Interior design is one of the most important aspects when considering moving into a new house, buying a new one, or having your house redecorated. A big house with a disorganized interior is a mess.
While creativity combined with a passion and an eye for aesthetics can go a long way in interior design, a formal understanding of its technical aspects is just as significant in turning the profession into a rewarding career. Interior design, after all, is considered both an art and a science, and it involves a great deal of planning, research, coordination, and management, among many other skills.
Not surprisingly, aspiring interior designers have a greater chance of success in this multi-faceted profession after receiving the best possible training and education. There is no shortage of schools offering interior design programs in the Philippines, and aspiring interior designers can undoubtedly learn their trade and hone their craft at some of the country’s leading educational institutions.
The Philippines boasts its own specialty schools, some of which have a significant influence on the local interior design industry.
1. Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID)
Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID), formerly known as Philippine Center for Interior Design, was established in June 1967 at Makati. The proprietors of Cancio-Calma Furniture encouraged Edith L. Oliveros, an interior designer who studied in the US, to create a certificate course program for interior designing. With the help of Architect Lor Carma and National Artist Napoleon Abueva, the curriculum was flourished and more subjects on designing were offered, giving birth to PSID. PSID believes that the artists have their own idea of creativity and it is the institution’s role to help them achieve their full potential by providing high-quality education, real-life training, and useful laboratory exercises.
Location: 2240 Chino Roces Ave., Makati City
Phone: (+632) 819 1197; (+632) 819 1201
2. Raffles Design Institute Manila
One of the 30 schools and universities in different countries under the Raffles Education Corp., Raffles Design Institute Manila’s tertiary programs include fashion design, marketing and management, visual communication, and, of course, interior design.
Providing a myriad of perspectives, Raffles’ Interior Design program begins every January, April, July, and October, and lasts a total of three years. The first two years are spent in the Makati campus, while the final year is spent abroad, either in the Sydney, Singapore, Bangkok, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, or Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) campus of Raffles.
Location: #1009 Metropol Building, Metropolitan Avenue, Makati City, Philippines
Phone: (+632) 890 08 60; (+632) 890 08 61 (fax)
3. SoFA Design Institute
Inaugurated in 2007 as the School of Fashion and the Arts, SoFA Design Institute is considered the Philippines’ first specialized design college. In 2010, it expanded its range of academic design programs to include interior design, spearheaded by its Bachelor of Science in Interior Design offering, which is fully accredited by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
Apart from the extensive degree program, SoFA also offers interior design certificate programs, individual courses, and workshops. These cover aspects such as the history of interior design, graphics, and visual techniques.
Location: G/F Enzo Bldg., 399 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City, NCR, Philippines 1209
Phone: (+632) 478 4611 or 22
4. University of the Philippines Diliman
The country’s premier state university, the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman has topped the Interior Designer Licensure Examination for the past few years; it even had a 97 per cent pass rate in 2015. The university’s Interior Design program provides a broad general education and specialization, where students learn to design, history of art, furniture construction, soft furnishings, and aesthetics.
Also taught in UP’s Interior Design program are the socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental aspects of daily living. Here, students use their understanding and expertise to shape and treat space to meet the needs of individuals, families, and institutions. The university also offers a Master of Interior Design program.
Location: Roxas Ave, Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Phone: (02) 8981 8500
5. Polytechnic University of the Philippines
One of two programs offered under the Polytechnic University of the Philippines’ (PUP) College of Architecture and Fine Arts, which is located in its Santa Mesa campus, the university’s Bachelor of Science in Interior Design is a four-year program where students gain professional experience and hands-on training through internships, group projects, independent studio projects, community service, and research undertakings.
According to FindUniversity.ph, PUP ranks third among interior design schools in the Philippines in terms of the student pass rate in the Interior Design Licensure Examination; an average of 77 per cent of graduates from PUP pass the licensure exam every year.
Location: Anonas, Sta. Mesa, Maynila, Kalakhang Maynila
Phone: (02) 5335 1787
6. University of San Carlos Cebu
Ranking fourth in the Interior Design Licensure Exam in the Philippines with a 69 per cent pass rate for its first-time examinees, the University of San Carlos is the preferred school for aspiring interior designers not only from the Visayas region but also from the rest of the southern Philippines.
Alumni of the university and its interior design program have proceeded to have successful careers, some accomplishing newsworthy results. Many graduates have proceeded to extend their careers into fashion and product design. Examples of newsworthy accomplishments include a graduate being chosen to develop the interior of one of the city’s latest elite hotels, and another garnering acclaim for green designs.
Location: Gov. M. Cuenco Ave, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu
Phone: (032) 230 0100
7. Mapua Institute of Technology
Ranking fifth in the Philippines with its 66 per cent pass rate for its first-time takers of the Interior Design Licensure Exam, Mapua Institute of Technology is unsurprisingly one of the first schools that come to mind with regard to interior design. Its Interior Design program runs 12 quarters or four years and is designed to guide students in progressively assimilating the creative and technical aspects of the interior design profession combined with cultural sensitivity. The course in Mapua covers professional practices like general interior design, furniture and accessories design, and visual merchandising, to name a few disciplines.
Location: 658 Muralla St, Intramuros, Manila, 1002 Metro Manila
Phone: (02) 8247 5000
8. University of Santo Tomas
The Philippines’ oldest university boasts a 61 per cent pass rate for first-time takers of the Interior Design Licensure Examination. Overall, it is one of the most decorated schools in the country. UST’s Bachelor of Science in Interior Design program is designed to develop foundational skills meant to prepare its students for the profession.
Among the program’s focuses are the studio and academic research in history, theory and methods in relation to the interdisciplinary approach to interior design. Apart from becoming an interior designer, resulting in career opportunities from the program include becoming a design consultant, a visual merchandiser, or a draftsman, among others.
Location: España Blvd, Sampaloc, Manila, 1008 Metro Manila
Phone: (02) 3406 1611
9. St. Scholastica’s College
With a 57 per cent pass rate for its first-time takers of the licensure exam, St. Scholastica’s College continues to rank among the top ten among universities in the Philippines that offer the interior design program. The Catholic Benedictine Educational College’s Interior Design program runs for the standard four years, with the simple aim of polishing the design skills of its students. Its learner-centred program embraces liberal arts education, while its advanced subjects include clusters in design competencies from designing single-unit spaces such as residences, to more elaborate and complex corporate requirements such as hotels, institutions, and other similar structures.
Location: 2560 Leon Guinto St, Malate, Manila, 1004 Metro Manila
Phone: (02) 8567 7686
10. Philippine Women’s University
The Philippine Women’s University (PWU) boasts one of the Philippines’ most extensive schools of fine arts and design, and with an average pass rate of 53 per cent, its graduates are also a constant in the top ten of first-time interior design licensure examinees.
PWU offers an undergraduate program in interior design, which runs for 10 trimesters (or 3.3 years). It is centred on planning, designing, specifying, supervising, and giving general administration to the functional, orderly, and aesthetic arrangement and development of buildings and residence interiors. The program’s main aim is to equip students with the skills to contribute to the promotion, enhancement, and safeguarding of life, health, and property.
Location: 1743 Taft Ave, Malate, Manila, 1004 Metro Manila
Phone: (02) 8526 8421
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