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Portfolio Requirements

Portfolio pieces.

The Interior Design Program is a limited intake program with 20 first year seats available each fall. Once you have completed your application, you will receive instructions on how to submit your portfolio through an online submission platform. Eligible applicants who have met the application, documentation, and portfolio submission requirements will be contacted for an interview. Portfolio requirements are detailed below.

Interview and Portfolio Review

The Interior Design Program does not ask applicants for a restricted number of portfolio pieces nor do we require a certain format of submission. Using the online portal, applicants may submit JPGs, PDFs, videos, or links to online blogs or websites of their work. Some applicants choose to attach a variety of different items depending on their knowledge and skill level. We only ask that you review all of the criteria listed below and respond to all five of these criteria when preparing your portfolio materials. You will want to consider and choose your pieces carefully as each criteria is evaluated by faculty during the portfolio review process. The better you understand and respond to the criteria, the greater the likelihood of your admission to the program.

We want you to think of the portfolio as a way to express yourself. You want your portfolio to show your willingness to experiment with design, art materials, and various mediums. Your portfolio should be able to stand on its own as it will be reviewed online. You want to be sure you organize your pieces effectively and to provide as much written support and descriptions as possible. In terms of content, here is the list of criteria we use to assess your portfolio:

Process & Methods

Designers need to be creative, flexible, and able to problem-solve. We are looking for your ability to define a problem and show a solution. You may think about a problem you had at work or school or perhaps a project you planned or created. This could be a project you completed and how you went about it; describe what worked, what didn't work, and what you would do differently next time. Show us the problem and how you came up with the solution. (If possible, please show us your research and methodology in the form of notes and written descriptors).

We also want to see examples of creativity and not just something reproduced from a photo, magazine, etc. Are you curious? Can you think creatively? We want to see examples of innovative, original, or detailed work. Show us your creativity and thought process. Again, please add descriptions to your work whenever possible.

Visual Literacy

An eye for design is important as is your ability to draw. You want to show us examples of your drawing and your three-dimensional skills. You may want to include sketches (people, place, environment, interiors, architecture, etc.), detailed drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, drafting, model-making, pottery, furniture making, jewellery design, etc. If you have a wide variety of skills, don't be afraid to show it (even the less than perfect stuff). 

We are looking for:

  • Visual and creative expression of any kind
  • Rough drawings/drafts with notations
  • Accuracy, precision, and realistic examples
  • Understanding of drafting, orthographics, and spatial relationships 
  • Demonstration of visual composition 
  • Evidence of 2D and 3D exploration

Production Skills

Designers use digital technology to research, record, design, draw, and market their services. Show us your software knowledge by providing examples of word processing, photo manipulation, document layout, scanning, computer drafting, or anything else that shows your computer skills. If you have created a digital presentation, video, blog or website, show us that too.

Designers must also show a high level of attention to detail. We want to see your level of 'craft' and how well you assemble your work (examples: pottery, poster-making, built items, or model-making, etc.). Show us you pay attention to the details.

Communication Skills

Designers require strong oral and written communication skills to effectively present their ideas, communicate with various professional consultants on a project, and be articulate on matters of technical knowledge and business. We will be looking for your ability to speak comfortably and clearly in front of others as well as your ability to write clearly and effectively. 

Please provide the following:

  • Photocopies of transcripts or credentials.
  • Sample of your writing in the form of an academic paper.
  • Awareness of Interior Design as a "profession". Please ensure you interview a registered interior designer and become familiar with at least one of their projects. Please submit a written paper outlining this interview and experience (500 words max.)
  • Your resume with a list of your skills and experience.

Life Skills

Life skills are an ability to problem-solve, be self-aware, and think critically. The Interior Design program is an intensive program that requires strong time management skills, teamwork, and organizational skills. Professional Interior Designers work in teams and as well as independently. Successful Interior Designers generally have excellent personal management skills, a high level of commitment, passion for their profession, and excellent time management.

As part of your portfolio package, we will ask you to please provide:

  • Three (3) letters of reference (employer, volunteer manager, instructor, family friend, etc.) that describe your skills and ability to work in teams/independently.
  • Tell us what you think we should know about you and include a description of your time management skills, teamwork skills, volunteer experience, work history, organizational skills, etc. (500 words max.).

The list above should help direct your selection of portfolio pieces and written materials. You may not have everything on the list but try to include as much as possible.