Program Overview

Our three-year Interior Design Program prepares aspiring designers by providing them with a firm foundation in the critical skills and techniques needed to enter the professional design world.

Students undertake both a theoretical and practical course of study in the domains of materials, textures, light, color, and atmospheres, as well as in computer-aided design and presentation techniques. Through a series of workshops and conferences with specialists, students will learn how to design, construct, communicate, present, and sell their own projects.

In addition to undertaking an intensive study in all aspects of the design process and representation techniques, students are introduced to the full spectrum of the professional design world through a comprehensive series of visits by professionals working on all sides of the industry, from pop-up stores to architectural firms. Students will perform mock interviews for internships and study quote preparation in anticipation of entry into the professional design world, and they will have the opportunity to present their work to invited guests at jury presentations.

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Course Details

The three-year program provides students with a range of coursework in different interior design areas through studio-based classes, workshops, lectures, general arts courses, and art and architectural history studies. See the structure tab for further information on the breakdown of course credits per year.

Year 1

ID101 Construction and Theory I

This course will provide the student with substantial background knowledge in construction details and techniques, including an overview of the materials most commonly used in construction. Students will learn the basics of construction and theory through lectures, demonstrations, class exercises, and various visits to many design centers throughout Paris.

FA102 Technical Drawing

This course is closely related to the construction and theory course, and will allow the student to develop presentation and communication techniques. Students will develop their comprehension skills and their ability to interpret the graphic codes, symbols, and language employed in interior architecture, in order to accurately communicate design information. They will learn how to use different scales, measure a space, draw a floor plan and side elevations, and construct 3-D models of a given space.

ID103 Product Design

This course will familiarize the student with research pertaining to aesthetics and to visualize objects with clearly designed functions. The student will become aware that all objects and furniture have been designed for our everyday use, and are therefore a continuation of the interior design process. Through lectures, students will approach the technical side of research, including fabrication, materials, pricing, and marketing.

ID104 Perspective I

This course is the student’s introduction to completing different types of perspective drawings. The student will learn how to represent an interior in 2-D, which represents a space in 3-D. The curriculum covers both exterior and interior architectural shapes, including various lighting and shading techniques, as well as one- and two-point perspectives. The student will learn the basics of perspective using the horizon line and the vanishing points, as well as how to place objects commonly found in interior spaces, such as furniture and accessories.

ID105 Computer Aided Design

The foundation course in CAD will focus on SketchUp, delivering a well-rounded conceptual framework for anyone wanting to discover the power of this 3-D modeling tool. For both beginner and experienced SketchUp users, this course offers the fundamental knowledge and skills essential to modeling the student’s projects.

ID108 History of Interior Design

This course covers the history of interior design and the evolution of furniture from the ancient period until the end of the 16th century. This course will introduce students to the historical and design “revolutions” (and their legacies in both the urban and the domestic space), and will provide students with a context for understanding European history and its cultural legacy.

GE108 Art History

This course traces the major developments in architecture, sculptures, painting, and fashion design from antiquity through the late 16th century. This course considers historical events as well as stylistic changes and different movements in art. Students will be taught the basics of art history through both lectures and off-site visits to various museums such as Musée du Louvre, Musée Cluny, Château de Versailles, etc.

GE102 Colour

Students will develop how the student approaches color in both residential and commercial interiors. Students will learn how to create an atmosphere through mood boards, and how to use paint and fabric in interior spaces. The student will explore the use of fabric and color through practical assignments involving the pairing of armchairs, carpets, and curtains.

GE103 Drawing and Composition

Students will develop their visual communication skills by learning how to express themselves with the different tools available in the visual arts field, such as pencil, ink, watercolor, gouache, etc. Students will learn how to use these different tools to create a composition, building on their understanding of foreground, background, and the balance of the space between and size of objects in a drawing.

LV1 French Language

The FLE program (French as a second language) is divided into three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Each level uses a program based on 24 lessons, with one lesson covered each week that delves into grammar, thematic vocabulary, and practical application on both an oral and written level. Oral skills are emphasized, since the principal objective of these courses is to encourage communication in correct French.

 

Year 2

ID201 Construction and Theory II

This course will further develop students’ understanding of construction details, techniques, and materials used in construction. Students will enhance their facility with these different techniques and materials through lectures, demonstrations, class exercises, and various visits to many design centers throughout Paris.

ID203 Product Design

Students will deepen their understanding of the aesthetic aspects of objects, as well as their technical and production possibilities. The aim of this course is to develop the “philosophy” of product design as it relates to interior design, and to allow students the opportunity to create objects that could be produced and eventually sold on the market.

ID204 Perspective II

This course is designed to further the student’s knowledge of perspective and rendering techniques. The goal of the semester is to attain fluency in the language of spatial representation, with increasingly complex representation demanded in the proposed drawing exercises. Students will progress beyond 2-point perspective and learn to project forms and shadows requiring 3 or 4 vanishing points. Students will also explore the representation of light by analyzing its behavior in different spatial situations.

ID205 Computer Aided Design

This course builds upon students’ experience with SketchUp and offers the student the opportunity to develop fundamental knowledge and skills in AutoCAD. Students will learn the basics of CAD geometry creation and manipulation using a variety of computer command inputs, including keyboard shortcuts, toolbox icons, and mouse menu selection. Students will learn the basics of both SketchUp and AutoCAD through lectures, demonstrations, and class exercises.

ID207 Presentation Techniques

This course is designed to explore presentations of one’s work in various visual forms, as well as the verbal presentation of the student’s work. The goal of the course is to create more powerful and expressive presentations through specifying the student’s ideas and enhancing the precision of a student’s visual and verbal communication. Depending on individual capacities, digital techniques such as Photoshop or Illustrator may be employed.

ID208 History of Interior Design

This course covers the history of interior design and the evolution of construction and materials from the 17th through the late 19th century. Students will be taught through lectures and on-site visits to different museums and monuments such as the Château de Versailles, the Cité de l’Architecture, and temporary exhibitions according to cultural and artistic events.

GE208 Art History

This course traces the major developments in architecture, sculptures, painting, and fashion design from the 17th century through to the 19th century. This course considers historical events as well as stylistic changes and different movements in art. Students will be taught in depth the study of the major arts of this period through both lectures and off-site visits to various museums such as Musée du Louvre, Musée Cluny, Château de Versailles, etc.

FMD203 Luxury Industry

This course, taught to both interior design students and fashion students in the merchandising track, will allow students the opportunity to design and develop a fashion boutique. Students will analyze the relationship between a company’s aesthetic and the layout of their space, including organization, materials, and color schemes.

LV2 French Language

The FLE program (French as a second language) is divided into three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Each level uses a program based on 24 lessons, with one lesson covered each week that delves into grammar, thematic vocabulary, and practical application on both an oral and written level. Oral skills are emphasized, since the principal objective of these courses is to encourage communication in correct French.

Year 3

ID301 Construction and Theory III

This course will further develop students’ understanding of construction details, techniques, and materials used in construction. Students will enhance their facility with these different techniques and materials through lectures, demonstrations, class exercises, and various visits to many design centers throughout Paris.

ID303 Product Design III

Students will deepen their understanding of the aesthetic aspects of objects, as well as their technical and production possibilities, by designing their own objects and furniture pieces. Special attention will be given to the relationship between form and function, and why aesthetic beauty aids in the sales of objects that perform the same function.

ID304 Perspective III

This course is designed to further the student’s knowledge of perspective and rendering techniques. Students will continue to explore the representation of light by analyzing its behavior in different spatial situations and how it interacts with different materials, developing the ability to communicate these elements in architectural and design projects. Students will learn to represent different textures and colors within varied lighting schemes and scenarios.

ID305 Computer Aided Design

This course builds upon students’ experience with AutoCAD, teaching students how to use the software to take an idea from concept to final product. Students will review creation and manipulation tools introduced in the introductory course, and they will go a step further in incorporating the features, commands, and techniques needed for managing files, creating consistent drawings, and customizing AutoCAD.

ID307 Presentation Techniques II

This course allows students to continue to explore presentations of their work in various visual forms, including verbal presentation. The goal of the course is to create a professional portfolio presentation, with an emphasis on precision in language and visual representation as one documents the design process.

ID308 History of Interior Design

This course covers the history of interior design and an analysis of materials, construction, and technological developments from the 20th century through the turn of our century, covering the art nouveau and art deco movements, as well as pre- and post-war architecture. Students will be taught through lectures and on-site visits to different museums and monuments such as the Château de Versailles, the Cité de l’Architecture, and temporary exhibitions according to cultural and artistic events.

GE308 Art History

This course deals with the most profound innovations in art during the first half of the 20th century. The first part of the course will focus on major developments including Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, Dada, and Surrealism in terms of style and theory and within cultural, social, and political contexts. The second half of the course will consider major movements like abstract expressionism, pop art, minimalism, and super realism, as well as works which go beyond traditional media (earthworks, video art, digital imaging). Students will study the major artworks of this period in depth through lectures and off-site visits to various museums such as the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Musée d’Art Moderne.

FMD303 Luxury Industry*

This course, taught to both interior design students and fashion students in the merchandising track, will allow students the opportunity to design and develop a fashion boutique. Students will analyze the relationship between a company’s aesthetic and the layout of their space, including organization, materials, and color schemes.

*Normally a second-year course, this course may be taken in third-year for transferring students.

LV3 French Language

The FLE program (French as a second language) is divided into three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Each level uses a program based on 24 lessons, with one lesson covered each week that delves into grammar, thematic vocabulary, and practical application on both an oral and written level. Oral skills are emphasized, since the principal objective of these courses is to encourage communication in correct French.

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Structure

Foundation Year Fall Semester Spring Semester
ID 101 – Construction & Theory I 3 3
ID 102 – Technical Drawing I 3 3
ID 103 – Product Design I 3 3
ID 104 – Perspective I 3 3
ID 105 – Computer Aided Design I (SketchUp) 3 3
GE 102 – Color for Interior Design 3 3
GE 108 – Art History I 2
ID 108 – History of Interior Design I 2
 Total Credits  20  20
Second Year Fall Semester Spring Semester
ID 201 – Construction & Theory II 3 3
ID 203 – Product Design II 3 3
ID 204 – Perspective II 3 3
ID 205 – Computer Aided Design I (AutoCAD) 3 3
ID 207 – Presentation Techniques I 3 3
GE 208 – Art History II 3
ID 208 – History of Interior Design II 3
 Total Credits  18  18
 Third Year Fall Semester Spring Semester
ID 301 – Construction & Theory III 3 3
ID 303 – Product Design III 3 3
ID 304 – Perspective III 3 3
ID 305 – Computer Aided Design II (AutoCAD) 3 3
ID 307 – Presentation Techniques II 3 3
GE 308 – Art History III 3
ID 308 – History of Interior Design III 3
 Total Credits  18  18
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Tuition

Full Academic Year

Program Dates: September 12, 2017 – May 4, 2018

Application Fee: 70€

Tuition: 14,900€

Optional Housing: 4600€ per semester (Housing starting Sept. 11 – shared accommodation in furnished apartment in the vicinity of the school.)

Please note that supplies are not included.

Richard Roy Scholarship

Applicants who have been accepted to study at the Paris American Academy may apply for partial scholarships through the Richard Roy Scholarship Fund. These scholarships range in value from 1,000€ to 3,000€ off tuition, and from 300€ to 1300€ off housing.

Students wishing to be considered for a scholarship must submit a brief personal statement (1-2 paragraphs) along with their application. This statement should emphasize the student’s personal and educational background, demonstrating why he / she is in need of financial assistance and how a scholarship might benefit the student’s professional goals.

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FAQ

What’s different about the PAA degree program?

The Paris American Academy’s goal is to prepare students academically, personally, and professionally for successful careers. The programs, policies, and teaching methods have been designed to implement this philosophy and are evaluated periodically and changed as necessary, to meet the needs of our students and the ever-changing professional industries.

What kind of experience do the professors at PAA have?

At PAA, you’ll learn from professors with real-world experience in the fields that they teach. They’ll share accumulated knowledge and offer relevant, meaningful support as you focus on your future and prepare your post-graduate career.

I am in Paris visiting schools. Can I come tour the Academy?

We would be pleased to welcome you. If you are in the Paris area and would like to set up an appointment to tour the school, please email the Admissions department here: info@parisamericanacademy.fr

Which language is the curriculum taught in?

All of our programs are taught in English, as we receive students from all over the world. Students at PAA can benefit from French language courses integrated into their programs. We are proud of the bilingual tradition of our school, which often teaches students from more than 20 different nationalities in a single year.

When I arrive at the airport in Paris, how will I get to the school?

We work closely with a shuttle service and can arrange a pick up for you from the airport to the school.

What events, fairs, or professional exhibitions happen each year in Paris that relate to my field of study?

We try to encourage students to get involved in extracurricular activities to complement their learning. The following is a sample of the events students may attend during their program:

JANUARY: Meuble Paris, Maison et Objet, Couture Shows, Now Design, Menswear Shows, Who’s Next, Pret-a-porter

FEBRUARY: Premier Vision

MARCH: Women’s Ready to Wear Shows, Book Fair

APRIL / MAY: Foire de Paris

JUNE: Menswear Shows

JULY: Haute Couture women’s wear shows, 14th July Bastille Day celebrations, Paris Plage, open-air cinema festival

SEPTEMBER: Meuble Paris, Paris Design Week, Maison et Objet, Premier Vision, Now Design, Jour de la Patrimoine, Pret-a-porter, Who’s Next

OCTOBER: Pret-a-porter, Nuit Blanche, Les Puces du Design, Women’s Ready to Wear Shows

NOVEMBER: Batimat

Are the fashion students able to participate in the various shows that happen around Paris during fashion week?

Yes, the Academy is often called upon for fashion students to help backstage at various fashion shows throughout the year.

Where can I buy art supplies and what is the estimated amount I can expect to pay for supplies?

Stationery and art supplies are more expensive in Paris than in other major cities worldwide, and you are advised to bring with you as much as possible without encumbering yourself. We estimate the full cost of materials for the Academic Year for students in Fashion and Interior Design to be 800 euros. You may qualify for a 5% to 15% discount in certain art shops upon presentation of the PAA student card. Rather than having you buy books, PAA encourages you to make use of the wealth of public libraries which abound in Paris.

Art Supply Shops:

The following shops are recommended for the purchase of art supplies. They are all within walking distance or a short bus ride from PAA.

  • Adam, 11 rue Edgar Quinet 75014
  • L’Art du Papier, 48 rue Vavin 75006
  • Berty, 41 rue Claude Bernard 75005 (the closest shop)
  • Casteluchio Diana, 125 blvd Montparnasse 75006
  • Dubois-Merlin-Denis, 20 rue Soufflot 75005
  • Gattegno, 13 rue de la Grande Chaumière 75006
  • Sennelier, 3 quai Voltaire 75007 & 4bis rue de la Grande Chaumière 75006
  • Charbonnel, 13 quai Montebello 75005
  • Joseph Gibert, blvd Saint-Michel 75005
  • Drawing supplies: Dubois, Berty, Gilbert, and Damours
  • Crayons: Charbonnel, Berty, Gibert
  • Transfer Paper: Charbonnel, Gibert
  • Items such as typing paper, sepia, cheap brushes, water color paper, tracing paper, and erasers can be quickly and easily obtained at the news stand at 18 rue des Feuillantines, around the corner from PAA.
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