Design projects form the core learning and teaching element of the programme. Projects are a mix of both set and self-generated. They will vary in duration and format. In the first term of years one and two of the course, students will work together as mixed vertical groups to enhance peer-to-peer learning. In the second and third terms of the course students work in year specific groups but with timetabled reviews of each others work at key points in their respective curriculum. In the second half of term one, second year students work independently as their final year thesis project is developed. It is expected that individual students will pursue projects of a particular personal interest in relation to their Interior Design studio ‘provocation’.
Design projects will always be concerned with issues in and around the design of interior environments, exploring issues such as proximities, inhabitation and the construction of a range of spatial identities. The context for design projects will vary, but will often include existing buildings, urban spaces, the analysis of site and human occupation and inhabitation, material and spatial identity and so on. Where applicable live briefs will be included in the curriculum where students work with commercial or industry partners. In some cases design projects will take the form of competitions that may be set within the programme or by organisations outside of the College.
The second year of the programme is organised around a number of Interior Design Platforms (IDPs). Their number will depend upon the number of students on the programme at any given time. Each platform will begin around the middle of term one and be based around emergent or current issues in the subject of Interiors and in other built environment/design led contexts. The tutors who run them will position the content of the studios. The studios will be configured in order to respond to a particular overall provocation and location, a site and context that will be set by the Head of Programme and the teaching team.
The programme employs a variety of different learning and teaching methods to help you achieve your individual aims and objectives, as well as those of the programme.
In addition to the core Interior Design programme content all students at the RCA undertake the Critical & Historical Studies component independently of their studio work. This work culminates in the submission of the dissertation, a 6,000 – 10,000 word essay, at the start of the second year.