The interior and product design workshops are the crucibles where different teachings converge. The school’s pedagogy favours synthesis and a prospective attitude, placing the student in a process which progressively mobilises all the phases of creation: analysis, conception, project development, representation and communication, execution. Its goal is to empower each student to master every aspect and temporality of a project’s complexity.
The experimentation process covers the formal and cultural exploration of spaces, structures and techniques. Creative competencies are assessed during workshops and multisiciplinary workshops focussing on a formal aspect of space and product, integrating video, information technology and communication. Students’ progress is assessed on their exploratory process rather than the result.
This unity brings together the teaching of the formal, cultural and technical knowledge and skills indispensable at each stage of the design process: construction and standards, the properties of materials and their use, the various types of drawing, technological developments in imagery, methodological knowledge, visual communication and representation of the project.
Teaching takes several forms, depending on pedagogical aims:
• Lectures for theoretical subjects
• Workshops for practical or project disciplines. This work is often supervised by several teachers to provide complementary points of view. Industrials, institutions, design manufacturers and retailers are teaching partners. They propose pedagogical subjects rooted in their professional reality.
• Experimental workshops for work at the interface of research and application. These continuous workshops interrupt all other subjects for several weeks at a time. Over a limited period, students, either alone or in teams and following modalities close to professional practice, address multidisciplinary subjects combining interior design and design, visual communication and formal conception
• Events: conferences, visits and study trips accompany the subjects, themes and problems covered. A trip is regularly organised as part of the third year interior design workshop: Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Copenhagen, etc.
Each student also has to produce a major body of personal work.
I - Initial, 3-year course
The first three semesters are devoted to discovery, learning through exercises, and the acquisition of fundamentals. The three following semesters initiate students to the project process, with the collaboration of exterior partners.
Examples of subjects: habitat (a loft conversion), commerce (an Yves Saint Laurent boutique), public amenity (a motorway service area), a dish drainer, a ball point pen, a heater, exploration of a material.
Diverse angles of approach and context are explored in colour, form, morphostructure, light workshops, and during the third-year workshops and study trip.
The various approaches to drawing (observation, life model, sketch, etc.) lead to the elaboration of a more personal language.
Technical skills are acquired through the practical study of structural constraints, the characteristics of materials, the production process and specific software, accompanied by theoretical courses in construction and technology.
The codes of descriptive geometry and perspective alternate with formal representation and visual communication.
The history courses provide an overall chronological framework then explore thematic questions in architecture and design. A writing workshop teaches the formulation of arguments and analysis.
II – Fourth and Fifth Years : autonomy
Students conduct all aspects of the project process on their own and define their personal standpoint regarding contemporary questions.
The fourth Year situates the in-depth development of a project within professional realities, which are often addressed in partnership with firms. Its covers a mixture of subjects with themes enabling a dual approach to space and product and encouraging personal initiatives. A theoretical reflection on a freely chosen subject is initiated in the Memory workshop.
The Fifth Year is The year of demonstration of competencies and assertion of critical and personal standpoints, culminating in the presentation of a dissertation and a personal project to a jury of internal and external examiners responsible for awarding the Ecole Camondo’s honours degree in interior and product design. The originality and pertinence of the work presented demonstrate intellectual and professional maturity. Students also present their response to a set subject, in interior design if their personal project belongs more to the product design sector, or design in the opposite case.
Recognition of the degree
The school’s training is also recognised by the France’s interior designer’s council, the Conseil Français des Architectes d’Intérieur (CFAI). After three years’ work experience with this professional qualification, the graduate can obtain this organisation’s ‘certification of competence’ and benefit from the advantages of the title of architecte d’intérieur CFAI.