Dear Interested Graduate Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in our Department, called "INTAR". It is the name by which the students, faculty, staff and alumni of the Department of Interior Architecture refer to themselves as an entity on the RISD campus. It stands for many things: It refers to our department pedagogy in which we study all the nuances of design INTerventions through Adaptive Reuse; it is the name of our internationally distributed journal on adaptive reuse, Int|AR; it is the fond abbreviation of our department name, Interior Architecture.

Through distinct viewpoints, our graduate programs promote creative explorations of the subject of adaptive reuse, a richly nuanced discipline in which the scarcity of resources is one important facet. Its domain encompasses issues of preservation, conservation, alteration and interventions in the field of architecture and interior studies and practice, but also in the realms of urban and landscape design, and their repercussions in the history and theory of architecture, urbanism, art and design.

The MA Adaptive Reuse, 1+ year program seeks candidates who already have a BArch or MArch degree.

For the MDes Interior Studies [Adaptive Reuse] 2+ year program, and the MDes Interior Studies [Exhibition & Narrative Environment] 2+ year program, we seek a wide set of backgrounds in design and liberal art studies, to create a diverse and highly creative group of students.

Applicants to the Masters of Design and Masters of Arts in Adaptive Reuse degree programs are required to submit a Portfolio, a clear Statement of Purpose and Letters of Recommendations.

  • Portfolio:

Your portfolio should contain no more then 15 individually produced and carefully chosen pages of your work that reflects your interests in Interior Architecture, transformation and reuse of the existing. Applicants may include drawings, models, photographs, sketches, or written work that conveys their ability to understand, observe, identify, and explore spatial conditions within existing buildings and spaces. Applicants should include a selection of work that best represents the development of their interest in this field of study. All work should be labeled to indicate if it is academic, professional or personal. If team projects are presented, your individual contribution must be clearly identified.

  • Statement of Purpose:

The letter of purpose (500–750 words) should outline your interest and goals in pursuing your graduate studies at IntAR and should include:

1. Why  you are motivated to study interior architecture / adaptive reuse and why you think Int|AR and RISD is the best place to achieve your goals

2. What you hope to achieve in your graduate education 

3. What questions, what research would you like to bring to your study

This essay should be able to connect your portfolio with your inner aspiration and open up conversations throughout your time at RISD.

  • Letters of Recommendation:

Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation. Recommendation letters should be written by teachers or other professionals who have firsthand knowledge of your work or academic achievements and can comment on your potential for graduate study.

  • Tests:  

TOEFL or IELTS | All applicants who speak English as a second language, including US citizens, must submit results from either TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Since proficiency in English is a prerequisite for acceptance, applicants must attain an acceptable score on either test; RISD requires a minimum result of 93 on the TOEFL or 6.5 on IELTS. The language test requirement may be waived for applicants who are enrolled in an institution where English is the language of instruction.

Plan to take the TOEFL or IELTS well in advance of the application deadline since it may take six weeks for your scores to be sent to RISD by the test agency. 

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) | Results from the Graduate Record Examination are not required.

Please contact the Graduate Program Director, Markus Berger with any questions: