Interior Space Planning and Design


To promote lifelong educational goals of learners, to provide comprehensive interior design education of the highest quality, to foster our connections with partners in the interior design community, to provide access to employment opportunities, and to be responsive to the growth of community and needs of the interior design profession.


The interior design program will strive to maintain the highest quality of interior design education, for its students and faculty.  The interior design curriculum challenges students to think creatively and critically towards a degree. 

What is an Interior Designer?

The Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA, formally FIDER) states that “the professional Interior Designer is qualified by education, experience and examination to enhance the function and quality of interior spaces for the purpose of improving the quality of life, increasing productivity, and protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public.”

Sample Portfolio #1

Sample Portfolio #2

Student Project #1 - Beauteaful You

Student Project #2 - eXpresso

Student Project #3 - Fresh Pressed

Student Project #4 - Sirens Melody

Neocon Trip presentation to HBIA


Advanced Certificate of Applied Science – Environmental Design Studies

Associate of Arts – Study option of Interior Space Planning and Design



An interior designer deals with the functional and aesthetic qualities of spaces inside buildings.  Some of the career opportunities are:

  • Interior Designer in a firm, commercial or residential
  • Specialized design, such as health care, hospitality, or retail
  • LEED certified designer
  • Self-employed interior designer and space planner
  • Lighting designer
  • Staging for real estate sales
  • Sales and merchandising for interior design products
  • CAD designer
  • Retail furniture store designer and salesperson
  • In-house designer for builder or developer
  • Manufacture’s sales representative    

Interior Space Planning and Design - Program of Study

The Associate of Arts (A.A.) is a general transfer degree. Completion of an A.A. degree indicates the student has completed a course of study equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree. A.A. students do not officially include a major or minor, however, students do complete a 22 credit program of study option.  The program of study option in Interior Space Planning and Design provides a distinct curriculum with a career oriented approach which will allow students to obtain both technical, applied skills, as well as knowledge in the general education core to be able to transfer to a baccalaureate level program. Option coursework includes the fundamentals of design, space planning, material selection and specifications relating to both residential and commercial design, CAD skills, and codes and regulations and portfolio. 

Minimum Requirements for an A.A.

  • Completion of 60 semester credit hours, 15 credits of which are at 200 level
  • Completion of 36 credits in General Education, 22 credits in a Program of Study
  • An overall GPA of 2.25 upon completion of the degree.
  • A grade of “C-“or higher in each course in the program of study option.

Required core:

IDSN 101 Introduction to Interior Design

ARTZ 105 Visual Language-Drawing


  • ANTY 101Anthropology and the Human Experience
  • ENST 230 Nature and Society

Program of Study Option (22 cr)

IDSN 135 Beginning Space Planning (3 cr)

IDSN 240 Residential Studio (3 cr)

IDSN 250 Commercial Studio (4 cr)

IDSN 120 Materials and the Environment (3 cr)

IDSN 125 Lighting the Environment (3 cr)

DFT 150 CAD 2D (3 cr)

IDSN 230 Interior Architectural CAD (3 cr)

Advanced Certificate-Environmental Design Studies

The Environmental Design Studies Advanced Certificate provides a distinct curriculum that further supports interior design education.  The Advanced Certificate’s focus on environmental design materials, building products, specifications, codes and regulations, and knowledge of the LEED process (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) will be vital throughout studio courses.  In addition, there are courses in history relating to materials, building products and design.   After the completion of the Associate of Arts and the Advanced Certificate in Environmental Design Studies, a student will be prepared to successfully compete for jobs in interior design, environmental design and related fields.    The Advanced Certificate requires the completion of the Associate of Arts with a study option in Interior Space Planning and Design.

Associate of Arts and the Advanced Certificate in Environmental Studies

IDSN 110              History of Furniture and the Arts                               3

IDSN 111              Modern Furniture and the Arts                                  3

IDSN 252              Corporate Studio                                                      4

IDSN 255              Environmental Design Studio                                    4

IDSN 275              Professional Practices                                               3

IDSN 298              Internship                                                                 1-3

Note:  Students must earn a C- or better in design core courses.  Refer to the Helena College catalog for placement testing and prerequisite requirements.  A department advisor may approve transfer credits from other institutions to satisfy degree requirements.

For more information, contact:

Karen Raphael-Conley, IIDA
Office: 406-447-6373
Cell: 425-330-7481

Neocon trip 2015

Design students/HBIA student members at Neocon, Chicago, Ill. June 2016


Helena College Chat