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Architecture d’intérieur
HEAD – Genève
Circularity and Interior Design – MAIA, apropå / Geneva, 2022 © HEAD – Genève

MAIA – Master of Arts in Interior Architecture

Interior Ecologies

The Master of Arts in Interior Architecture (MAIA) is a two-year graduate programme that explores interior architecture at the intersection of space, ecology and media. Space design is seen as multidimensional, articulating the diversity of interiors, environments and multispecies that configure reality on many paths and scales, from material to virtual, and from local to global.

MAIA addresses both the responses to contemporary environmental and societal challenges (circular economy, carbon footprint) and the implications of new ecological paradigms (post-human, more-than-human) for interior architecture as a discipline in all its professional dimensions, i.e. space design, product design, new media, research, and curatorial and editorial practices. The professional dimension of the programme includes full-scale project realisations and multidisciplinary training that explore new interior ecologies.

MAIA: Curriculum
The programme is structured over 4 semesters:

MAIA 1 – Glossaries: Sustainable, Post-human Interiors
MAIA 1 explores the glossaries that characterise contemporary ecology and their implications for interior architecture. From the postmodern concept of sustainability in the 1980s to that of the Anthropocene in the 2000s, and from the contemporary paradigms of the Post-human to the Post-natural and the Cthulucene in the 2010s, the semester is shaped by different modules that deal with the themes of Humans, Animals, Plants and Materials in interior spaces.

MAIA 2 – Assemblages: Technology, Objects, Media Interiors
MAIA 2 focuses on the entanglements between organisms, objects and technologies within the interior environments with which they interact. Considering any form of representation as architectural, from scenography to photography, and from product design to virtual spaces, the semester is practice-based around a core studio and media modules that shape the Master’s presence at the Milan Design Week.

MAIA 3 – Iterations: Research, Design, Multiscalar Interiors
MAIA 3 produces iterations of interiors in the plural, challenging the customary territorial focus by asserting that interior spaces construct multiscalar ecologies from within. The semester combines research and design to address urgent challenges such as humanitarian architecture, ephemeral heritage, and design politics. Students establish their intellectual agendas and individual graduation pathways, which will be further developed in semester 4.

MAIA 4 – Diploma: Professional Competences
The final semester of MAIA is centred around the final graduation project of each student. A core studio shapes the semester, complemented by core-skills seminars on professional competences (economy, marketing and communication) that will help shape students’ post-graduate life. Never in history has interior architecture produced so many spaces in which the human and the non-human (data centres, greenhouses, botanical installations, etc.) find themselves assembled in new configurations, calling for new ecosystemic action and thought.

* The language of the MA is English, with some classes in French.

Archipelago Architectures. MAIA – HEPIA / Geneva, multiple virtual locations, 2021 © HEAD – Genève, Michel Giesbrecht

MAIA: Professional Projects

MAIA students regularly work in cooperation with designers on professional projects carried out together with cultural institutions and economic partners, leading to a professional career of international impact. Similarly, the department is showcased in international exhibitions and research platforms, such as the Milan Design Week and The Future of Humanitarian Design – a research project focused on humanitarian policy and architecture developed in collaboration with the Geneva Graduate Institute and the University of Copenhagen. MAIA includes permanent cooperation with the Joint Master of Architecture (JMA) of the schools of Geneva, Fribourg and Burgdorf, and with École Camondo in Paris.

* MAIA enables its graduates to apply for registration on the Professional Register of Swiss Architects (REG A, Interior Architecture). * Study trips associated with HEAD – Genève’s permanent collaborations with JMA and École Camondo are not covered by the school.

* Explore the latest projects from the Interior Architecture Department on DIVISARE

Interior Ecologies. MAIA Graduate Show / Geneva, 2023 © HEAD – Genève, Guillaume Collignon
Herbarium of Interiors: A Milk Bar. HEAD MAIA with India Mahdavi & Youri Kravtchenko. Alcova Milan 2021 © HEAD – Genève, Michel Giesbrecht