Bachelor of Interior Design (Commercial) | Billy Blue
Billy Blue College of Design
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Bachelor of Interior Design (Commercial)

Billy Blue College of Design

In today’s connection economy, brands are looking to create immersive and unique environments that connect with their consumers. Bachelor of Interior Design (Commercial) gives you the skills and creativity to respond and adapt to the ever-changing drivers of commercial environments such as retail stores and exhibitions, hotels, bars, restaurants, night clubs, workspaces and even the design of online virtual commercial environments.

Throughout your study, you will engage with the theoretical and practical elements of commercial interiors – branding, lighting, sustainability and materiality. You will discover how commercial interior design strategies are developed and assessed and explore how commercial interiors can engage an audience. You will make commercial environments a reality through documentation, contract management, professional design practice and cross-disciplinary interaction. You will also have the opportunity to apply theory to practice by creating a range of commercial interior design solutions for real clients.

Graduate with the valuable skills to create state-of-the art commercial interiors. Digital technology is a strong focus of this course, as not only will you will engage with contemporary theory, but also learn how to represent spatial environments, and communicate information relevant to designing, costing, evaluating, and constructing commercial interiors using industry standard software. You can also apply for an internship with one of Billy Blue’s industry partners giving you real-world experience, key contacts in the interior design industry and material for your professional portfolio.

Careers in commercial interiors

  • Commercial interior designer
  • Resort designer
  • Brand strategist
  • Furniture and joinery designer
  • Retail designer
  • Branded environment designer
  • Restaurant designer
  • Commercial design journalist and editor
  • Innovative workplace designer



Study Options – Domestic Australian students

Full-time Blended*

Part-time Blended*

*Blended (face to face on campus plus facilitated online)

Study options – Overseas students

Full-time Blended*

*Blended (face to face on campus plus facilitated online)

Start Dates

See Key Dates below

Course Length

Full-time: 3 years (accelerated 2 years)

Part-time: 4-6 years (depending on study load)

Entry Requirements

Year 12 equivalent with ATAR 60.

For international applications IELTS 6.0 (Academic) with no skills band less than 5.5

Special Entry Requirements:

Demonstrated ability to undertake study at this level:

  • Work experience, and/or other formal, informal or non-formal study attempted and/or completed, OR

  • Design portfolio (6-10 pieces of original creative work)

Finance Options - Domestic Australian students


For full fee paying students, payment options are also available.

Course study requirements

Each subject involves 10 hours of study per week, comprising 3 timetabled study hours and 7 personal study hours (which may include a facilitated online component).


Practical assignments, research projects, presentations


Sydney Campus

Brisbane Campus

Melbourne Campus

Perth Campus

Delivered by

Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University Australia

Accrediting body

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)

CRICOS Course Code


Key Dates

2016/17 course dates for all Billy Blue classes held at our Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane campuses.

Start Dates Census Dates Last Day Breaks
Mon 20 Feb 2017 10 Mar 14 May 15 May - 4 Jun
Mon 05 Jun 2017 23 Jun 27 Aug 28 Aug - 17 Sep
Mon 18 Sep 2017 6 Oct 10 Dec 11 Dec - 18 Feb

Billy Blue may offer mid-term intakes throughout the year which are subject to availability. For more information please speak with one of our course and career advisors on 1300 66 11 11

COURSE SUBJECTS - commercial interior design

The study of the history of major design and art movements and their practices enables the students to identify important and significant turning points and milestones influencing Interior Design, in addition it informs and augments their own design practice and outcomes. In this subject students will study and critically analyse milestones in art and design that have significantly influenced applied design as a profession and as a discipline. This study will help them develop their understanding that ideas, events and visual techniques are interrelated in the context of history and current practice.

This subject examines the way design ideas are generated. Students will explore concepts of assimilation, synthesis and transformation Design and will develop an understanding of reflective design practice. A foundation language of experimentation, risk-taking and problem solving is introduced, combined with theories of ideas generation and their transformation into a design outcome. In addition, students will investigate a variety of methods and techniques to understand design innovation through individual and group exploration and analysis.

This subject examines perspectives on models of practice relevant to Interior Design. It examines design practice in response to changing needs and requirements of clients and design briefs. It also explores the strategies used for expressing ideas, and the design skills required to communicate them. The purpose of the subject is for students to gain knowledge in foundation level design practice relevant to Interior Design. The design process workflow from original idea to review of work in progress, revision, presentation and reflection is explored.

This subject investigates the evolution of interior design, post 1800. It explores major art and architectural movements throughout history and the development of contemporary design and interior design by investigating significant turning points and milestones in Interior Design. This subject will focus on developing the students' understanding of the complexities of designing an area (e.g. bathing, sleeping, food preparation, reception desk, workspace etc.) within a spatial environment whilst identifying and incorporating sustainable design practice- not only in materials and technologies but also in the longevity and adaptability of the final design solution. Students will integrate their research and knowledge of environments, identifying design related and environmental imperatives in the realisation of design briefs.

This introductory subject places design process and practice within the context of a chronological survey of major historical eras of influence. Students are encouraged to engage with the historical socio-political movements influencing design trends of each era through research and reflection. Academic skills (research, referencing, essay writing, and sentence structure) and design software skills are taught in weekly lessons. Students use the academic and software skills to document historical research and generate creative responses to the themes of historical eras.

DSO103 Design Studio 2, explores the construct of Emotional Branding, a movement in branding circles that shifts the focus from products to people. This subject explores how effective consumer interaction needs to be about senses and feelings, emotions and sentiments. The“10 Commandments of Emotional Branding” have become a new benchmark for marketing and creative professionals, emotional branding has become a coined term by many top industry experts to express the new dynamic that exists now between brands and people. By humanizing the branding process we can foster a powerful emotional connection people have with brands. Design in this subject is considered a new media, the web a place where people will share information and communicate, architecture a part of the brand building process, and people as the most powerful element of any branding strategy. Most importantly, this subject emphasizes the need to transcend the traditional language of design—from one based on aesthetic, statistics and data to a visually compelling new form of communication that fosters creativity, innovation and meaning.

The subject introduces the student to various aspects of the elements of design, e.g. materiality, form and shape, colour, positive and negative space etc. utilized in creative problem solving. Initially students are introduced to a design development process, from the tangible to the digital; through paper model making with its inherent skills development and risk taking, then on to further digital development using newly introduced software. Concurrent, weekly, individual homework tasks focus on understanding and appreciation of materials, their many varied uses, properties and the manufacturing processes related to them.

Students will make incremental progress towards choosing a material in which their individual design can be realized. The submission will include a material and colour folio.

The final submission will be a model executed in an appropriate material with its function/usage contextualized with all relevant information gleaned throughout the trimester.

Systems and Documentation 1 introduces students to the different construction systems applicable to the design of nominated interiors, and how design solutions are communicated to stakeholders (contract managers, consultants and contractors) through contract documentation. Students will develop a series of documentation drawings for a small scale nominated environment.

The subject content for Digital Worlds is concerned with two major themes:

  • 1. The development of digital communication strategies for Interior environments.
    Students will be required to analyse the role digital media plays in the representation and communication of spatial design environments. This includes the role of digital renderings, animated fly through, graphic composition and branding, representation of materiality and light. Students will also examine the historical development of the communication of design proposals. The subject will also investigate the role of the computer in tracking environmental and construction systems.
  • 2. The experiential nature of commercial digital environments such as game design, virtual worlds and film.
    Students will study and critically analyse the representation of spatial environments in digital media. This includes an examination of areas within the digital realm where simulated spatial environments play a critical role in communication, including areas such as game design, virtual worlds, animation and film. It examines the influence of the history of architectural and spatial design processes on contemporary attitudes to designed environments in a digital realm as well as investigating temporal understandings, Interface and Application, and psycho-cognitive perceptions of and responses to digital environments.

The purpose of this subject is to introduce the fundamental theories, practices, and methods for developing digital three-dimensional design. The subject covers 3D concepts and techniques, as well as practice in contemporary industry software. The subject investigates the integration of modelling, texture and light in three-dimensional space. Concept development is practised in a range of areas, including character development and/or environment modelling and investigating these relationships of these to a target audience. Development in professional work disciplines and collaboration are integral to the delivery of this subject.

The theoretical base of this subject will focus on developing the students' ability to work with 2D and 3D spatial organisation. It introduces students to the processes of interpreting functionality and planning within a 3D space. The subject is designed and delivered from an Interior designer's perspective and draws on the students' experience of such spaces and their understanding of visual communication in spatial environments.

The theoretical base of this subject will focus on developing the students' understanding of the impact of commercial environment on the consumer, and its relationship to the quality of the consumer's experience. Students will explore the theoretical and practical elements of branding through case studies, research and creative investigation. Contemporary commercial environments will be analysed in accordance with design principles and the relationship of the environment to merchandise and planning systems. Students will also be introduced to the role of storytelling in the design, strategy and marketing of brand. The use of materials and the elements of sound and lighting will also be explored. This knowledge will then be applied in the creative design of nominated environments. Students will use tutorial time to develop and communicate their design proposals.

Contemporary design practice has evolved a culture that applies a range of research methodologies to investigate design processes that are appropriate and relevant to creative problem solving. This subject explores the notion of designer as a generator of need and purpose and how research practice underpins these roles. The purpose of this subject is to expand the student's knowledge of the research processes that inform emerging design practice and how this affects the designer/client/project relationship. Students will expand their skills in identifying research methods and the application of analysis to a design project. Students will also be introduced to legal and ethical issues in design research.

Emerging Design Technologies: Commercial examines the technology focused theories affecting the experiential nature of design for commercial and public environments in both the physical and digital arena. It examines how technology is influencing the experience of retail, exhibition, workplace, hospitality and any activity associated with the commercial experience. It also examines a global context of changing perceptions of 'commerce' and how the commercial environment is being redefined by environmental and technological trends. This subject also explores the emerging factors influencing the experience of virtual worlds, film and animation.

The theoretical base of this subject focuses on developing the students' understanding of the fundamental contemporary theories of brand management, and the critical relationship of commercial design to this strategy. Students will explore the application of brand management strategies through a range of national and international case studies, and then apply this knowledge to the development of a number of commercial contexts that meet the objectives of a brand management strategy. In addition, students will explore the relationship between the designer and client and designer as client with an emphasis on the constructive contributions the designer makes to the commercial design environments.

The theoretical base of this subject will focus on developing the students' understanding of the complexities of designing a retail environment whilst appreciating the growing demand for the application of sustainable design practices - not only in materials and technologies but also in the longevity and adaptability of the final design solution. Students will integrate their knowledge of a retail space, identity design and environmental imperatives into the creative realisation of a project brief. Students will further develop their research skills and apply these to the design of an 'eco-friendly' retail project.

The theoretical base of this subject will focus on developing the students' understanding of the complexities of designing nominated commercial environments whilst appreciating the growing demand for the application of sustainable design practices- not only in materials and technologies but also in the longevity and adaptability of the final design solution. Students will integrate their knowledge of identity design and environmental imperatives into the creative realisation of a nominated commercial project brief. Students will be required to work with real sites for their environment, carry out complete site analyses, develop concept proposals and carry this through to completed design proposals. Students will also be required to understand Australian standards, liquor licensing laws, building code requirements/regulations, and approval process for nominated commercial environments.

This subject extends the student's learning and communication of different construction systems for a nominated commercial design proposal. students are required to complete a full documentation package for their nominated design proposal.

This subject provides students with the opportunity to develop their understanding of relevant design history and theories and their application to change and innovation within contemporary practice.
Central to this subject will be the application of contemporary design thinking in the critical reflection of their own, and their peers, creative output. Students will also gain insight into evaluating design outcomes in response to user feedback. The subject is designed and delivered from an interior designer perspective and draws on the student's knowledge of design history and innovation. This subject also draws on the student's own experience as a design consumer.

Scheduling Interiors 2: Commercial introduces the student to the practical knowledge required to construct nominated commercial environments. It recognises the importance of nominating appropriate and sustainable finishes, furniture and fit tings for nominated commercial environments. Students learn the following: types, styles and suitability of materiality and finishes; application of lighting types and styles; fixtures and fittings and selection of joinery items. This subject will also educates students in specification writing, preparation of schedules and what role they play in contract administration, as well as the principles of quality assurance in the design and documentation process. The principles of Building Management Systems are also introduced.

Systems and Documentation 3 -Nominated extends the student's learning and communication of different construction systems for environments into larger more complex commercial environments. Students develop their understanding of building systems to include those appropriate for nominated commercial spaces. Students are expected to use their understanding of the documentation process to communicate t heir design solution to builders, contract managers, consultants and contractors.

This subject aims to cultivate a broader understanding of portfolios and presentations for the design industry within a professional context. It explores contemporary styles and methods of presentation.
The identification and analysis of employment target markets is introduced to students. This is enhanced through self-directed research that aims to help students gain an understanding of the specific needs and preferences of the Interior Design industry. Students build relationships with Interior Design industry through possible internship or design studio project or on campus live brief. This industry engagement exposes students to rigors of the real world design practice whilst adding valuable experience to student CV.

Students choose 2 level 200 or 300 elective subjects drawn from the Bachelor of Interior Design (Residential), or from an approved subject from other Think: Colleges Pty Ltd courses.


Billy Blue design courses are designed to give you flexibility. So if you wish to switch courses, exit early, study faster, or are keen to move from a certificate to a degree, we can help you out through our study pathway options. In the design world, change is our friend. Contact your Course and Career Adviser for more info.

Find out more about Course Upgrades and Pathways

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Frequently asked questions – Bachelor of Interior Design (Commercial)

In the increasingly thriving creative industries sector, an understanding of cross-disciplinary design is crucial in giving graduates an edge. Billy Blue is an energetic and inspiring environment where all degrees have a strong industry focus making sure you graduate as an innovative and adaptive designer of the future. Lecturers are highly-passionate, educated and industry connected. We live, breathe – and work in – commercial interiors and want to share what we know.

If you have previously studied or worked in the design industry, you may be eligible to receive a subject exemption that can potentially shorten the length of your Billy Blue degree or diploma. Read more about recognition of prior learning.

Billy Blue College of Design has recognised pathways to help you gain entry into the Bachelor of Interior Design (Commercial) based on the criteria you are able to meet. Explore your pathway options.

If you do not have a portfolio that qualifies for entry, we recommend that you undertake the Certificate III in Design Fundamentals. During the course you’ll be taught fundamental industry-relevant design skills, and all the projects you work on will form part of your final portfolio. This course is designed specifically to ensure that you’ll have a quality portfolio upon completion of the course.

If you have an exciting portfolio but have not completed a High School Certificate or equivalent, we have created a pathway with one of our partners - CATC Design School. CATC is a successful vocational sector design school where students graduate with excellent hands-on, industry relevant skills. Mature aged students (aged 21 or over) are also welcome to apply directly to Billy Blue based on work experience and an existing portfolio. Read more about recognition of prior learning. For more information on the CATC Design School pathway or about applying directly please ask a Course and Careers Adviser.

We use the latest industry-standard software in all our courses. This changes all the time as industry standards and software programs evolve. Contact us for more information.

Yes, you must bring your own laptop to class. This is part of our commitment to preparing students for the mobile work practice of the 21st Century. There are also some workstations and design software on campus.

Yes, if you are an eligible Australian student you can defer your future fees. International students need to pay each trimester in full before it starts. Learn more about fees here.