See what this programme offers

Our curriculum frees the question of identity from the constraints of ‘interior vs. exterior’ by understanding that the Interior Designer is a conduit for spatial response to the human condition. The contrasting scale of interior interventions coupled with their interdisciplinary nature, forms the backbone of these responses and is crucial to the experience of the end user. Our curriculum is critical and definitive, both historically and contextually. We prepare students to enter professional practice armed not only with the knowledge to direct creation, but the ability to understand the craft of design.

Design education has evolved from its origins within a guild system to be both referential and experiential. By broadening precedents, we have levelled the hierarchical values associated with accepted role models. This increased exposure to a variety of precedents and practitioners instills an appreciation for a profession that distinguishes itself through collaborations with other disciplines.
Our students seek relevant design solutions that are free from the bounds of being identifiable typologies (restaurants, spas, residential interiors etc). These can be experiences that critique relevant socio-political issues, unique mixed-use typologies that juxtapose opposing functions, identifiable functions reimagined through the lens of contemporary theories and even pieces of furniture presented as a physical manifestation of an ostracized user group.


Third Semester
Course Code Course TitleCredit Hours
ID323Interior Design I6
ID326History of Interior Design I3
ID324Visual Communication I
(Technical Drawing and Presentation Techniques)
LA308Islamic and Pakistan Studies3
LA3136Visual and Material Cultures II3
 Total Credits  18


Fourth Semester
Course Code Course TitleCredit Hours
ID423Interior Design II6
ID420Materials and Assembly3
ID427Interior Structures and Systems3
ID424Visual Communication II
Module I: Digital Drawing
Module II: Photography
LALiberal Arts Elective3
 Total Credits  18


Fifth Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
ID523Interior Design IV6
ID635Perspectives on Interior Space3
ID631Introduction to Furniture Design3
LA612Research Methodologies3
LALiberal Arts Elective3
 Total Credits  18


Sixth Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
ID623Interior Design IV6
ID627Interior Structures and Systems3
ID631Introduction to Furniture Design3
LA612Research Methodologies
(Prerequisite for Final Research Paper)
LAGeneral Elective3
 Total Credits 18


Seventh Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
ID723Interior Design V6
ID719Adaptive Reuse and Beyond3
ID737Understanding Sustainable Strategies3
ID733Thesis I3
LA768Final Research Paper3
 Total Credits 18


Eighth Semester
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
ID833Thesis II12
ID829Professional Practice and Internship3
Total Credits  15

Total Credits Semesters 1-2: 36
Total Credits Semesters 3-8: 105
Total Credits required for a Bachelor of Interior Design degree: 141

Interior Design Studios

A sequence of studio courses provide conceptual and technical skills that enhance awareness of the built environment, engaging students with a diverse range of design challenges, From singular to multi-functional use, and across the public, private, and commercial realms. During the three years, each level of studio invites the students to weave narratives, explore non-spatial resources to respond with spatial solutions and approach the act of making and thinking as a continuous loop. The studio modules are designed for progressive complexity, conceptually, technically and programmatically; From residential to commercial use, From hospitality to sustainable environments, and to the adaptive reuse of spaces. Studios encourage a rigorous approach to design challenges that address conceptual, technical, contextual, cultural and social parameters.

Visual Communication I

From doing a quick sketch to producing comprehensive technical drawings, spatial plans, elevations, sections and fully rendered visuals of Interior spaces as well as model making, the ability to create a visual language and representations of design ideas is a critical skill for every designer. The use of both hand and digital drawing will be common in every student’s practice and is the most fundamental way of communicating design ideas. This course is aimed at the development of techniques and processes that enable students to develop, analyze, and convey spatial concepts to an external audience. While recognizing interrelationships with traditional design media, emphasis is placed upon freehand drawing, schematic diagramming, perspective sketching, color rendering, and graphic design techniques. Linking the eye, hand, and mind will be the ultimate concern in this class. By the end of this course, students are able to think visually and volumetrically, develop spontaneous and rapid visualizations, be familiar with design elements (i.e. space, line, shape, textures) and principals  (i.e. scale, proportion, balance, rhythm, emphasis, harmony, and variety) related to features of buildings and their interiors.

Visual Communication II and III

Building upon the foundation laid by Visual Communication I, students are then introduced to digital mediums of communication. They start with AutoCAD and then move to learning Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. They are also taught how to render plans, sections and elevations of their studio projects. They step into the realm of 3d representation via Google Sketchup, V-Ray and finally learn how to deliver a walkthrough in Lumion. All three courses go beyond just teaching skill. All assignments are designed to engage the students critically as well. Teachings for these courses are divided into two categories Tutorial Based Learning (TBL) and Reflective based learning (RBL). All live demonstrations for these courses help students achieve a basic understanding of techniques used to develop a visual framework for their design process. Students are expected to practice their learnings with the reflective method regardless of their sessions to fully explore the potential of the tools being taught.

History of Interior Design I

This course offers students an analytical overview of interior spaces and architecture by exploring the development of diverse styles and movements over time. Through a historical lens, it examines different design philosophies and principles, and the interconnected relationship between interior spaces, the decorative arts and buildings. The course starts From the ancient world of Classical Greece, and progresses through the ages up until the advent of Postmodernism in the late 20th Century. In this journey, the aim is to encourage students to learn and appreciate how design has developed and interacted with the world’s social, cultural and technological changes. 

It also provides students with a framework From which to build their visual knowledge base, and a means to accurately articulate their visual ideas and inspirations using correct precedents, references and terminologies. This course thus supports their training as future interior designers, and is closely tied with their studio courses.

Materials and Assembly   

It is often said that interior design is about space, however the ultimate experience of that space is determined not only by the visible and physical characteristics of materials used but, just as crucially, by the detailed assembly of these materials. Interior design depends on sound materials and efficient detailing.  Creative conceptual thinking requires creative practical application if the spirit of a project is to be successfully expressed in the finished space or product.  This course is an introduction to the basic materials used in interior design and how they might be used in conjunction with other materials, explored through technical details. All materials have certain specifications, which have implications for their applications, sustainability and life-cycle maintenance.  An understanding of these characteristics enables students to make appropriate material choices with references to their design intentions. Market surveys and site visits are conducted to introduce students to locally available materials. This allows them to possibly engage in the manufacturing process of materials and to witness their application in site settings. The technical detailing component enables students to provide detailed design solutions through systematic observation, research and analysis, expressed through graphic representation.

Interior Structures and Systems

The focus of this course is to inform and familiarize students about the construction and elements of the building shells within which interior designers operate as well as the associated environmental control systems.  The rigorous course of study imbues an in-depth understanding of the built environment that is essential to conceive and propose appropriate, viable, compatible, safe and environmentally responsible interior design solutions. Upon successful completion of this course, students are expected to identify different structural, environmental control and communication systems and appropriately integrate/intervene with existing or proposed new building systems.

Lighting and Acoustics

The first module of this course identifies lighting design as a key component of spatial design. A study of natural and artificial lighting, light measurements and luminaires is undertaken. Students learn about lighting requirements based on different building typologies and how the human eye perceives light in different environments. The course also looks at the physiological and psychological effects of good lighting design or lack thereof. Other than a theory component, various design and documentation exercises are introduced.  The second half of the course introduces acoustics, noise control and acceptable sound levels. The course also covers sound behavior, sound transmission loss, structure borne and impact sound, and the effect of interior materials and their absorption coefficients on indoor sound levels.

Introduction to Furniture Design 

Furniture design is a specialized field where form and function combine to provide unique design solutions that transform the spaces around us. Through this introductory course, students explore traditional and contemporary materials and manufacturing methods unique to the furnishing industry as well as those common in other fields. The course explores both the conceptual and structural issues involved in the design and construction of a project utilizing a range of techniques and materials commonly used to build furniture. An integral part of this course is to introduce students to the locally available and recycled materials for use within their designs. This course also equips students with the knowledge of the history of furniture, contemporary furniture trends, material & fabrication, conceptual drawing, AutoCAD, 3-dimensional drawings, drafting as well as model making. The course culminates in a design-build exercise where students construct a piece of furniture that they have designed themselves.

Perspectives on interior space 

This course investigates the role ideas play in the perception, conception, creation, and interpretation of space. Adopting a transdisciplinary methodology, the course will introduce students to carefully selected, themed texts, drawing From both western and eastern traditions, classical and contemporary sources, which will be used to engage more critically and intellectually with the practice of space making. The premise here is that a theoretical understanding of universal, contemporary cultural ideas should inform the practice of interior design, and vice versa. The selected themes for the course primarily speak to the patriarchal, western-centric, hetero-normative, ocular-centric cultural paradigm of our times. The carefully chosen texts for each topic present a counterpoint to this dominant narrative, suggesting alternative, multiple, inclusive and co-existing perspectives

The primary objective of the course is to encourage students to be more critically engaged, through reading, writing, thinking, making in a continuous loop, as an abiding design approach and life strategy. The first step in this direction will be to expose students to thematically chosen texts From across disciplines like sociology, philosophy, urban geography, anthropology, psychology, film studies, visual art, etc., that have spatial implications. The second step will be to actively use the textual ideas to seek that spatial connection through engagement with their private and public contexts. Ideas behind urban interiority suggest tangible and intangible connection between interior design and the urban landscape. This opening up of the city as a laboratory will allow a larger spatial canvas for the students to investigate and extend some of the received textual ideas.

Adaptive reuse and beyond

Built heritage is amongst the most rich and diversified manifestation of our common cultural heritage, formed over centuries of intervention in the landscape. It serves as a significant witness to human endeavors and aspirations. The story of adaptive reuse is interwoven with the history of ancient monuments and the development of policy for the preservation of heritage. Terminologies like conservation to restoration and From preservation to maintenance exist in multiplicity that explicate the roots of an emerging adaptive reuse practice. This course introduces the evolution of philosophies of interpreting and intervening in built heritage, the theories and their applications. The objective of this course is to understand Adaptive Reuse as a product of both practice & theory. Against the backdrop of a built heritage spanning over centuries, this study interprets the theories and methodologies that shape the idea of preservation & reuse through the examination of its place in history, its relationship to adjacent fields, its place within shifting norms of art, culture, climate, society and its typological differences. 

The interpretation stage sets the framework to critically investigate an existing building within the local city context through manual & digital methods and develop technical and spatial perspectives around them. Building on this qualitative and quantitative investigation, aesthetic, theoretical & spatial strategies are formulated to intervene within the existing architectural shells to assess the spatial transformative capabilities of these built structures that withstood time, not as a fragment but rather as part of a bigger urban fabric.

Understanding Sustainable Strategies

This course introduces students to sustainable design methods, with an appreciation of the complexities and nuances of the built environment towards a more responsible design process. By examining strategies to overcome the obstacles to sustainability, as well as identifying the benefits of integrated design and working within the constraints of available technology, today’s green design and building professionals concentrate on achieving the most practical solutions to environmental concerns. We live in a finite world with finite sources and so it has become incredibly important to become an empathetic interior designer who is informed about sustainable approaches to designing greener and safer interior environments. The ideal green interior space/ facility would have less to no negative impact on the environment, would use only sustainable or renewable resources, and all material components would be returnable to their manufacturer after the end of their useful life to be reused. Students explore these strategies mostly via case studies and build their technical vocabulary in relation to sustainable interior design processes and theories. An integral part of this course is to introduce students to the locally available eco-materials for use within their designs via field trip(s). This course will also equip the students with the knowledge of the softwares that are now available to aid in creating quicker, greener and more efficient interior environments.

Professional Practice and Internship

This course offers an overview of methods of planning and monitoring an interior design practice. Students are trained to prepare BOQs, office management systems, understand legal responsibilities including the vetting of contracts, and how to work with vendors, suppliers and contractors. In addition to equipping students with skills related to setting up a design studio or working as part of an established practice, it also sheds light on how to work within the contextual realities of Pakistan, where biases around gender, race, age and sexuality are still prevalent. The course also introduces various paths for further career development, affiliation with professional bodies, and understanding of local and international standards, bye laws and ethical responsibilities.

Thesis I & II

Thesis I & Thesis II is a two-part line of inquiry into the research and application of varying interior design themes and notions set over two semesters in the final year. During Thesis I, students develop an independent introspective led research into interior environments. A multi-disciplinary starting point, stemming From the student’s personal interests is encouraged (philosophy, folklore, cinema, fine arts, advertising, technology, literature, psychology, cartography, natural sciences, for instance) that is peripheral to interior design in order to arrive at theses that are individually idiosyncratic and add to our collective understanding of space in new and useful ways. Through guided readings, critical research and group discussions the students are encouraged to find a spatial connection to their area of interest, arriving at a trans-disciplinary thesis research question by the end of this semester, which may then be applied to interior design environments in the fall semester. A research methodology statement helps clarify the relevance and appropriateness of their research methods to their research questions. After conducting primary and secondary research, students arrive at a function, which can either be housed in a shell or realized through a product. 

In Thesis II, students then seek relevant design solutions with sound contextual understanding. This design solution is free From the bounds of being an identifiable typology. It can be an experience that critiques relevant socio-political issues, a unique mixed-use typology that juxtaposes opposing functions, an identifiable typology/function reimagined through the lens of philosophy and even a product or a piece of furniture presented as a physical manifestation of an ostracized user group.


This training component introduces students to the profession through an internship at a design firm. These range From architectural practices, interior design firms to experts in visual merchandising, production designer, art directors and furniture designers to name a few. Students are required to spend at least 6 weeks at the same firm after the fifth and seventh semesters. Our students have interned at ASA - Arshad Shahid Abdulla, Najmi Bilgrami Collaborative, Naheed Mashooqullah Studio for Interior Design and Architecture, Identity Design Studio, Design Options, Copper & Steel, Co-Design, Alavi Designs, Arif Haider Design Works, MSA Lahore, Faisal Arshad + Partners Islamabad and many more.

Seminars, Documentary Series, and Workshops Seminars, screenings, invited lectures, and workshops are held throughout the year and are an integral part of the four-year degree programme.

Seminars, Lectures and Workshops 

Seminars, guest lectures and workshops are held throughout the year and are an integral part of the four-year degree programme. Over the past three years, the department has hosted multiple seminars, lectures and workshops. A three day seminar celebrating the late Danish Azar Zuby’s fifty years of practice titled, “50 years of DAZ”, was held in spring 2022. The very first inter-departmental workshop on Production Design has been conducted by Aarij Hashimi and Ariaana Khan two years in a row, spring 2023 and 2024. The workshop was followed by a jury and panel discussion. The panel included Sanam Saeed, Ayesha Omar, Deepak Perwani, Maheen Khan, Saqib Malik, Tanya Mirza, Nabil Hasan and Mo Azmi. The department’s faculty arranges guest speakers throughout the programme to expose students to diverse practices, both locally and internationally.  Guest speakers include Farhan Mehboob, Pallavi Dean, Ali Asghar Alavi, Danish Azar Zuby (late), Moyena Niazi, Viviana Dionisio, Aarij Hashimi, Arthur Mamou Mani, Markus Berger and Fadi Sarieddine to name a few.

Study Trips

Study trips are geared to promote the academic, professional, and spiritual growth of students. Some recent faculty-led trips include visits to Ranikot Fort, Sehwan Sharif, Moen-Jo-Daro, Larkana, Jamshoro and Hyderabad. In the spring of 2023, the department organized a collaboration with Lawrence College, Murree. Students spent days measuring and documenting the landmark chapel on campus.

Materials Industry Trips

These trips have been integrated as a permanent segment of the curriculum for courses such as Materials and Assembly, Introduction to Furniture Design and Understanding Sustainable Strategies. Students also visit construction sites, furniture workshops, tile factories; to name a few, Zahra Ebrahim (furniture workshop), Patex etc.


To instill awareness in students about interior design being an inclusive vocation, the department takes inter-departmental collaborations very seriously. The department has successfully collaborated with the Department of Fine Art (Spring 2022), the Department of Textile Design (Fall 2023) and the Department of Architecture (Spring 2023) in various design exercises including design-build projects. Outside the school, the department has collaborated with the Pakistan Maritime Museum, the Tabeer e Nau Residency and NED University of Engineering and Technology creative practice and education.

Message from the Head of Department

Mohammad Usman Ansari
Head, Department of Interior Design

Globally, Interior Design is a formalized practice that, while proliferating exponentially, is still an emerging field within the local landscape. Educating aspiring designers in this evolving context is an immense opportunity, for practice and pedagogy alike.

Within the design studio and beyond, students are taught to look further than the required understanding of building envelope and structure, environmental systems, materials, furnishings, contemporary theories, reuse, lighting, acoustics, and digital technology. The program encourages a research-driven, context-sensitive, user-centered, and energy-conscious approach to the design of interior spaces. Our curriculum continues to evolve to draw from one of the key characteristics of the profession itself; its ability to bridge other design disciplines such as Communication Design, Fine Art, Textile Design and Architecture. 

We are committed to taking advantage of our setting at IVSAA to inculcate an environment of collaboration and produce graduates who can better inform the practice as it evolves in the current context, locally and internationally. 

Department Faculty & Staff

Wafa Ali
Assistant Professor
  • Bachelors of Arts in Interior Design
Mohammad Usman Ansari
Assistant Professor and Head of Department
  • M.Arch, Tulane University, New Orleans, USA
  • B.Arch., Tulane University, New Orleans, USA
  • PMP (Project Management Professional) training and accreditation, PMI, USA
  • PCATP ID: A03225
Mahwish Ghulam Rasool
Assistant Professor
  • M.Arch, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan
  • B.Arch., NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan
Arif Haider
Assistant Professor
  • B. Arch, IVS, Pak
  • PCATP ID: A08430
Syed Zain Hasan
Assistant Professor
  • (BA Hons) Interior Architecture and Design, University of Hertfordshire, UK
Ali Asghar Alavi
  • Masters Interior Design, University of Westminster, London UK
  • B. Arch, Indus Valley School of Arts & Architecture, Pakistan.
  • PCATP ID: A03135
Ayesha Bilal
  • B.Arch., Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi, Pakistan
Bisma Sami Askari
  • B. Arch, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, PAK
Hina Pasha
  • B. Arch, IVS, Karachi, PAK
Khizer Laghari
  • M.SC in Architecture, Landscape and Archaeology La Sapienza,
  • University of Rome,EMJMD Scholar 2021
  • B.Arch Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (2016)
Rafi Ahmed
  • MA. Arch. Washington University
Rafia Dadi
  • B. Arch, NED, Pak
  • PCATP ID: A02678
Natasha Ghani
  • MA in Architectural History Bartlett School of Architecture University College London UK
  • B. Arch, IVS, Pak
  • PCATP ID: A02955
Zainab A. Khokher
  • B. Arch, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture,
  • Certificate in Lighting Design, The Design Ecademy, Surry, England
  • PCATP ID: A02690
Omar Omari
  • Master of Arts in Three-Dimensional Design, UCA Rochester, Rochester, UK
  • B.Arch. Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Pak
Quratullain Poonawala
  • B. Arch, IVS, Pak
  • PCATP ID: A03515
Ubaid Ibrahim
  • Masters of Science in Architecture,
  • Eindhoven University of Technology | Netherlands
  • B.Arch. Bahçeşehir University (BAU) | Turkey
Saeeda Yousuf
Academic Programme Officer
Amir Shahzad
  • Technical Staff