DE4002 - Introduction to Commercial Interior Design

What will I learn on this module?

This level 4 semester 2 module is designed to enable you build upon the fundamental skills and techniques of the design process, delivered in DE4001, within the context of commercial interior design. It will allow you to practice and embed those new technical and design skills through a series of practical interior design projects and respond to set design briefs that will enable you to gain a greater understanding of the discipline in a commercial setting. You will develop your approach to design projects through an increasing understanding of key skills and knowledge such as; responding to a brief, design development, materials and processes, products, contemporary issues, ergonomics and architectural technologies, while ongoing practical feedback will embed theories.
You will be encouraged to push boundaries and take risks in your creative approach and offer solutions to increasingly challenging interior design briefs. Design projects will be set in the context of existing or new build architecture and will ask you to engage with the exciting spatial challenges that interior design poses. You will develop and practice a diverse range of topics relevant to the interior designer, including;
• Commercial Interior and spatial design.
• 2d and 3d development drawing and communication.
• Spatial planning.
• Modelmaking.
• Presentation skills.
• Employability.

How will I learn on this module?

‘Introduction to Commercial Interior Design’ is a project-based experiential learning module. You will learn in design studios, CAD labs and, where appropriate, workshops and virtual spaces in order to create a design-studio approach. The aim is to encourage the interaction of the student body, through peer learning, which is regarded as a critically important factor in the learning process and will be facilitated through staff-led group tutorials, one-to-one sessions and reviews. We refer to this subject delivery approach as follows;

Northumbria X-Studio (Extended Studio):
The School of Design operates an extended studio approach (X-Studio) that embraces our physical studios and making workshops as well as our virtual spaces to create a flexible and rich environment that is responsive to our learners’ needs.
This dedicated approach has been developed over many years of continuous teaching innovation, research and industry collaboration. It has created a supportive extended studio culture that encourages our students to learn flexibly, dynamically blending their learning and University experience between physical and digital interactions both in real-time and online at their own pace.
We believe that this extended studio culture not only helps our students to become more confident autonomous learners but also prepares them for a dynamic design industry in which an extended studio philosophy is current practice.

Project brief/s will be introduced through a briefing session/s where the brief will be fully explained and you will have the opportunity to ask questions. The module is delivered via a combination of studio teaching, weekly seminars, tutor guided independent learning and student independent learning. Informal studio-based feedback will support your progress throughout the module. Where appropriate, external site visits will support design briefs and your understanding of the interior design process and site enquiry. This approach will allow you to develop an understanding at both a theoretical and practical level prior to summative assessment.

You will take part in a final review presentation of your design project work where you will receive final feedback from staff, which you will be required to document and process to advance future design projects and define your own learning. Summative assessment is through the submission of a design portfolio, which will enable you to learn through an enquiry-based/problem-solving learning methodologies approach and reflect the accumulation and integration of knowledge accrued over the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support and feedback will be provided by a variety of methods throughout design projects, starting at the briefing and concluding upon submission of each design project. Support includes;

Staff Contact
• Module tutors who provide academic support based upon industrial experience.
• Individual staff-student tutorials inform design project direction.
• Group tutorials enable staff to interact with students and encourage peer learning and support.
• Project briefs are normally introduced via a briefing session, where the brief is fully explained and explored by both staff and students.
• The eLearning Portal will be utilised to communicate all relevant module information.

Studio Contact Time
• Modules are delivered through a combination of lecture supported group tutorials and studio activity, practical demonstrations, studio teaching, guided and independent learning new skills are delivered through workshop activities.
• Studio feedback takes place to facilitate students’ development in the areas being studied, to allow formative feedback and the identification of examples of good practice and development areas to be considered.
• Independent study hours will be utilised to continue the development and progression of studio activity.

Peer and Independent Support
• Students are encouraged and expected to maintain a personal development plan (PDP) and are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning.
• Studio based activity also supports the development of appreciation and evaluation of peers work.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

On successful completion of this module, you should be able to:

Knowledge & Understanding:
• (R+D) 2 - Demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of Interior Design research methodologies through research and experimental design development work

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• (FLEXI) 2 - Apply analysis in the translation of ideas into practical solutions.

• (DESIGN) 2 - Analyse the design process; recognize design issues or problems and identify solutions through commercial interior design proposals.

• (COMM) 3 – Apply experimental approaches to the use of media and other visual communication techniques underpinned by your practice and research methodologies.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• (PERSONAL) 4 – Evidence your communication skills in interior design through one or more of the following channels; written, visual, oral.

How will I be assessed?

A series of design projects will be carried out sequentially and grades given at the submission of each project. At the end of the module grades will be collated to provide a final mark for the module, which is 100% design project portfolio, incorporating 2D and 3D design work.

The assessment and feedback strategy is;

a. Formative Assessment
Project tutorials and staged reviews with tutors and peers will provide an opportunity for critique and formative direction. This will allow students to reflect upon their own work and act upon feedback prior to final submission. Verbal feedback is designed to help students to identify areas of success and/or further development to be considered.

b. Summative assessment
The project brief/s driving the module will identify the assessment criteria and submission requirements (deliverables) appropriate to the topic of the project. The assessable elements will consist of a project portfolio, which will enable students to demonstrate the process and technical skills developed throughout the module. In addition studio contact, observations and presentations will ensure tutors are able to assess the learners’ overall performance holistically against the learning outcomes for the module. A single grade will then be aligned to the submission based upon multiple deliverables.

c. Feedback strategy
Feedback will be delivered verbally at the point of each tutorial, where discussion will clarify future direction. Upon receiving summative assessment students will receive a grade reflecting achievement against the learning outcomes of the module. Students are encouraged to take ownership of their learning by recording feedback in order to reflect upon it as they engage in subsequent learning.





Module abstract

‘Introduction to Commercial Interior Design’ builds upon the fundamentals of the interior design process, from design brief through to final interior design realisation. You will be encouraged to push boundaries and take risks in your creative approach and offer solutions to increasingly challenging interior design briefs. Design projects will be set in the context of existing or new build architecture and will ask you to engage with the exciting spatial challenges that interior design poses. You will also develop and practice a diverse range of topics relevant to the interior designer

Learning will be based in our industry standard design studios, cad lab, photography studio, workshops and virtual studios to give you the practical and observational skills and subject knowledge required for placement or employability in industry.

Course info

UCAS Code W250

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria School of Design

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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