Interior design (junior programme) is a distance education art and design major. The programme offers dual certification: after students pass the assessments for all specialized courses, they can then obtain both online registered junior college graduation certificates issued by the Ministry of Education and the national vocational qualification certificate, Grade Ⅲ Designer for Interior Decoration, issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. 

The programme is committed to extending quality teaching resources throughout China in close cooperation with the Department of Environmental Art Design, Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University. A strong teaching staff has been organized based on the existing teaching resources of the Academy of Arts and Design, in addition to the OUC distance art education team. Students are provided with advanced professional knowledge and flexible learning methods, which helps to maintain learning interest and facilitate students in finding suitable methods for the own development.

Training objectives and requirements

1. Target students: An educational background at or above senior middle school.

2. Training objectives:

The programme aims to cultivate high-level practical professionals who are adapted to the needs of market economy and are qualified to serve socialist construction in terms of ethics, intellect, and physique. They shall possess a deep appreciation of the arts and strong practical competencies in interior design.

Key competencies: Engage in the planning, management, and completion of residential, commercial, entertainment, and exhibition-related design projects for government institutions, enterprises, professional design departments, and research institutions. Obtain an interior decoration qualification certificate (Grade Ⅲ National Vocational Qualification).

3. Training requirements:

The two-year programme is taught in students’ spare time over the course of three years. The minimum study period is two and a half years and the maximum is eight years.

Students must have a minimum of 76 credits for graduation, including 23 credits for a vocational qualification certificate.

The minimum results for the three core certificate courses is 85, while the result for the other two certificate courses and vocational skill practice are 60, with the option to obtain the Grade Ⅲ Qualification Certificate in interior decoration.

Textbooks and features

In light of the training objectives and business training requirements for interior design majors at the junior college level, technical methods of modern distance teaching are adopted to provide varied learning support for students to engage in autonomous learning with the guidance of teachers. Students can learn autonomously by making use of the teaching media and learning resources provided by the school, including printed materials, audio-visual materials (VCD, DVD, and CAI courseware), and IP courseware. Teachers offer learning support through face-to-face tutorials, correspondence, online teaching, online discussion boards, email, telephone and two-way video conferencing systems, and live television classes.

Teaching and learning methods

I. Printed materials

1. Printed materials form the foundation of the teaching media for all courses. They are the basis for delivering teaching information and for encouraging autonomous learning.

2. Printed materials provide basic information for course teaching and autonomous study. The teaching requirements of the courses should be defined so as to allow for a systematic explanation of the teaching contents, and the students should have a clear idea of the learning methods to introduce and provide necessary basic knowledge for fine arts design.

3. The printed materials for different courses can be either “integrated” or “separated”. “Integrated” printed materials combine basic teaching content and guided learning content into reference materials to create a modularized design. On the other hand, the “separated” printed materials connect and coordinate the content of dominant teaching materials and supporting teaching materials.

II. Audio-visual materials (including VCDs and DVDs)

Audio-visual materials play a key role in all the courses. They are a key channel for students to understand and master the teaching content. The focus of audio-visual materials for interior design majors should be on guiding the students in practical, hands-on activities.

III. CAI courseware (including online edition)

CAI courseware (computer-aided instruction software) helps to resolve and refine the content of printed materials. It helps students with practice and self-testing. CAI courseware can be used in both CD-ROM or online editions, making it adaptable to different learning conditions.

Introduction to specialized core courses

The curricula for interior design have been established according to the “simple-to-difficult principle”. The required foundation courses and specialized core courses are evenly distributed across each semester. Each course has its own allure, attracting the students to further learning and inspiring their creativity. At the same time, all the courses are closely related and complementary, creating a complete knowledge framework for the interior design major.

Foundation courses such as “Drawing” and “Still Life Painting in Color” have been prepared for students who are new to interior design and have a weak foundation in the arts. Through the two courses, the students can improve their perception and expression in terms of shape, colour and other elements. With this foundation, the students can then start to study core courses.

“Introduction to Design” thoroughly streamlines the specialized knowledge framework necessary for newcomers to interior design. As the students progress in their studies, they should possess a primary understanding of all of the types of knowledge involved in interior design, including schools of interior design, space design, design procedures and methods, colour and lighting, construction and management, and human engineering. The aforementioned factors are combined into an organic whole, thus fully preparing students for future study. The editor and lead teacher of “Introduction to Design” is Zhang Yue, deputy dean and associate professor of the Department of Environmental Art Design, Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University.

“Three Dimensional Construction” is a specialized foundation course for interior design. In addition to foundations such as drawing and colours, students must improve their aesthetic judgment of three-dimensional spaces. The course emphasizes experience and perception inside a research space. Learning can help students to develop creative thought in the three-dimensional space, and help them to start exploring form composition and spatial organization. The editor and lead teacher of “Three Dimensional Construction” is Guan Yunjia from the Department of Environmental Art Design, Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University.

The priority of the course “Art and Design Display” is to show students classic cases of interior decoration art design. The course analyses the features, styles, and characteristics of these case studies, establishing rules by studying the essence of classic and modern display arts in all countries to learn of the aesthetic value of display arts in modern life and their application in the modern interior environment. The course content deals with furniture, fabrics, daily necessities, lighting, paintings, sculptures, handicrafts, flower arrangement, green plants, and choices of various articles, as well as their matching and production methods. The editor and lead teacher of “Art and Design Display” is Li Sa, associate professor of the Department of Environmental Art Design, Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University.

“Interior Renderings” is a key course to transform abstract design thought into real-life designs. In addition to drawing and colours, the study of this course transforms the three-dimensional space in the mind into drawing expression. It is an important foundation for interior designers. The contents of the course include basic knowledge of expression techniques, categorized technique training, the relationship between expression techniques and design, and the integrated application of the above techniques. After studying the course, students will be able to create rough design drafts, and create renderings that almost look real. The editor and lead teacher of “Interior Renderings” is Cui Xiaosheng, associate professor of the Department of Environmental Art Design, Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University.

“Computer Aided Design” enables interior design with the help of design software such as binary imaging and three-dimensional modeling software. The course focuses on three kinds of design software, AutoCAD, 3DSMAX, and Sketchup, and their basic operation techniques and applications. Knowledge of this software is essential for students who plan to take jobs in interior design in the future, and enables the students to make a qualitative leap in their design expression ability. The editor and lead teacher of “Computer Aided Design” is Geng Xiaojie, associate professor of furniture design, School of Technology, Beijing Forestry University.

“Life Space Design” covers the design of everyday living spaces. The content of the course deals with the characteristics of living spaces and the requirements of human engineering, as well as the combined use of various design materials. It mainly covers the interior design of the living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, study, toilet, parking spaces, and storage spaces. Students will come away with a deep understanding of the various details of the home environment, and will be able to integrate their knowledge into their designs. The editor and lead teacher of “Life Space Design” is Su Dan, dean and professor of the Department of Environmental Art Design, Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University.

“Materials and Construction Technology” imparts engineering knowledge related to interior design. The main content of the course include the types and properties of interior decoration materials, as well as the specific construction technology related to interior design projects. The course enables students to use a variety of decoration materials, and grasp the expression of construction techniques in construction drawings. The editor and lead teacher of “Materials and Construction Technology” is Li Chaoyang, associate professor of the Department of Environmental Art Design, Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University.