. That students acquire the ability to see things in context.

(Refer to Program literature for complete text.)