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.
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 acritical role to play in the definition of this emerging spatial condition.
The Environment and Interior 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.
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.
Emphasising 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.
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 place of shared capacities between students and instructors.
A place of crafting, making, exploring involving hands-on spatial manipulation and material manifestation on all scales.
Is Environment & Interior Design for you?
You have a passion for spatial design and a strong belief in the power of architecture to influence the ways we live.
You are culturally sensitive and have a fascination with how we interact with our physical environment.
You constantly think about ways in which spatial design can improve our lives and add to the diversity and interest of the environments where we live.
You are a conceptual thinker who has a strong sense of space and place.
You have a good understanding of two dimensional and three dimensional media and can express yourself in these.
You are an independent thinker and are self-driven, but are also able to work with others in a team; you can be flexible, adaptable and can communicate your ideas well in English.
Year 1 – The Body, Ergonomic Narrative, and Space
The first year teaches students the basics of spatial design through an inquiry process investigating bodies, their constraints, and their relationships with objects and spatial narratives. Students’ initial work investigating their own bodies through the Body Extension, a para-assistive prosthesis, progresses outward into embodied spatial investigations of an urban site, Temple Street.
Students’ second major project, the Narrative Framing, uses spatial-activist prototyping methods to inquire into relationships between bodies, narratives, and the increasingly Smart and persistently Dark City environments of Hong Kong. The Narrative Framing forms students’ first full-scale spatial awareness and responsibility to contextual forces, with full-scale making, prototype-engineering, and urban environment testing skills gained along the way.
Finally students’ work returns closer to the center of interior design practice, stepping away from their expanded roles as researchers, activists, or environmental facilitators to develop conceptualisation and spatial planning skills in an interior infill project, Estranged Bodies, Domestic Narratives. Students must use spatial design to negotiate between the alien needs of an extended body, and the normative constraints of human activity: cooking, sleeping, and engaging in narratives as all 'ordinary' human bodies do. This project teaches students to continue their intimate and personally-driven inquiry into bodies with individualized needs, charting courses for further work mediating between spatial design constraints, and the individualised needs of aging populations, disadvantaged persons, or other prospective user groups.
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 andliving 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 design 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 ‘interiorisation’. 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 types.
Within the 4-year curricula, the 3rd is seen as a critical junction between the 2nd year’s Cultural Hybrid Studio and the Open Studio of the 4th year. 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.
Semester 1 focuses on aquiring basic technologies and design engineering skillsets. Semester 2 explores how design and technology merge as spatial propositions.
Year 4 –
Coop Studio is a semester one studio project working with real clients and multi-discipline teams on real projects. Students learn to understand client briefs, real issues and client needs and work with tutors and clients on the development of professional projects.
These are presented to clients and other stakeholders and can result in realised commissions by clients. Students also learn to work in a team and how to deal with project constraints as well as design stages of concept / ideation, schematic development, detail development and if necessary budgeting and specification.
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.
Students of the 4-years programme are required to complete a total of 124 credits in order to graduate; including 3 credits earned from General University Requirements subjects, 23 from Common Compulsory Subjects, and 71 from Discipline-Specific and Elective Subjects.
Senior year students are required to complete a total of 62-63 credits in order to graduate; including 9 credits earned from General University Requirements subjects, 12 from Common Compulsory Subjects, and 42 from Discipline-Specific and Elective Subjects.
The 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.
4 Year Curriculum
Senior Year Curriculum
General University Requirement
Leadership & Intra-personal Development
Language and Communication Requirements (LCR)*
Cluster-Area Requirements (CAR)
✓ (non-credit bearing)
Common Compulsory Subjects
Communication Basics for Designers
Visual Culture 1
Design History 1
Introduction to Design Theories and Culture
Digital Literacy for Designers
Discipline-specific Compulsory Subjects
Visualization Skills I
Visualization Skills II
Professional Practice I : Environment & Interior Design
Design Research Methods : Environment & Interior Design
Design History II : Environment & Interior Design
Professional Communication in Chinese for Design Studies
Professional Practice II : Environment & Interior Design
Capstone Research : Environment & Interior Design
Capstone Project: Environment & Interior Design
Elective Subjects (Environment & Interior Design discipline-specific electives + Other elective from Environment & Interior Design or other disciplines)
6 + 3 (Credits)
6 + 3 (Credits)
Set & Stage Design
Transport and Mobility Design
Western Study Trip
Digital & Interactive Spaces
1 to 1 Prototyping for Spatial Design
Eastern Study Trip
Furniture Design (Environment & Interior Design)
Advanced Drawing Techniques for Spatial Design
Advanced Modeling and Material Techniques for Spatial Design
✓ Compulsory Subjects
*Senior Year Students who fail to meet the equivalent standard of the Undergraduate Degree LCR will be required to take up to 9 credits of degree LCR subjects.
Extra-Curricular Activities and Events
The Environment and Interior organises 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.
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.
Peter Hasdell — Associate Professor, B.Sc.Arch.(Hons), AA Dipl.(MArch.), RIBA
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