VCUarts Qatar's four-year BFA Interior Design program finds impetus in a combination of creativity and environment behavior paradigms underscoring holistic design approaches. The curriculum, which is fully accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), promotes diversity, innovation, sustainability, and collaboration.
In compliance with this vision, the interior design program devised a program expectation that engages faculty and students into 1) curriculum innovation, 2) collaborative initiatives—interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, 3) design competitions, 4) travel study, 5) internships, and 5) alignment with emerging design trends; i.e., building information modeling, three dimensional printing (3D printing), virtual reality, and evidence-based design.
The interior design faculty expertize paves the way for students to develop their creativity and innovation for a give space with the goal of improving the quality of life, increasing productivity, and protecting occupants’ health, safety, and welfare.
They create functional and appealing spaces where people can live, work, and play;
They study the theoretical principles of environment and behavioral sciences, such as space and form, color and light, sustainability, communication, codes and regulations, as well as business practices;
They learn how art, architecture, design, and technology informs interior design and learn how to collaborate effectively across disciplines;
They develop design solutions that address the health, safety and welfare of the users of a space;
They design the interior spaces of health care facilities, hotels, ferries, and ships, and other commercial industries; become a stage and set designer, a movie production designer, exhibit designer, project manager, or an interior architect.
Professional interior designers have a solid understanding of construction and building systems because they make decisions that impact structural components as well as mechanical and electrical systems.
They also have knowledge of environmental psychology, building codes and regulations, technical properties of materials, historic precedents and the business of design.
Upon graduation, our students are able to skillfully apply the design process and illustrate their design concepts with computer- and manually-generated two- and three-dimensional architectural drawings and models.
To realize the designs they envision for clients, professional interior designers often collaborate with architects, engineers, other designers (lighting, graphic, landscape), contractors, manufacturers of interior products (furniture, lighting, fabrics), artists and craftsmen (cabinet makers, upholsterers).
For that reason, our interior design students are encouraged to develop good collaboration and communication skills that will enable them to work effectively in the multi-disciplinary environment of a professional interior design office.
Professional interior designers lead design teams from the early stages of a design project through to its installation as a finished interior space, and many students, after gaining work experience, will open their own design firms.
Our interior design majors are given opportunities to develop leadership abilities, as well as entrepreneurial, communication and organizational skills before they graduate; and our support systems continue for them as alumni.
All graduates complete a liberal arts and science core curriculum in addition to their major program; these courses enrich a student’s understanding of the world and help them frame their art and design studies into a broad intellectual context.
High achieving students will also be invited to follow our Honors program to enhance their education.
ARTF 115 (Art History Survey)
ARTF 131 (Drawing Studio)
ARTF 132 (Surface Research)
UNIV 111 (Focused Inquiry I (University core))
MATH 131 (Introduction to Contemporary Math (University core - Quantum literacy))
UNIV 101 (Introduction to the University 1)
ARTF 116 (Art History Survey)
ARTF 133 (Space Research)
ARTF 134 (Time Studio)
ARTF 139 (Project)
UNIV 112 (Focused Inquiry II (University core))
Approved Natural/Physical Science (University Core)
32 - 33 Credits
UNIV 200 (Writing and Rhetoric or Equivalent (University Core - Reaserch and Academic Writing))
IDES 201 (Introductory Interior Design Studio I)
IDES 211 (Interior Graphics I)
IDES 231 (Fundamentals of Interior Design)
IDES 251 (Historic Environments: Ancient thru 19th Century)
General Education Elective
IDES 202 (Introductory Interior Design Studio II)
IDES 212 (Interior Graphics II)
IDES 311 (Advanced Interior Graphics I)
IDES 321 (Interior Materials and Textiles)
ENGL 215 (Textual Analysis (Univeristy Core - Humanities/Fine Arts))
IDES 301 (Interior Design Studio I)
IDES 312 (Advanced Interior Graphics II)
IDES 323 (Light and Color in Interior Environments)
IDES 422 (Building Systems)
IDES 493 (Interior Design Internship)
General Education Elective
ENGL 388 (Writing in the Workplace)
IDES 302 (Interior Design Studio II)
IDES 252 (Historic Environments 20 thru 21st Centuries)
Interior Design Elective (IDES 421 - Construction Documents)
Total minimum requirement = 121 credits
Approved Social/Behavioral Science (Univeristy Core)
IDES 330 (The Business of Design)
IDES 400 (Senior Interior Design Studio I)
IDES 441 (Senior Seminar I)
Art/Design Open Elective (any Art History, Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Interior Design, or Painting & Printmaking Course)
IDES 401 (Senior Interior Design Studio II)
IDES 442 (Senior Seminar II)
Shaikha Al-Sulaiti is an interior design manager at Msheireb Properties where she has been skillfully gaining experience in the hospitality field. She is currently managing the hotels in the Msheireb Downtown development, where she has been working for over eight years, since her graduation from VCUarts Qatar in 2009.
Esra Al-Kazem is the Design Director and Co-founder of AEA Designs. Her academic background includes an MFA in Design studies, a BFA in Interior Design, and a BFA in Fashion Design. Esra is a designer and a researcher who believes in improving life through design.
Local designers Mariam Siraj and Yasmine Suleiman are helping create some of Doha’s major commercial projects. When it came down to making the choice of which university to attend, Mariam and Yasmeen knew that VCU was the choice for them.
Interior designer and art historian Aisha Al Muftah feels fortunate to be teaching at VCUarts Qatar, a job she cares deeply about. Having such a diverse educational background has set the course for all of her subsequent projects to be interdisciplinary, which the cultural environment in Qatar certainly encourages.
When Hessa Al Muhannadi started working as a math and science teacher with the Ministry of Education’s elementary and secondary schools, little did she know that in 10 years she would be switching careers and designing the interiors for the Qatar Amiri Flight.
Internships are a great way for students to gain hands-on experience in a professional design environment. VCUarts Qatar's internships form part of the core curriculum and all students are expected to undertake a 120-hour placement often in their Senior Year. Internships are generally unpaid but may lead to sponsorship or employment after graduation. All placements are managed by the faculty internship coordinator with contracts, reporting documents and timesheets to ensure the highest professional standards are maintained.
Visiting Designers/Advisory Board
Abdullah Al-Emadi, Ahmad Najjar, Cynthia Batir, Dr. Abdellah Karroum, Laura Barlow, Giampiero Peia, Martha Nasazzi, Hamoda Youssef, Ibrahim Jaidah, Lejla Niksic, Mayes Al-Thani, Modesty St. John, Mohammed Nasser Al Baker, Paolo Cassina, Yausif Al-Baker, Sandra Sainz Shaikha Al-Mahmoud, Hanouf Mohammed Al-Mana, Shaikha Al-Sulaiti Oliver Baxter, Esra Al-Kazem, Dorota Nazarewicz, Shraddha Aryal, Dr. Fodil Fadli.
Here are just some of the corporations that have offered valuable internships to our Interior Design students:
Al Fardan, Al Mana Maples, Arab Engineering Bureau, Arteligno Interior Designers, AvonTure Interiors, Barwa, Bin Ghanim Consulting Architects, Town Planners, Engineers, Bluu Qatar LLC, Cinmar Design, Dreams Decoration, Geomim Interior Design, House & Garden, Jean Nouvel Design, KEO International Consultants, Khatib & Alami Consolidated Engineering Company, Le Parfait, Living In Interiors, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, MZ & Partners Architect & Engineering Consultancy, National Marble & Stones, Odell Associates, Omrania & Associates, Prime Lands Real Estate Development LLC, Prisma, Qatar Foundation Capital Projects, Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Museums Authority, Qatari Diar, RasGas, Romancia Design/Interior & Exterior Decorations, Salem Al Marzook/Abi Hanna, Shelter Qatar, Sketch Engineering & Consulting,Talati & Panthaky – Associated Pvt. Ltd, The Classical Palace, The Land.