Université de Montréal is a relative newcomer to the field of interior design: its first class graduated in 2001. Since then, the faculty of four full-time professors, along with some 20 adjunct professors, has built a strong research and theory-based foundation, and it has expanded its offerings to provide more hands-on experience with basic yet essential fabrication tools. Students are immersed in real-world scenarios that require multi-disciplinary collaboration. Delivered entirely in French, the three-year degree prepares them for the job market, or to pursue postgraduate studies at the School of Design.
Foundation courses are mostly academic, including those that take a historical look at interior design and architecture, in Quebec and beyond. In studio, students can acquire and hone problem-solving skills. This fall, Tiiu Poldma, one of the full-time professors, is leading a group of 12 students on a project to develop universally accessible design that will improve lives for an aging community north of the city. It involves working directly with the borough and neighbourhood stakeholders. Last winter, the central project involved developing emergency housing ideas for Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, with the final studio projects presented at SIDIM, Montreal’s annual interior design show. Real-world experience and exposure is what many students value most. “The faculty helps graduates find internships in third year,” says Jessica Rivière Gomez, former grad and founder of Index-Design, an industry guide that helps link Quebec talent with manufacturers. “It was a great opportunity and a great help.”
Location: 2900 Boulevard Edouard-Montpetit, Montreal
Program: Bachelor of interior design (BDI), three years
Tuition: $1,147 in Quebec, $3,515 elsewhere in Canada, $7,853 international
Notable alumni: Jessica Rivière Gomez (founder of Index-Design), Laurie Bedikian (co-founder of Samare), Frédéric Morin (designer at Inside Studio)
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