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Program Model

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Autocad project of an interior design project.

Our Bachelor of Interior Design program is all about the studio: the place where students experiment, discover, problem solve, and innovate. It’s where creativity meets critical thinking, where theory meets reality, and where interior designers learn by doing.

Since our classes are small, we can create a community of talented, passionate designers who work closely with our faculty. That’s where the magic of our program happens, and that’s why we’re one of a select group of Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) accredited undergraduate programs in Canada.

The Bachelor of Interior Design is a full-time, intensive, four-year program focused on the built environment. Our program is organized into seven streams that are interwoven throughout all four years. They are:

  1. Studio: The heart of our program, where students experiment, research, define, apply learning from other streams, and produce solutions to design problems.. Our students learn methods for creative and critical thinking and how to record your process from start to finish.
  2. Technical: As in our Studio, students learn and synthesize the vocabulary, technical skills, and technical knowledge specific to interior architecture. You’ll become familiar with structure and building codes, circulation, drafting principles, and diagramming: all fundamental applications to Studio. 
  3. Theory/History: Without a critical awareness of design history, theories, and methodologies, our budding designers cannot innovate. 
  4. Drawing & Rendering: Seeing, thinking, and drawing are interrelated. Here, students explore how design ideas are made visible so that clients can understand them. This is also where students find their unique expression and discover their design process. 
  5. Site Studies: In order to learn essential observation skills, students travel outside of the classroom to see projects in progress and completed. Students also discover innovative materials and components that are essential for ‘real-world’ application. 
  6. Professional Practice: Even the most talented designers cannot launch a career without knowledge of office policies and procedures, business ethics, global issues, sustainability practices, and legal issues. Students study the practice of interior design and learn how to better transition from school to the workplace. Here, studio courses and lab time also provide our students with hands-on experiential learning.
  7. Liberal Education Electives: We want out students to become well-rounded, thoughtful members of society. Our graduates are culturally literate and can place their design practice in context by drawing on a thorough knowledge base and critical thinking skills. Liberal education is an important component in rounding out their skills.

To ensure that every student is set up for success, we also support students with the following resources:

  • Industry Support: professional experience, professional critiques, workshops, connection to industry events, and vendor visits.
  • Design Lab: product samples, product databases, computers, scanners, plotters, and print resources.
  • Workshop: hand tools, power tools, and drafting equipment
  • Laptop Program: laptops with industry-standard software.
  • Learning Supports: online databases, librarians versed in design resources, educational and personal counsellors, and tutors.
  • International Opportunities: semester abroad and out-of-university travel experiences.

You’ll graduate with the credentials required by our professional association, IDIBC, to become an intern member, along with the robust portfolio and the industry connections you’ll need to launch your career. To take your first steps, apply now.

"The CIDA reaccreditation confirms the rumour is true: KPU offers one of the best interior design programs in Canada! It takes a bold, committed and confident department to voluntarily put their curriculum up for review by an independent review panel. Given the majority of evidence analyzed by CIDA is previous student work, this reaccreditation also proves KPU successfully translates academic theory into applied design skills. Past performance is the best indicator of future achievements; I look forward to many more success stories. Many thanks to everyone in the KPU Interior Design department!"

Taryn Chisholm, 2014 Grad
Designer - Geralynne Mitschke Design, Vancouver, BC


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.)