Interior Design Career Prep

150 Hours / 12 Months / Self-Paced

Course Overview:

Interior Design Career Prep is a comprehensive introduction to the creative, technical, and business knowledge required by the interior design profession. The course encompasses color theory, design history, architectural elements, finishing touches, trend forecasting, and the basics of running a business. In addition, this course addresses contemporary concerns such as sustainability, universal design, and adaptive reuse. The course is rooted in a practical approach to creating safe, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing spaces for residential and contract clients.

Students will:
  • demonstrate an understanding of the design process
  • identify, describe, and apply their understanding of the aspects of a project
  • demonstrate an understanding of space as it relates to interior design
  • identify and describe building structures
  • relate interior design to the human experience
  • explain and identify aspects of sustainable design
  • demonstrate an understanding of communication and presentation of a design
  • explore and obtain sources of design inspiration

Course Description:

Lesson 1: The Interior Design Profession

This lesson introduces the profession by citing its historical origins, significant individuals in design, and presents an overview of the profession.  It concludes with trends influencing interior design including legislation and sustainability.

Lesson 2: Socially Responsible Design

This lesson emphasizes socially responsible design within the overall framework of sustainable design.  Students will be presented with theoretical information to develop an understanding of human factors, global connectivity, and the impact of design decisions on individuals, society, and the environment. The responsibilities of the interior designer regarding health, safety, welfare, and environmental stewardship are presented.

Lesson 3: Design Theory: Aesthetics, Elements & Principles of Design

This lesson reviews the very essential basics of design theory including aesthetics and the elements and principles of design.

Lesson 4: Color Theory & Application

This lesson will delve more specifically into the design element of color, its complexity, and it applications.

Lesson 5: The Design Process: Overview of Project Phases

This lesson will cover the various steps of the design process, from the needs assessment through project completion.  This includes concepts behind space planning and furniture layouts.

Lesson 6: Communicating the Vision

This lesson will describe how interior design ideation, conceptual thinking, and solutions are translated into graphic communications including hand and computer drawing techniques.

Lesson 7: Light and Lighting Systems

This lesson will begin an exploration of the broad range of materials, applications, and techniques used that compose the interior space.  For this lesson, students will learn about lighting and lighting systems. 

Lesson 8: Architectural Elements: The Shell

In this lesson, students will continue to learn about the materials and applications used to compose the interior space.  This lesson will specifically focus the shell or building materials.

Lesson 9: Finishing the Interior: The Lining

This lesson will provide an overview of the linings and surface finishes used in interior design.

Lesson 10: Furnishing the Interior: Feathering the Nest

This lesson will conclude the discussion of the range of materials, applications, and techniques used to compose the interior space. Students will learn how to use furnishings in the interior design process.

Lesson 11: Period Design Styles: Antiquity (c. 4500BC-AD500) - Empire Style (c. 1789-1848)

This lesson will highlight the influences on interiors from Antiquity to the Empire era.  Students will learn how various factors shaped spaces during this time period.

Lesson 12: Period Design Styles: Revival Styles (c. 1830-1880) - Contemporary Style (c. 1960-present)

This lesson will continue the exploration of influences on interiors throughout history.  In this lesson, students will learn about the Revival era through the Contemporary era.

Lesson 13: Future Trends and Professional Practice

The first part of this lesson will explore current movements influencing interior design.  The influence of fashion, the DIY (do-it-yourself) movement, and globalization are a few of the drivers analyzed. The second half of this lesson presents a thorough review of business practices followed by interior designers and assists students in planning their own future careers.  Tips for job-seeking including preparing resumes and portfolios are demonstrated. Various kinds of companies, employment types in both residential and contract design, and related careers are described.

All necessary materials are included.


System Requirements:

Internet Connectivity Requirements:
  • Cable and DSL internet connections are recommended.

Hardware Requirements:
  • Minimum Pentium 400 Mhz CPU or G3 Macintosh. 1 GHz or greater CPU recommended.
  • 256MB RAM minimum. 1 GB RAM recommended.
  • 800x600 video resolution minimum. 1025x768 recommended.
  • Speakers/Headphones to listen to Dialogue steaming audio sessions.
  • A microphone to speak in Dialogue streaming audio sessions.
Operating System Requirements:
  • Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 9, 10
  • Mac OSX 10 or higher.
  • OpenSUSE Linux 9.2 or higher.
Web Browser Requirements:
  • Google Chrome is recommended.
  • Firefox 13.x or greater.
  • Internet Explorer 6.x or greater.
  • Safari 3.2.2 or greater.
Software Requirements:
  • Adobe Flash Player 6 or greater.
  • Oracle Java 7 or greater.
  • Adobe Reader 7 or greater.
Web Browser Settings:
  • Accept Cookies
  • Disable Pop-up Blocker.


**Outlines are subject to change, as courses and materials are updated.**