The Royal College of Art is planning to reinstate its interior design MA, two years after absorbing the offering into its architecture course.
‘The RCA is acknowledging the importance of interior design and the diversity of design disciplines,’ says Land Design Studio creative director Peter Higgins.
RCA interior design course alumnus Callum Lumsden says, ‘The RCA made a serious mistake by merging the two courses, so this is extremely good news. The RCA just needs someone to head it up now.’
The new interior design course is currently earmarked to return to the School of Architecture, led by Professor Nigel Coates, who was responsible for renaming the interiors course ‘Architecture’in 2005.
Former RCA interior design course head Dinah Casson reports that she is ‘delighted’ by the news. ‘The RCA has always valued interior design, but decided to subsume it in architecture. Now it is a question of extracting it and giving it its own identity,’ she says.
Higgins is enthusiastic about the possibility of the course returning to the School of Architecture, despite it being led by Coates. ‘Nigel [Coates] has always talked about the narrative of the built environment, and interior design being a parallel activity to architecture,’ he says.
The college is also introducing a new MA in design writing, likely to be part of the School of Humanities, and a new systems and services course, which will probably be part of the School of Design for Production. Introducing the new courses is part of rector Professor Christopher Frayling’s legacy to his replacement Paul Thompson, who takes over in September.
RCA Helen Hamlyn Centre director Jeremy Myerson says, ‘The new course launches will be quite complicated, as we are still working on the new Battersea development. It will take some time to liberate space in the original RCA building, so I doubt that the courses will all launch simultaneously.’
The courses could start launching in the next two years, with planning for the syllabuses for all three starting this September. They will be planned by the various appropriate heads of school, along with senior management and the registry.
- The Royal College of Art’s new interior design, service design and design writing courses will be funded from the college’s usual sources
- The RCA’s annual income is £29m, 60% of which comes from the Government