As an interior designer, the world is your playground. The built environment in all of its aspects, furniture and design objects are only some of the things through which you can impact people’s immediate living environment and society as a whole. That living, working and leisure spaces should be safe, functional and comfortable is of crucial importance – but they can be more than that: they can also be pleasant and attractive.
Is this a programme for me?
In our interior design programme you are trained as a professional who can take on an assignment with the required sense of reality and functionality while also displaying the right dose of imagination, personality and aesthetic sensibility to make a difference. An open mind and a good deal of creativity, enthusiasm and empathy are essential assets, but self-reliance, accuracy, technical insight and communication skills are equally indispensable. An interior designer’s work revolves around spatial problems. You are the central creative force behind the entire design process. This often entails the supervision of the actual realization of the work, and communication – in all its forms and with all parties concerned, including both professionals and laymen – is crucial throughout the process. Moreover, as the essential intermediary between the client and the constructor, you have to be prepared to assist and advise your client at all times.
The studio at the heart of your training
To this end, our faculty has developed an exceptional programme that revolves around studios. It these studio settings you will be challenged to develop your creativity, your personality and your particular perspective on spatial design through concrete and realistic design assignments. There is of course solid guidance and intensive tutoring; a personal approach is our focus. A number of contextualizing courses will provide you with the theoretical foundation necessary to test your sense of reality and the feasibility of your designs.
Four possible paths
In the programme’s first three semesters you get acquainted with all of the different aspects of the design process. We challenge and refine your creativity and teach you to make deliberate choices and formulate concepts based on thorough analyses. Particular attention goes out to various ways of graphically communicating your ideas. Step by step, the level of elaboration and detail increases until you are able to draw up definitive design dossiers and presentation graphics. Your personal perspective gradually moves to the fore. From the fourth semester onwards, we offer you the choice between four specializations – a choice that is unique among design programmes. These four focuses allow you to fully develop your proficiency in those aspects of the interior design practice that appeal to you the most. In Interior Design the focus is on the development of spatial concepts for various ends.In Furniture & Design you learn specific research and design methods for the design of furniture and design objects. In the Temporary Installations focus you work on temporary constructions such as stage or film sets, stands for fairs and exhibition designs where flexibility and adaptability are key concerns. In Finishing & Advice assignments are approached from a more practical angle, with attention to realization and detail and to aspects of advice. Initially you choose two of these focuses; the bachelor’s project in the last year of your training entails a further specialization in a single major. In the final year of your training your sense of practical reality is further enhanced by an internship. There you have the opportunity to test your knowledge and skills by the everyday practice of an interior designer. Your choice of trainee post is just one more way of emphasizing your personal interests and strengths.
After graduating you will find job opportunities in the extended professional field of architecture and design: either self-employed or as an employee in a firm, in a range of sectors including construction and renovation, stand and set design, exhibition design, product design, furniture and object design … You can also choose to acquire further qualifications, and our School of Arts offers you ample opportunities in that respect. There is the vocational bachelor of garden and landscape architecture, and passing an entrance exam also lets you go in for the academic master programmes in the arts, such as multimedia design, graphic design, fashion or textile design. Remaining in the sector of construction, HOGENT also offers a vocational bachelor of estate and house agency. You can also specialize further in (interior) architecture if you follow a bridging programme first.
As of the academic year 2013-2014, School of Arts organizes the bachelor of interior design as a distance-learning programme alongside the regular daytime programme. In distance learning, all courses are offered with alternative forms of teaching and examination in order to allow students who are unable to attend the regular programme to complete an equally challenging training and gain an equivalent degree. In this way, candidates who are already active in the professional field are offered the opportunity to take up an intensive training in aspects such as materials, construction techniques or software without having their jobs run the risk of being neglected. The interior design programme via distance education makes use of e-learning, guided autonomous learning, home-study materials and comprehensive learning paths in the school’s digital learning environment. For practical classes and counselling, no more than two weekly moments are organized. These assure that students receive proper guidance in their design processes and the continuous feedback they need to evolve. For the other courses there is a limited number of combined occasions for consultation where students can call on their instructors directly.
With this flexible formula the interior design programme mainly wishes to reach students who are already professionally active in the sector and want to acquire further qualifications, but also (young) adults who consider the programme an asset in their search to find a new position in the labour market. Also eligible are students who find the regular programme ill-suited to their situation due to specific circumstances (top-level sports statute, chronic illness, family situation …). All applicants will be invited for an intake interview before admission to the programme.
Contact Mieke Van De Woestyne for more information on interior design and distance education.