Portfolio Development Workshop

The Portfolio Development Workshop is a program designed to provide those who are interested in studying interior architecture with a mechanism to test their interests, demonstrate their potential for design thinking and become familiar with studio-based instruction. This workshop will be offered online in summer 2020.

Workshop at a Glance

The workshop will provide participants with the skills to examine ideas, visualize solutions and stimulate conversation about the importance of the designed environment.

In this workshop, participants will get a flavor for the types of tools, techniques and assignments utilized in studio-based instruction. Students will have an opportunity to practice traditional hand skills, gain exposure to digital tools and learn how material and lighting selection influences design solutions. Through a variety of spatial and analytical investigations as well as guest lectures, students will better understand the many design considerations and decisions involved in creating spaces.

Assignments will focus on the design of a small space in the city of Boston. How that design evolves begins with an inquiry process: Will cities of the future provide affordable housing for young professionals, families and an aging population? How can existing buildings be adapted to provide new housing models? The answers to such questions are used to inform an interdisciplinary approach, where economic, social and psychological factors are given equal consideration in design solutions.

Portfolio Development & Assessment

Developing an Admission Portfolio

Participants who successfully complete this workshop will satisfy the portfolio requirement for the Master of Arts in Interior Architecture Program. Those applicants who meet all other admissions requirements to the graduate program will begin their studies with the first-year leveling coursework [PDF].

Please note: The Portfolio Workshop is intended for those who do not have any visual arts or design background and who will begin graduate studies with first-year leveling coursework [PDF].

Portfolio Assessment

At the conclusion of the workshop series, students will participate in a final design presentation and produce a portfolio to document the work from the 5-week session. The Graduate Program Director will assess this collective body of work to determine if a participant has satisfied the portfolio requirement for admission to the MA in Interior Architecture.

Program Details

Time & Dates

May 19 – June 18, 2020
Tuesday & Thursday 5:30 – 9 p.m.

2020 Costs 

$700 tuition
$75 - $100 estimated materials cost

Schedule at a Glance

Tuesday & Thursday 5:30–9 p.m.

Week 1: Drawing systems and perspective, furnishings and objects, scanning and digital imaging.

Week 2: The studio critique, orthographic drawing, considering scale and human form. Introduction to model making materials and techniques.

Week 3: Orthographic drawings, spatial model making and the development of natural / artificial lighting strategies.

Week 4: Researching and selecting materials. Understanding the functional, aesthetic and sensory qualities of interior finishes. Materials sample boards. function, aesthetic and sensory impacts; producing a design materials board.

Week 5: Photo documentation and advanced digital imaging. Graphic composition and portfolio development.

Curriculum Content Areas

Drawing, Perspective & Scale

Drawing will be used to explore space, form and human scale. Students will explore how the human body can be used as a system of measurement. Scale and perspective principles will be employed to create proportionally accurate representations of interior space. In doing so, drawing will be examined as a tool for creating illusion and testing cognitive abilities.

3D Form & Space

Students will explore form and space and the role of scale in understanding each three-dimensionally. By creating a series of 'prototypes,' participants will develop an understanding of the design process and become acquainted with modeling tools and materials utilized in studio work. In addition to traditional hand skills, students will gain familiarity with digital tools used for scanning, printing and cutting.

Design Materials: Selection & Composition

Material studies will expose students to a variety of 'systems' ranging in scale from physiology to urban sustainability. Through weekly design charrettes (or brainstorming exercises) participants will imagine, model and test ideas. Each iteration will deepen students' understanding of creative problem solving and demonstrate the cyclical process of ideation, testing and execution that is central to effective design thinking.

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