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Interior Architecture
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Wherever you are and whatever you do, you're in a space: in an apartment or in the hallway of a public building, in a station square or in a courtyard garden. As a spatial designer, you design spaces based on your ideas about their use, while also imagining how other people might experience them. Besides professional knowledge, creativity and a personal vision are also important. You will be introduced to all aspects of professional practice during the Interior Architecture course. You will learn to devise concepts and learn all kinds of craft skills. But you will also develop your creativity, your capacity for self-reflection and a personal perspective on the relationship between space and user.  

Surrounded by other art courses 

On the interior architecture course at ArtEZ in Zwolle, you will be studying in a multidisciplinary environment with other art courses. This will give you plenty of opportunity to arouse your creativity and broaden your outlook. In joint projects, you will learn how to collaborate successfully and how to complement and enrich each other. This is an important preparation for professional practice, as spatial designers increasingly work together in interdisciplinary teams with architects and environmental psychologists, for example. 

Course structure

  • A broad foundation 

    The first two years of the Interior Architecture bachelor course are aimed at breaking down preconceived ideas about the profession and at developing craft and design skills. This takes place in continuous interaction between making, thinking and research. You will follow various practical and theoretical subjects such as the study of form, space, object, drawing, philosophy and reflection on architecture. In addition, you will take workshop courses and a course in digital media.   

    In the first year of the Interior Architecture bachelor course, you will also spend a week on a study trip to Berlin, along with all the other first-year students of the Academy of Art & Design in Zwolle, a number of lecturers and some mentor students from the second year. There you will immerse yourself in the city and its history and visit museums, art spaces and artists' projects. You will also go on regular study trips in the second and third years. For example, you will visit projects by architects or inspiring exhibitions in museums. In addition, you will visit a number of agencies in the Netherlands, who will give lectures on their visions, working methods and assignments. You will prepare a number of questions in advance.  

    Do you want to go into your subject in greater depth? In the first year, you can also apply for the Honours Programme as a supplement to the theoretical programme of your own bachelor course. 

  • Personal profile 

    After the broad foundation of the first two years, the third and fourth years of the Interior Architecture course are increasingly about defining and occupying your own position as a designer within the broad discipline of interior architecture. In the third year, you will work on a 'personal window’. You will also start thinking about the theme of the thesis you will write in your fourth year. You will take subjects such as interior design, design history, research and entrepreneurship. From February, you will do an internship.  

    In the final year of the course, you will focus mainly on your individual course curriculum and your graduation project, in which we will challenge you to identify and push back your own boundaries and those of the discipline. You will formulate your own graduation assignment, with the aim of anticipating the questions of tomorrow; not primarily to be innovative but as a response to a new reality.  

    All fourth-year students of the Interior Architecture bachelor course show their work at the ArtEZ finals

What will you learn on the Interior Architecture course?

  • The Interior Architecture course at ArtEZ in Zwolle is characterised by the high level of craftsmanship and constant interaction between research, thinking and making. The starting point is often a challenging assignment from a real or fictitious client. For example, you might start with research, then make and experiment, think, reflect and do further research before using the results in the making process. During your course, you will make a lot of things at life-size.  

    Sometimes you will work individually, sometimes in a group. You will often complete an assignment by presenting the work and the work process. Examples of work that may be discussed during a presentation include: 

    • An A3 book with drawings and analysis  
    • A 1:50 scale model  
    • An A1 poster with relevant drawing or photos explaining the plan; 
    • A 1:1 detail (in cardboard).  

    In a world that is constantly changing, as a designer you have to be able to relate to new questions again and again. It is not enough to design a beautiful product or a space that says something about today. Today is almost over and the unknown is already presenting itself. Anticipating the questions of tomorrow calls for spatial designers whose work is based on an inquisitive and open attitude. During the course we will therefore be challenging you to identify and push back your own boundaries and those of the discipline. 

  • At various times during the practical classes there will be opportunities to discuss work as a class. Where relevant, we make connections with theory. There are also regular group discussions which emphasise reflection and forming an opinion.  

    In addition to the practical subjects, the timetable includes theoretical subjects such as design history, reflection on architecture, philosophy and ThinK. In ThinK, you will become acquainted with existing views on art and design. You will get to know the artist and designer in different periods and roles: as a craftsman, researcher, scientist and entrepreneur. In this way, you will develop an understanding of your own position as a spatial designer within the broad professional field of interior architecture. 

  • During projects such as Winterlab and Summerlab, you will collaborate with students on other ArtEZ art courses in Zwolle. You will also gain practical experience with clients and those carrying out the work.   

  • We encourage an entrepreneurial attitude by giving students responsibility for joint trips, projects, events and lectures. 


In the second semester of the third year, you will do an internship for at least five months that reflects your personal interests and ambitions within the discipline. Some choose internships with an architecture practice, others prefer to work at the studio of an autonomous artist. You can also do an internship abroad. The ArtEZ Education and Quality department can support you in this, for example by helping you with an application within the Erasmus programme.  

During the internship at our company the student demonstrated exceptional adaptability, responsiveness, creativity and ability to self-direct the work that was entrusted to her. As a great listener and resourceful problem-solver she had been able to take on board a wide range of tasks and deal with them with equal success. 



Our students have done internships with firms including:  

  • Studio Inamatt 
  • Studio Groen+Schild 
  • Krijn de Koning 
  • IMArchitecten 
  • D/Dock 
  • Moriko Kira 
  • Olll Architecten 
  • Moke Architecten 
  • Zenber Interieurarchitectuur 
  • Skets 
  • OTH 
  • Rietveld Architects New York 
  • Studio Libeskind Zürich 

The internship complements the curriculum. Within the walls of the academy, the focus is on you. Here you get the space to experiment, discover new things and make mistakes. During the internship, other personal skills come to the fore: for example, how do you take initiative within an organisation? How do you fit in at an agency without losing your independence? And how do you deal with clients?  
You will learn to apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired in practice and familiarise yourself with the professional field. You will receive supervision from the course during a number of contact days.  


  • Winterlab. Winterlab is an annual one-week project in January. During the Winterlab, working with students from Music in Education, Theatre in Education and the other courses within ArtEZ Academy of Art & Design, you will look for answers to current social issues, for example around a disadvantaged neighbourhood. The Winterlab projects are supervised by artists.  
  • VOID. During interdisciplinary projects in the gap between the semesters, VOID, you will work on assignments from external clients with students of the Interior Design Associate degree for two weeks. Previous examples include an assignment from the municipality of Apeldoorn for homeless young people and a conference room for the Executive Board. 
  • Exchange programme: ArtEZ encourages students to spend some time studying or doing an internship abroad. There are various exchange programmes you can participate in, such as the Erasmus+ programme and the Holland Scholarship. During your classes at ArtEZ, you may also come across students from foreign academies who are on exchange with us. 


The Interior Architecture bachelor is located in the elegant renovated Sophia building in Zwolle, in an inspiring environment with various courses in the field of visual arts, theatre and design. The Interior Architecture course has its own teaching rooms. In the VR room you can walk through your own designs virtually.
You can also make use of various workshops in the Sophia building: 

  • Digital workshop with photography, video, animation and editing rooms and workstations for general computer instruction. There are also professional printing machines in this workshop and paper is for sale; 
  • Graphics workshop, mainly focused on analogue printing techniques such as screen printing, typesetting, etching, electrolytic etching, lithography, relief printing and semi-digital riso printing. You can also take short courses in bookbinding and typesetting here; 
  • Spacious workshop with woodworking, metalworking, ceramics and plastics facilities; 
  • Theory workshop/library. Here you can consult analogue and digital theoretical collections and make use of silent areas for study. There are librarians on hand to help you with search strategies.   

In the workshops, you can work on assignments and projects yourself. You will also take short courses there as part of your course, in which you will become acquainted with materials, techniques and other possibilities.  

Course supervision 

The Interior Architecture bachelor is a small-scale course: we take on a maximum of 25 students a year. This makes everything very accessible. In addition to regular classes, you will have a lot of individual contact with the lecturers during the contact hours. In addition, you can always get in touch with your mentor if you have any questions, doubts or wishes. If you would like a strictly confidential conversation, you can contact our student counsellor.   

Studying in Zwolle 

You can find more information about studying in Zwolle here