Architecture and Interior Design
Design and create beautiful and practical spaces, across all kinds of industries
Architecture is the design and construction of buildings. Studying architecture means combining art, maths, and science to understand more about a building’s construction and interior. You'll design meaningful and purposeful spaces, and develop creative skills that are highly valued by employers.
By drawing accurate designs of buildings by hand or with specialist computer software, you'll influence the world around you to shape cities, communities and the way people live. You may even study modules such as sustainable architecture and building for the future.
Who studies architecture and where can it lead?
If you’re looking for a subject that combines creativity with science, engineering and design, architecture might be for you.
Students studying architecture are solution focused. They're thoughtful, creative, practical people who care about both society and the environment. They recognise how the building and spaces around us can have a big impact on our community, and want to make a positive contribution to that.
Hear more about what it's like to study Interior Architecture from graduate Mo Mostakin
University of Portsmouth Interior Architecture and Design Graduate Mo Mostakin
Mo graduated in 2017 with an Interior Architecture and Design degree from the University of Portsmouth. He is now an Interior Designer at HBA Residential. Find out what Mo’s role entails and how he’s applying the skills he learnt during his time at Portsmouth.
Hi, my name is Mohammed.
I work as an interior designer at HBO Residential in London.
When I was younger, when I was in A-levels, I studied art.
During art I used to do 12 hour photography walks, and one of the things I love to take photos of is buildings because, you know, they are inanimate objects, but they have so much character to them which I just love and I just fell into it.
I took the chance and applied for architecture originally but then I fell into interior design and I studied interior.
The one thing I loved about Portsmouth is that it's quite close to friends, and it isn't far from London and it almost felt like a mini London to me.
It almost became home.
To a lot of outsiders, Interior Design is seen as a very feminine subject.
Me, I'm very technical.
Some of the girls in the course were very focused on textile, colours, how to make things work well together, you kind of learn from each other.
The one thing I loved about it is we came as close as a family and we just helped each other in different aspects.
It just brings everyone together.
A month before I graduated, like anyone, we were told to apply for jobs.
Look out, look what's out there.
One thing I used was the University of Portsmouth career page, which I managed to see HBO Associates on the list and they were looking for interns.
Having them on my CV is just amazing.
I'm working on projects in London, Saudi Arabia and Russia.
I used to do a few cruise ships.
You never have the same thing.
Each client has their own taste though.
That's what I love is you're never in your comfort zone.
It pushes me further and further, and it makes me become more of a better designer and become more confident, especially one day I will present to clients and that is a big responsibility.
How do you sell your project to a real client? They're paying for it so you want to be good and you want to sell it properly.
I've been here four years now, I transitioned from hospitality to residential, so you know, it's going well so far.
Where can you work with an architecture degree?
Studying architecture will give you the skills to work in any company that creates living and working spaces for people. That could be in the artistic world of theatre, TV and film. Or for an architectural construction company or exhibition centre.
You could work as a consultant, or start your own architectural company. Whatever industry you choose, you'll take inspiration from all around you to transform your ideas into real places.
Using architectural origami
Architects and Interior Designers enjoy origami because they can produce a huge variety of shapes and forms from only a single sheet of paper. Designers can adapt particular elements of paper-folded models to create conceptual designs for spatial and structural ideas.
Watch this short clip showing the role of Origami in helping London Architects ‘Make’, design and build prefabricated folding kiosks in Canary Wharf. From design brief to conceptual model, origami was crucial to the Architectural and Design process.
The concept for the kiosk is a compact, rectangular, brass box that transforms when it opens and its function is revealed. The kiosk's opening faces were developed using the concept of origami; folds and hinges in the material allow the panels to expand and contract, like a concertina or a fan. The result is a simple folding geometric form that appears sculptural when 'closed' and dynamic when 'open'. The opening mechanism is designed as a simple counterweight system with few moving parts, ensuring easy, fail safe operation.
Challenge: create your own architectural model using origami
Now it’s your turn to create a series of models made from a sheet of paper, and some basic materials.
Play the video and build your models alongside some of our Architecture and Interior Design students while they complete the same task, and tell you a bit more about why they chose to study Architecture and Design. Written instructions are also available if you'd like them.
- A base for your model – ideally a dark coloured piece of paper or card, but you could use a book, or just build your model off the table top or desk
- A white sheet of paper
- A sheet of graph paper
- A sheet of tracing paper
- A coloured piece of card – any colour will do
- A glue stick
- A figure – maybe Lego, or made out of BluTac
If you don’t have all of these, you can use other similar materials, or even just get extra creative with a simple piece of white paper.
Architectural origami: from sheet to form challenge
Architects design buildings and play a role in shaping cities, communities and the way we live.
Explore the technical and analytical skills you need to begin a career as an architect using paper, in this architectural origami tasks with students and lecturers.
Speaker 1 Good morning, everyone.
Speaker 2 Good morning.
Speaker 1 OK, so we have been asked here today to do one of our famous interactive workshops. But before we do that, it's probably a good idea just to go around the room and introduce ourselves. So my name's Martin André's. I'm an architect, but I'm also academic lead for recruitment and outreach at the University, of Portsmouth School of Architecture. And I regularly, along with these lovely people in the room with me, go out and do workshops with primary schools and secondary schools. And yesterday I was doing the same thing with an FE college in Hampshire. And the other thing, I am a multiple graduate of the University of Portsmouth, so I sort of know the school of architecture quite well. Now onto Ben Ben.
Speaker 3 Hello, everyone. I'm Ben. A second year interior architecture and design student. Really excited to be getting started and making some really cool models with all of you today
Speaker 1 and just a very quick question, but why did you choose to study interiors at Portsmouth?
Speaker 3 I decided to study interiors at Portsmouth because as a course, it didn't limit me to just learning about one thing. I can kind of take the reins and go. This really excites me. I want to learn about that and I can do it.
Speaker 1 Superb. Thanks. Thank you. Right onto Sophie. Hello, Sophie.
Speaker 2 Hi, my name's Sophie. I'm BA Architecture student.
Speaker 1 Similar question to the one that I just asked Ben. Why architecture?
Speaker 2 I mainly chose architecture for both the creative freedom and also just because I really like buildings as well.
Speaker 1 Superb. Brilliant. And finally, last but not least, the lovely Aiden. Hello, Aiden. How I
Speaker 4 Hi I'm Aiden. It's great to be here. I'm looking forward to making things again, like Ben said. just before Martin asked me the question, I am a PhD student at the university and I studied architecture because I just love buildings. I grew up in Brighton and the reason I didnt go to University there is I didn't want to live with my parents anymore.
Speaker 1 So I guess that's a very good reason. It's a very good reason. Right. And it's a really good idea just for me to explain very briefly what we're going to do. So today we're going to make a series of architectural or interior architectural modules. So we've got in front of us a kit, a kit of material, and we're all going to go through that. We're going to wave them you at the moment. OK, so the first thing we've got is a pair of scissors. OK, this first one, right. Next thing we have is a roll of sellotape. OK, it's important they have all these things, we then have a glue stick. Let me go, you know, we have a person at the scale of one to 50. OK, so we've got them. Yeah, OK, yeah, Ben's got seated one, which is brilliant. Yeah, OK. We've also thought it'd be prudent to have a pencil or pen of some description. OK, and what helps helps me anyway, is a straight edge or ruler. I mean, that this is a numberplate, but it's what I had to have like that, the making materials. So we have a black base. Preferably A5 in size. OK, and then we have in this order, we have an eight five sheet of photocopy paper. OK, so A4 sheet that's been cut into. OK, then we have a five sheet of graph paper with the little squares on it. Then we have a probably 120 gram sheet of white cardboard, thin cardboard, and then we have a sheet of tracing paper, a five and a coloured piece of card. So Ben and I have got yellow, Aiden's got purple and Sophie got orange. OK, so those are the component parts. So the next thing we're going to do is we're going to start the workshop. So it's really important. Don't stick anything down to the baseboard until right at the end. OK, don't be tempted to do that. Leave it. And actually, some of us may not be sticking down at all today, OK, because you can do this without actually sticking things down. So we're going to do four minutes approximately of modelling with the white paper. Then we're going to do four minutes of modelling with the graph paper. Then we're going to do a four minutes of modelling with the cardboard and then we're going to model for four minutes either detail or either or yellow cards or coloured cards and tracing paper. OK, so the task is very simple to construct an architectural building or sculpture or shelter for your one to 50 person using the materials that we've just shown you. OK, and it's an additive process, if you like. We will start with one sheet of paper and we will build on that using the other sheets of paper and cardboard. So are the rules of engagement clear team, are we happy? OK, good. I've got my clock here. It will annoyingly go beep every now and again. So everyone got their one. The first paper. Don't forget. Right. Your time starts. Now. Very good. Excellent. I have seen so many people doing this that. I'm not sure where to start. This is what's called in the trade as designers block. And I'm also old, which doesn't help, so Aiden how many times do you think you have done this workshop with me now?
Speaker 4 I think probably about I'd say at least ten now, maybe more than that.
Speaker 1 It might be more than that. Yeah, that's been it's been it's been while I think it's in this
Speaker 4 two times per applicant day, isn't it? And about at least 15 of those. So maybe even like 30 at this point.
Speaker 1 Yeah. Yeah. That's does get so you bring expertise don't you.
Speaker 4 I wouldn't say that.
Speaker 1 And am I right in thinking, Ben, you did this, didn't you, as part of your interview any day.
Speaker 3 I did this four years ago as part of my interview day. Right.
Speaker 1 And was it because we didn't advertise the fact that we'd be doing this type of stuff did we? So so I because it it goes alongside the the actual interviews that we do with it in the school of architecture. So how did you do the workshop before or after your interview? I believe it was afterwards.
Speaker 3 We all kind of finished up that the serious the serious interview and then moved into kind of something which was a bit more fun. And that's really exciting.
Speaker 1 Yeah, no, it's it's it's good. I think I think it's quite a nice way to finish the day. Um, yeah. But then again, it depends on where you get your interview. So some people obviously are doing it before they've had their interviews. So I do often wonder how anxious those people are feeling because they know that their interviews are coming next
Speaker 4 usually quite anxious,
Speaker 1 whereas people like Ben are sort of a bit more relaxed and, you know, relaxing themselves into it. And then and then. Sophie, am I right in remembering that you didn't do well in these workshops?
Speaker 2 I did do i was the same as Ben. So I had the interview first and then did this afterwards. Yeah, I remember thinking that, like, this is part of the interview and so many people weren't so serious about that. And I was just there like with like scrap pieces of paper as balls basically. And it's just a bit of a mess.
Speaker 1 Yeah, it's interesting because lots of people keep an eye on the time and like, oh, we got a minute left. I've got a minute left. Right. Yeah, yes. I get lots of questions, which is, you know, how did I perform within the model making. It's like it's not it's not a performance thing. It's just we thought you'd like to see how we how we work within the school. So yeah, no, Roberto and I and Aiden try and make that quite clear that it's not I sort you know, if you do badly within this, you won't get a place.
Speaker 2 But it's er like honestly I mean
Speaker 1 I we do keep the models, I don't we, Aiden and we normally put it on, we like
Speaker 4 to put them on the shelf and the top floor
Speaker 1 say yeah because they're great, they're really, really good. Um um Zoids. So I still have no clue what I'm doing and we've got about ten seconds left on this first first thing. And then we'll move on. Uh, the suits we go first phase over okay, should we rotate the cameras back up? Well. OK, to Ben's beat me to it. We got right, OK, so I've done some folding, some very, very simple folding because I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this. Yeah, I still. Sophie, you doing twisty wild things.
Speaker 2 Yeah. I don't know what I'm going to do with it now.
Speaker 1 OK, well, that's interesting. Aiden, what have you done? Have you done foldy stuff.
Speaker 4 I have done phoney stuff. Hold all this folded over. I made it like a little. OK, its fallen over again but I've done some folding stuff,
Speaker 1 very nice and Ben,
Speaker 3 I've done lots of folding, but it looks like a coffee strainer currently, but it won't. It won't for long.
Speaker 1 If you flip it, will it become a tent?
Speaker 3 That was that was kind of my thought. I wanted like a nice geometric, flowery, superb.
Speaker 1 Right. OK, so next sheet of paper and we'll adjust the cameras in a minute. We got four minutes for graph paper. OK, right. I'm pressing start now. Right. Here we go again. Then we go back. Good stuff, right, Aidin, if you can remember all the way back to when you were somewhere, right, when you were choosing schools of architecture, you talked a bit about not wanting to study from home. So you obviously did did the visits, didn't you, around the different schools of architecture? Yeah, yeah. Can you remember how many you did how many visits you did?
Speaker 4 I went to four different architecture schools. overall OK, and shall I name them all? no, no, no, no,
Speaker 1 don't, don't. I mean, I don't know. It was it was it spread around the country back and
Speaker 4 it was mostly the south coast and then London as well.
Speaker 1 OK, and I can't remember when I started doing these workshop things, but what was the back in the day? It wasn't that long ago, but but, um, what was the experience like? Did you do was it course talk, was there portfolio reviews or.
Speaker 4 So it was a course talk. That was pretty much it because at the time the university was transitioning over to the new buildings.
Speaker 1 Yes. Right. Wow. Yeah.
Speaker 4 So I was that year like.
Speaker 1 Yeah, now I remember.
Speaker 4 I mean, I was in the first cohort to study fully in Eldon. Yeah. Once that was open as well.
Speaker 1 Yeah. Okay. Oh that's, that was what, 14. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. Okay. So Sophie, how many institutions did you travel across or where did.
Speaker 2 Well my family was one of those ones which was like you have to see everything. So I think we went to ten. Wow. Yeah I know. I think I did a tour of the UK to be perfectly frank. That's amazing.
Speaker 1 That's just incredible. That's dedication. Yeah. Well that's what makes it.
Speaker 2 So intense, very good.
Speaker 1 And was it the sort of length and breadth of the UK?
Speaker 2 Yes. I looked at to be fair most of it was either south or Midlands really, because my family's down south, so I didn't want to be necessarily too far. But yeah, and it was it was definitely a long a long journey, a long process.
Speaker 1 That's interesting, right. Ben, what about you?
Speaker 3 I was kind of similar to Sophie in a way, because my family wanted me to see everything before I made the decision, but I was quite late to the application process. So I think I only did like four or five. I think the furthest being Newcastle, which is quite a way.
Speaker 1 Wow, that's amazing.
Speaker 3 But some decided decided on this lovely this lovely place,
Speaker 1 the sunny coastal climes of Portsmouth.
Speaker 3 I think the coast is was also a massive factor of what got me here. Yes.
Speaker 1 Well, it's it. Yeah, no, absolutely. Well, you know, it's in the summer and most times of the year, actually, Portsmouth, a lovely place. I'm trying to get this in my camera now. I've got about 30 seconds. But yeah, I travelled all over. I did Midlands, I did south. I went very far down into the south west. I did London. I did Kent. I don't think I went further than. Leicester, as in terms of up north, so I definitely didn't go as far as Ben did, but no I did my I was the youngest of four, so the idea of travelling around the UK to find the best place for you was was quite an accepted norm. Right. That's that is that is the second four minutes. So I'm not going to move my camera because actually I think I can probably show everyone There we go, right. Well, what about you guys? Lets start with Ben this time. Ben, how's it going in terms of your folding tent structure thing?
Speaker 3 I've repeated the same process again in hopes to fit it together, but I think it's making what could be quite a nice display stand to. So I'm quite likely I'm quite liking these strong geometric shapes.
Speaker 1 That's good. Yeah, well, we'll we'll move on to a thicker cardboard in a moment. Right. Sophie, how about you?
Speaker 2 Well, I try to go for something a bit different and I dont like it. I absolutely butchered it. That's OK. Yeah.
Speaker 1 There's time
Speaker 2 There is time
Speaker 1 right Aiden. what're you doing?.
Speaker 4 I've folded loads of pipe over. Yeah, and I've made different geometries with them, and then I've kind of linked them together to make shelties. But I have another plan for later. I'm not revealing my hands yet, you can see some of it together here. Very nice. I don't know if it's going to work, if
Speaker 1 it's constituent parts. OK, we're good. Right. OK, so next one, I noticed that not we're not all using all of the paper you say we're being we're being sparing with it. Right. Next thing is the white cardboard. OK, so I'm going to press the start button again for four minutes. OK, so here it goes. Good. There we go. Uh. Excellent. That brings back memories, actually, the first time that I. Visited the University of Portsmouth, umm. The sun was shining, must have been made March, mid-March now or mid 90s, OK, that OK, that far is being descriptive, right? And the sun was amazing. And we were gathered together in one of the tallest buildings on campus and the sun was reflecting off of the sea and there was not a cloud in the sky. And I thought, oh, my word, this is like being in a Mediterranean country, because obviously we were overlooking the Isle of Wight as well. And it was insane. And that stuck with me. That stuck with me because some of the other places that I went to who will remain nameless, but they were in the United Kingdom. The weather wasn't very good. And there are certain things that that stick with you and the other thing, actually. That's right. That's made me remember something. Some of the guys that I met on my open day rode up to the very first day when I started studying at the University of Portsmouth. So the people that I sort of interviewed with and stuff were there. So it was really nice to see friendly faces. Did Aiden, did that happen to you?
Speaker 4 I didn't meet many people on the open day because it was one of the later ones,
Speaker 1 yeah,
Speaker 4 I interviewed at another university and with about four people and three of them I met again on my first day. We all remembered each other.
Speaker 1 So you interviewed somewhere else, but came together at Portsmouth? Yeah. Oh, that's that's really that's really funny. That's good. And Ben did you meet anyone from your cohort or was a bit of gaps for you?
Speaker 3 Well, I went I went away for a year before I came to Portsmouth. But I think I think there must have been people who interviewed at the same time as me, my memory. Just not not what it should be, unfortunately.
Speaker 1 Yeah. Sophie anyone recognisable or memorable from your interview?
Speaker 2 Yeah, I had one and I didn't even know that she was actually like went to the union because I didn't I don't know why, but I didn't see her for quite a while. And then I saw her on a night out and it was really weird because we were like debating whether we actually knew each other or not.
Speaker 1 It's funny. It's synergise I remember turning up at Portsmouth and I must have been at Portsmouth for a couple of months and I bumped into someone who was in my form tutor at my secondary school. It was just really weird. And I didn't even know she was from my home town, obviously, and I didn't even know she'd apply to Portsmouth. And it was just it's amazing how universities are like that. You sort of bump into bump into people that you may have fleetingly been with in the past or that you actually know quite well. So, yes, right. About 40 seconds left on this one. And then we'll we'll go. But everyone seems to be pulling the models together quite nicely. You're very brave, Sophie, because that's curved. But that's. Yeah, good work. OK, so I'll just let you concentrate. So we go into the next phase of making so the next phase, you guys, we've got a decision to make, which is, you know, do you just go for colour or actually do you go for sort of the tracing paper? That's the key thing.
Speaker 3 We only allowed one,
Speaker 1 yes, OK, just that one, right, so yes, OK, let's have a little look. So, Ben, how is your scheme progressing now?
Speaker 3 I think it's now becoming an interactive display
Speaker 1 of good
Speaker 3 of the different parts coming together. I still got one one more little bit I want to do before I start adding some colour.
Speaker 1 OK, brilliant. Superb. Sophie is in control
Speaker 2 and I forgot I had tape and then I can control it better with the tape. But it's becoming like the seltzer kind of thing.
Speaker 1 It's nice. It's looking like a bandstand. Yeah, it's very good. OK, and Aiden your multiple parts there are sort of. Converging.
Speaker 4 However, the bigger one this time, OK, because it's the cardboard that's a bit more itself up. So I've made that as a centrepiece and used the original page to link into it. So it kind of makes little pocket spaces so you can actually walk through that bit. Here you see my finger going down and that's that's big enough for the past three. So it creates like a nice little pavilion type of building, a
Speaker 1 nice little enclosure. Very good. OK, right. So a wave this under the camera, but you've got a piece of coloured guard or tracing paper to use. OK, so I'm going to press four minutes and that will be the last bit. So the aim is that the tracing paper can be used to emphasise an opening, a window, a door, a roof, like a threshold, or if you use the coloured cardboard, it can become a ceiling, a roof, a highlight wall, a floor, something like that. OK, we'll clear. Absolute brilliant. Right. I'm starting the clock last four minutes. All gone, focussed, and everyone's quiet now and right kids. See, there's no competition between us at all, which is just nice. So, Ben, when you took your gap year. Or your time away from university before starting, where did you travel?
Speaker 3 I did. I did. I did a lot of Southeast Asia and Australia and Indonesia and nice. And I spent spent a year spent a year out there, which I was fortunate enough.
Speaker 1 Very good, and for you, the that the place that you would like to go again or work or live in the future,
Speaker 3 I would like to I would like to hope that I'd be able to move to Australia once I finished my degree. Yeah. Which would be very amazing. But if I mean fun, fun country wise, do you ever get a chance to go to Liow? A very exciting place, I guess.
Speaker 1 Yeah, I mean, I I've not been that far across, but Hong Kong has been fantastic when I have travelled out there. So that's that's very, very good. Well, hopefully you'll be able to do do some travelling again soon
Speaker 3 and then things open up. I'd like to I'd like to try Hong Kong. That would be amazing.
Speaker 1 Yeah. It's a beautiful, beautiful city. Right. So we got two minutes left, guys. So if you're thinking of finishing off and balancing or sticking your your people down, um, doing some last adjustments, I got quite. Bold and bright, with my hindsight. Love. And everything is being destroyed now. So. Patrick. So, yes, this is a little bit of a sample of the type of activities that you would experience if you came into the first year. BA1 one of architecture or interior architecture, but it's also nicely an insight into the type of things we get up to, as we've already discussed. The interview after afternoon, you get to create architecture in a relatively short period of time or display as Bens doing or root as Aidens doing although Aiden's, you could probably argue is is very landscape in nature of landscape architecture. Right. Got 45 seconds left, everyone. So final adjustments, please. If we can just clear my table. I seem to have the most Unsticky Pritt stick ever produced, not Prittsticks, sorry, glue stick. There are other manufacturers of glowsticks other than Prittstick. All right, 15 seconds left, everyone. And I'm going to be ruthless and strict. Have we all used card? OK, there we go, right. Time's up. OK, so I can't actually lift my model because I'm not stuck anything down. So I'm just going to ask and I would describe mine, so I have a series of enclosure's. Here, which is shaped as triangles, and then I have landscaped the grounds with graph paper in a weaving pattern, and then my seats are made up of folded up pieces of paper. Um. So that my person can lean or sit against them. So, Ben, what about you little quick overview.
Speaker 3 I I was thinking of I can hold mine up. I stuck one down, so I was thinking of an exhibition or display of some sort in which you can go into individual areas to go in. Learnt about whatever incredible topic is being taught in here, and I thought it seemed like quite a fun and silly environment to interact them with,
Speaker 1 I love the perched person as well. Yeah, I think that's great. That's really good. Thank you very much. It's great seeing as we only had 16 minutes to do it. Sophie, how about yours?
Speaker 2 I started with a graph, paper and stuff that I didn't like any of that. So I said, you know, I don't. Its very bright. And I think that's
Speaker 1 a lovely, great shadow casting.
Speaker 2 Yeah, he's using a little. Not bad. Well, it could be a band stand, but I've made it more into a shell now.
Speaker 1 Yeah, that's great. Superb. Really simple. Love it. Right. Finally, Aiden.
Speaker 4 So I've got my little geometric kind of pavilion structure here. Yeah. It's got like a weird, like kind of overarching roof there. And this is my experiment where I kind of try to take the same forms I was using to create times, satellite, these geometric ones, and then actually twisting them around and then threaded them through each other. But I didn't have enough time because I had to stick to the baseboards, sello tape didn't like it. So it's made it go really weird. Well, it's kind of cool. So, yeah, that's great.
Speaker 1 Right. Thank you very much. So that is the end of the workshop. Hopefully if anyone is following along from home or from school or from college, you'll be able to do the same thing as as Ben Sophie Aiden and I have done. If you need to contact us at the Portsmouth School of Architecture, you can find the contact details at the end of the short recording. So thank you very much for your time. Ben Sophie, Aiden, always a pleasure. Thank you very much. And I'll see you again soon.
Architectural origami challenge: written instructions
Using the white sheet of paper, transform it into a 3D form through manipulation, action and folding.
Add to your model using the graph paper. What other layers, shapes or textures can you add to your model?
Using the white piece of card, keep adding to your model. What new things can you try with a more rigid material?
For the final stage, use either the tracing paper or the coloured piece of card to create features such as doors or windows, or add colour to create a striking design.