Environment and Interior Design (BA)

Career prospects

The Environment and Interior Design (EID) programme prepares students’ entry to the Interior architect / design and related professions and aims to develop students to become effective spatial designers and future innovators in their profession. Graduates gain knowledge of how interior design intersects with other spatial and environmental disciplines including architecture, landscape and urban design, and provides a gateway to further educational opportunities in design fields. 

View EID related events here.

View EID Brochure 2016/17 (PDF) here. 

Aims and objectives

The BA in Environment and Interior Design, a 4-year full time studio oriented programme, is one of the key design disciplines in the School of Design. Innovative, explorative and inventive, the programme guides students’ creative development in the manipulation and mastery of spatial design as a structured progression throughout the four year programme.

Core issues the Environment and Interior programme addresses include focus on the interior aspects of the city, how interiority has become the operative agent for setting trends, as social facilitators and a forms of speculative and spatial questions, especially in the dense environment of Hong Kong, and how interior architecture/design professions have a critical role to play in the definition of this emerging spatial condition.


Spatial Design Education

The Environment and Interior programme links academic work with design as design thinking and design processes focusing on:

  • Design praxis, thinking through doing, exploring, questioning and the spatial and material embodiment of design.
  • Concept development and the incorporation of theories and research as foundational thinking for design idea development.
  • Emphasizing critical design issues and concepts as well as design research, processes, methods and professional skills in spatial problem-solving including: conceptual idea generation, site and context understanding, investigation of socio-cultural issues, exploration of needs and requirements, development of spatial and tectonic skills, and integration of technical and material knowledge needed for the material embodiment of design.

Studio culture

The Environmental and Interior Design programme is a studio focused learning context for design explorations and spatial experimentations:

  • A context where thinking, design dialogue and doing fuses together.
  • A place of shared intellectual resources.
  • A places of shared capacities between students and instructors.
  • A place of crafting, making, exploring involving hands-on spatial manipulation and material manifestation on all scales. 

Programme structure

Year 1 Studio: Externalizing of Interiority

The first year focuses on manifestation of interiority and the externalization of students’ investigations through a series of spatial and material explorations. The year programme directs students’ learning progression from the abstract to the concrete, and from the interior to the exterior, with carefully considered scale, media and material developments through a series of linked studio projects. Starting from the body and its registers of emotion and expression as indicators of an individuals interiority, the programme extends into domains of furniture, individual space, domestic space, collective space, city and landscape. All of these are registers and reticules holding different modes and scales of interiority that are constructed into larger personal architectonic narratives by the students. Fostering students’ design thinking skills, spatial manipulation, and conceptual development all work towards developing design competence and unique spatial design abilities. This is facilitated by on-going dialogue and reflective processes to nurture the students’ abilities to examine and construct critiques, explore alternatives and expose lateral thinking specific to questions of design engagement versus material constraints, contextual conditions and cultural specificity.


Year 2 Studio: Cultural and Typological Hybrids

Spatial and behavioural inquiry into spaces specific to the production of future interior typologies. Building on the first years focus, design problems addressed in the second year approach the Hong Kong spatial condition as interior typologies specific to the activities of cultural production, working and living patterns. The examination of interior types and exposure of their technological complexity allows students to extend their design praxis beyond a mere acceptance of existing spatial types. Design’s ability to de-sign and reassemble both types and material technologies become the driving force to access and understand cultural hybrids and their appropriation within both Hong Kong’s spatial and cultural environments. Studio focus is professionally based to instill a discipline specific mode of production.


Year 3 Critical Urban Topographies: the definition of the territory and the city, through its interiors

Critical Urban Topographies, the theme for the 3rd year addresses aspects of complexity of the city and its processes of ‘interiorization’.As framework, the studio operates on the premise that Hong Kong’s urban and territorial transformation occurs primarily through the interior.As design studio the focus is directed at urban extremes of harnessing spatial types, processes, actors and the possible lamination of these into a number of spatial technologies, that is to say how these are brought together and synthesized uniformly. Within the 4- year curricula, the 3rd is seen as a critical junction between the 2n d year’s Cultural Hybrid Studio and its typological focus with the Open and explorative studio of the 4th year. Therefore, the 3rd year curricula focuses on foundational knowledge within the realms of architectural tectonics, services, spatial design and the supportive technologies within the first semester, with the second semester dedicated to critical research that allows for explorative and thematic driven design and deep investigation of associated spatial problems. 


Year 4 Open Studio

Year four is a year-long thesis based, explorative studio. Structured in three parts, in the fall semester, design research is used to identify and underpin critical and conceptual issues that are developed into final two stage design projects during the spring semester. Year four students explore critical issues which have meaning for their own trajectory as a designer, engaging all aspects of research and design praxis in the articulation of their individual approaches in appropriate scales, contexts, spatial registers and material manifestations. The reflexive design processes engage discussion throughout development and through this process, individual students identify critical positions in their projects. Outcomes maybe speculative, pragmatic, detailed or narrative: 1:1, spatially innovative, experiential, or large scale, according to the constraints and possibilities determined by the individuals. Specific focus studies including technical, material and detail studies give in depth investigations of individual projects. 


Brief programme outline

Electives and other courses

The Environment and Interior programme structures a range of discipline specific courses including history and technology, with courses from other disciplines from the School of Design and PolyU General University courses. As part of our discipline specific courses the programme offers a series of electives that provide learning choices for students. These electives include: Eastern Study Trip; Western Study Trip; Furniture Design; Landscape Design; Urban Design; Re-used Spaces; Interactive Spaces; 1 to 1 prototyping; Advanced Model Making and Advanced Drawing.

Extra-Curricular Activities and Events

The Environment and Interior organizes a range of different activities ranging from: a Lecture series; to Advanced Colloquia on critical and relevant topics; to discipline specific exhibitions of student work. This is complemented by other events, exhibitions and activities in the School of Design.


Facilities and support

Within the school students have access to studio spaces; computer laboratories; material and making workshops; and; photographic and video studios that are beneficial for design education and nurturing of crafting and design skills. Students are actively encouraged to use research resources within the School and within the University’s academic and material resources as an integral part of their design education. 

Programme leader

Peter Hasdell — Associate Professor, B.Sc.Arch.(Hons), AA Dipl.(MArch.), RIBA

Peter Hasdell

Area of Expertise

Regional and Landuse Planning, Urbanism and Strategic Urban Design, Urban Planning, Urban Curation and Scenario Development, Environmental and Landscape Planning, Cultural Planning, Sustainable Planning and Design, Public Space Design, Architectural Design, Human-Environmental Interaction Design, Interactive Installations and Interactive Art, Interactive Architecture, Embedded Interactivity, and Public Installation Art

Email sdpeterh@polyu.edu.hk

Gerhard Bruyns — Assistant Professor, PhD

Gerhard Bruyns

Area of Expertise

Urban Environment Design: Morphology, geopolitical questions, spatial topographies, radical urbanization, urban and spatial militarization, policy, planning, urban design and composition, post-segregated spatial landscapes

Email gerhard.bruyns@polyu.edu.hk

Teaching staff


Entrance requirement

Programme Code 3569 (73416) BA(Hons) Scheme in Design
Stream Code EID
Mode of Study Full Time
Number of Credits 124 (senior year place: 62-63)
Normal Period of Study 4 Years (senior year place: 2 years)
Tuition HK$42,100 per academic year / Non-local Student: HK$120,000 per academic year

Local JUPAS Applicants (with HKDSE Qualifications)

Satisfy the University’s General Entrance Requirements of 4 core and 1 elective subjects with:

  • Level 3 in English Language and Chinese Language; and
  • Level 2 in Mathematics, Liberal Studies and one elective subject

There is no compulsory subject requirement. Preferred elective subjects for the programme include:

  • Design and Applied Technology
  • Visual Arts

Applied Learning Subjects with distinction considered as meeting the elective subject requirement:

  • Applied Business Research
  • Applied Psychology
  • Electronic Product Design in Action
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Film and Video Studies
  • Image Design
  • TV Infotainment Production
  • Innovative Product Design
  • Jewellery Arts and Design
  • Marketing in Global Trade
  • Medical Laboratory Science
  • Multimedia Entertainment Studies
  • Public Relations and Advertising

Local Non-JUPAS and Non-local Applicants

  • An appropriate Diploma passed with credit or an appropriate Higher Certificate from a recognised institution;
  • An appropriate Associate Degree/Higher Diploma from a recognised institution*;
  • Holder of other non-local qualifications AND satisfy the English Language Requirement.

*Applicants with an Associate Degree or a Higher Diploma from a recognised institution can apply for senior year places admission.

A complete application includes

Admission methods and deadlines

  • Admission methods and deadlines vary from JUPAS and non-JUPAS applicants. Please check Study@PolyU for updated information.
  • Only applicants choosing this programme as their Band A choice (JUPAS) / First Choice (Non-JUPAS/Non-local) throughout the application process will be considered.
  • Before the aptitude test, applicants are required to declare their intended choice of discipline, as one of the admission considerations.

Local JUPAS Applicants (with HKDSE Qualifications)

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an aptitude test and/or an interview with portfolio presentation. The test will be conducted before the announcement of HKDSE results, and the interview after the announcement. 

Online portfolio submission may be required for specific discipline. Applicants who have successfully completed the aptitude test and have scored among the top 25% prioritisation score range as a whole will be directly offered a spot in the scheme, without having to sit for an interview.

Local Non-JUPAS and Non-local Applicants

For local non-JUPAS applicants, portfolio submission, and interview with portfolio presentation, may be requested by the School according to their background.

Non-local applicants are required to submit their portfolio in January to April and the shortlisted applicants will be invited to a telephone/skype interview.

For applicants with A-Level / IB qualifications, or the equivalent, they may be granted a maximum of 25% credit transfer for the award requirement, and each case will be considered based on individual merits.

Exchange students

The international exchange programme for inbound students happens during the second semester of year three. The exchange programme is an opportunity for students to experience studying abroad, outside of their habitual cultural context. In particular it gives students an understanding of different cultural and spatial environments and environments as well as different learning environments and design praxis approaches. International students visiting Hong Kong can participate in our design studio work and study a variety of subjects offered by different disciplines.

For more information please contact Michael Chan, Environment and Interior Exchange Officer.

View Portfolio Guidelines 
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Should you have any questions, feel free to contact us