In many interior design programs you will study a combination of industry-specific topics and general subjects, such as math or finance.
History of Interior Design
Some programs may require you to take a course in the history behind your future profession. In a class of this type you will learn about past design styles and influential individuals in the world of interior design. Some history classes even go as far back as to teach students about the evidence of design and pattern that archaeologists have found in prehistoric caves! You will study architecture, such as that of the Greeks and Romans; elements of Byzantine and Romanesque design; and the influence of Arabic and Islamic design. You might also study construction techniques, such as those used in Gothic cathedrals; features of more recent design, such as American Georgian, Colonial, and Federal design; and the major elements of design styles used throughout Britain and the United States, such as Victorian.
Drawing for Interiors
Most programs contain a course or two that teaches students about the basic principles and vocabulary of the industry. You will start learning about how to draw for interiors by studying the use of lines, lights, and textures and gaining an appreciation for texture and precision. You will learn how to incorporate bubble/conceptual diagrams in your designs, employ the notion of perspective drawing, and use both the one- and two-eyeball perspective in your drawings. You might also practice enhancing your drawings using the overlay method and creating presentation boards that you can present to clients. Over the course of this class or series of classes you will move from playing around with drawing for fun to creating highly-detailed and refined plans. Even if you are not naturally a proficient drawer you should practice so that you can use your skills in a professional setting.
Math/Finance for Business
If you are thinking of becoming an interior designer you will have to learn how to do basic calculations that you might use in accounting or finance, especially if you become a self-employed designer. But even if you are not, you will need to set budgets for clients and determine how much different amounts of materials will cost. Thus, you might take a basic math class so that you can learn about using percentages and discounts, calculating interest, and analyzing monetary amounts. You might also learn about how to price merchandise and how to make purchases in installments, how to make investments, and how to use statistics. You might also learn about depreciation, insurance, and other formulas and equations.
The use of color is an essential part of interior design. As such, you will need to spend time learning about how colors interact with each other and how you can best capitalize on these interactions when it comes to art and design. Instructors will train you in how to use color spheres and wheels, incorporate your knowledge of color theory into your professional work, and use color in many different types of projects. You might also study the various components of light as well as how important color is as one aspect of light. You might also learn about how to draw inspiration from the colors around you in nature and different cultures.