February 7, 2020

Master of Arts in Interior Architecture (MAIA)

Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD)

Various projects. Design: Interior Architecture students. © HEAD – Genève, Baptiste Coulon, Emily Bonnet, Michel Giesbrecht.

Interior spaces are nowadays laboratories of modernity. Whether it is through renovation projects, commercial spaces or art installations, the interiors have become an endless arena for experimenting with cultural, social and environmental agendas that transform the contemporary condition from within.

The Master of Arts in Interior Architecture MAIA is a 2-year professional programme that prepares its students to master the progressive diversification of interiors in the contemporary world, characterized by cross-disciplinary approaches, from design to visual art, from audio-visual culture to digital reality. The programme envisions Interior Architecture as the crossing point between the spaces, objects, and media that construct contemporary societies, addressing urgent issues such as environmental impact, renovation of existing heritage, spaces of shared economy and construction of inclusive communities. In reaffirming the central role of physical spaces, MAIA explores how Interior Architecture operates at the intersection between physical interiors and the parallel narratives of mediated interiors, such as those of publicity, cinema or online media.

Based in Geneva and driven by global ambitions, MAIA prepares its students to intervene in a human-centered reality with advanced technical training, extensive design practice and a humanistic education that helps them develop their critical thinking and engage in a profession that, through individual creativity, is always aware of its collective implications.

MAIA: Professional Projects
Full-size projects form the backbone of the course structure: MAIA students regularly work in cooperation with international designers on professional projects carried out for companies or institutions, leading to a professional career of international impact. The Interior Architecture department has an established reputation of regular collaborations with Salone del Mobile in Milan, Designers’ Saturday in Langenthal, HEAD’s catwalk Fashion Show in Geneva, and with brands such as Aesop, Hermès or USM.

*The programme will enable its diplomates to apply for registration on the Professional Register of Swiss Architects (REG A, Interior Architecture).

MAIA: Collaborations & Network
MAIA exposes its students to a network of influence and international impact. The programme includes permanent cooperation with the Joint Master of Architecture (JMA) of the schools of Geneva, Fribourg and Burgdorf, and with École Camondo in Paris. Beginning September 2020, the second edition of the programme features temporary collaborations with Volume Magazine and Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam.

MAIA: Curriculum
MAIA is organized into 4 thematic semesters that envision interior design as a multidimensional practice, articulating the diversity of objects, spaces and media that configure contemporary interiors via many methods and scales, from analogue to digital, and from local to global. The design studio is the core of the program, supplemented by technical courses and theory seminars, as well as interdisciplinary workshops that help students develop a bold and visionary new way of thinking, inspired by creativity and innovation.

MAIA #1: Objects, Space, Scenography
MAIA #2: Sustainability, Environment, Society
MAIA #summer*: Creative Residence, Leadership
MAIA #3: Heritage, Materiality, Digital Media
MAIA #4: Entrepreneurship, Personal Project


MAIA: Community
MAIA students work with a notable community of interior designers, architects, product designers, curators, filmmakers and experts from different disciplines, constructing interior spaces that are articulated with the parallel narratives of magazines, films, exhibitions or publications. This transversal approach creates an arena of experimental condition that proves challenging for teachers, students and real users.

Teachers & lecturers: Javier F. Contreras, Youri Kravtchenko, India Mahdavi, Bêka & Lemoine, Leonid Slonimskiy, Ciszak Dalmas, Fala Atelier, Line Fontana, Philippe Rahm, Forensic Architecture, Lilet Breddels, Simon Husslein, Kai Reaver, Marina Otero

Interviews from May 4 to 8 in Geneva.

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