Portfolio Development Workshops

The Portfolio Development Workshops are designed to provide those who are interested in studying interior architecture with a mechanism to test their interests, demonstrate their potential for design thinking, become familiar with studio-based instruction, and develop skills competencies required for application to the Master of Arts in Interior Architecture program at Suffolk University. The workshops will be offered online in summer 2021.

Program Details

Portfolio Development Workshop, Level I

May 25 – June 24, 2021
Tuesday & Thursday 5:30 – 9:30 p.m.

2021 Costs 

$700 tuition
$75 - $100 estimated materials cost

This 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.

Each assignment enables students to create original work and consider the scope of interior design practice. From furniture to a space in the city; students learn how design begins with an inquiry process. From optimizing materials to economizing on spatial needs, each new question will reveal how economic, social and psychological factors shape interior design solutions.

Schedule at a Glance

Tuesday & Thursday 5:30 – 9:30 p.m.

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

Week 2: - Orthographic drawings, scale and the human form. Introduction to model making materials and techniques.

Week 3: - Researching and selecting materials. Materials sample boards; function; aesthetic and sensory considerations in design. 

Week 4: - Digital Modeling, plans, sections the development of natural / artificial lighting strategies.

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

Curriculum Content Areas

Drawing, Perspective & Scale

Observational and analytical drawing techniques 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. Scaled orthographic and perspective principles will be demonstrated, helping students 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 ‘design artifacts’, 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 be made aware of digital tools used for scanning, printing and creating form. 

Design Materials: Selection & Composition

Material studies will expose students to a variety of 'systems' ranging in scale from physiology to urban sustainability. Participants will imagine, model and test ideas weekly. Iterative processes will deepen each students' understanding of creative problem solving.

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Portfolio Development Workshop, Level II

July 6 – August 5, 2021
Tuesday & Thursday 5:30 – 9:30 p.m.

2021 Costs 

$700 tuition
$40 - $50 estimated materials cost

By designing a theoretical ‘space in the city’, participants will simulate the planning, modeling and rendering techniques common to interior design presentations. Students will employ computer aided design software to organize space and communicate ideas in plan and section. Participants will learn about color theory and manual rendering techniques commonly used to create illusions of light, shade and texture. These techniques will be examined in a variety of media and reveal how raster and vector software complement manual skills.

Students who have participated in Portfolio Workshop Level I will be invited to build upon their former work in order to develop a portfolio well suited to the MAIA application process. With the use of university resources such as Suffolk’s cloud based computer system, students may continue to explore and develop these foundational skills independently after the completion of the workshop.

Schedule TBA

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Portfolio Development & Assessment

Portfolio Assessment

At the conclusion of the workshops, students will participate in an individualized assessment with the Graduate Program Director where they will receive guidance toward meeting the following skill areas required for application to the MA in Interior Architecture program:

  • Observational drawings (still life and figure studies)
  • Analytical drawing (perspective and orthographic representations)
  • ‘Process oriented’ making skills (Architectural models, sculptural or craft based projects that are iterative in nature)
  • Graphic work demonstrating 2D compositional color studies.
  • Rendered drawings of architectural interiors and or orthographic projections.
  • Introductory CAD, Raster and Vector graphic software.

Students who have not yet met the skills development areas listed above will have several pathways available that may include learning independently or taking courses through Continuing Education at Suffolk University or elsewhere.

Developing an Admission Portfolio

Participants will continue to have access to learning resources during the summer semester to further develop their skills and portfolio pieces.

Participants who satisfy the portfolio requirement for the Master of Arts in Interior Architecture Program and who receive an offer of admission by meeting all other application requirements to the graduate program will begin their studies in the fall semester.