History of Design Trends
  I: Administrative Information   II: Course Details   III: Topical Outline(s)  Printable Version
Section I: Administrative Information
  Total hours: 42.0
Credit Value: 3.0
Credit Value Notes: N/A
Effective: Fall 2017
Prerequisites: N/A
Corequisites: N/A
Equivalents: N/A
Pre/Co/Equiv Notes: N/A

Program(s): Visual Design Interior Decorat
Program Coordinator(s): Leasa Wright
Course Leader or Contact: N/A
Version: 20170905_01
Status: Approved (APPR)

Section I Notes: This is a Sheridan College course that is offered through Sheridan FCAPS. Students who register for the course through Sheridan will receive credit from Sheridan College only. Access to the course materials will be through Students taking this course will need reliable access to the internet, and should have a basic level of comfort using computers as well as the self-discipline to study online. Students can expect to spend an additional three hours per week for online activities such as postings, discussions, and homework.

Section II: Course Details

Detailed Description
Students explore the evolution of design from antiquity to the mid-21st century. Students research architecture and furniture designs during ancient Greece and Rome, the Renaissance, the Gothic period, the Industrial Revolution, and the Arts and Crafts movement. They learn about the spread of modernism and post-modernism and explain its impact on design. Through independent research, students explain how ideas, beliefs and culture manifest in the artistic movements and designs of the time. Students explore social, environmental and political issues that impact designers today.

Program Context

Visual Design Interior Decorat Program Coordinator(s): Leasa Wright
This course is an elective in the Visual Design Interior Decorating Program offered through the Faculty of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Course Critical Performance and Learning Outcomes

  Critical Performance:
By the end of this course, students will have demonstrated the ability to apply historical and contemporary stylistic elements in architecture, furniture and other artifacts of material culture to their own interior design practice.
Learning Outcomes:

To achieve the critical performance, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Summarize significant trends in interior design, from antiquity to the Industrial Revolution.
  2. Explain how innovations in materials, technology and production impacted interior design during the Industrial Revolution and Arts and Crafts movement.
  3. Compare the shifting attitudes of interior designers toward mass production and the role of the designer from the Arts and Crafts to Art Deco movement.
  4. Explain how the spread of modernism impacted European and North American interior design.
  5. Describe the emergence of postmodernism and its effects on late 20th-century design.
  6. Describe the social, environmental and political issues that impact contemporary designers, moving into the mid-21st century.

Evaluation Plan
Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways:

 Evaluation Plan: ONLINE
 Visual Presentations (4 x 10%)40.0%
 Historical summaries (2 x 10%)20.0%
 Museum Report20.0%
 Contemporary and Modern Summary (2 x 10%)20.0%

Evaluation Notes and Academic Missed Work Procedure:
All graded evaluations (i.e., projects, assignments, tests, exams, etc.) must be completed according to the schedule of dates specified by the instructor. Requests to submit work after the due date must be made no later than 24 hours before the due date, and must be accompanied by a valid reason that is acceptable to the instructor. Late assignments that have not received prior approval by the instructor will receive a grade deduction of 10% per business day. Students will be allowed to write a missed quiz/exam/test if they are able to provide the instructor with a valid and acceptable reason for their absence.

Provincial Context
The course meets the following Ministry of Colleges and Universities requirements:


Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
PLAR Contact (if course is PLAR-eligible) - Office of the Registrar
Students may apply to receive credit by demonstrating achievement of the course learning outcomes through previous relevant work/life experience, service, self-study and training on the job. This course is eligible for challenge through the following method(s):

  • Challenge Exam
  • Other
    Notes:  This course is delivered through OntarioLearn at and is hosted by (Sheridan College) SH-DESN70019.

Section III: Topical Outline
Some details of this outline may change as a result of circumstances such as weather cancellations, College and student activities, and class timetabling.
Instruction Mode: Online
Professor: Multiple Professors
OptionalTextbookA History of Interior Design, John F. Pile, 2014, Textbook is for free available via Sheridan's Library as E-Book

Applicable student group(s): Faculty of Continuing and Professional Studies On-line students.
Course Details:
Module 1: The Evolution of Material Culture 
  • Historical trends in architecture and furniture from antiquity to the Georgian period in religious, secular and domestic settings
  • Social, political and cultural values and their impact on architecture
Visual Presentation 1, 10%
Module 2: The Evolution of Materials and Technology
  • Emerging innovations in materials, technology and production during the Industrial Revolution
  • Historical trends in furniture and architecture during the Industrial Revolution
  • Historical revivals (Greek and Gothic) in architecture
  • Elements of interior design during nineteenth-century Europe and America
Visual Presentation 2, 10%
Module 3: Mass Production vs. Design Reform
  • Historical trends in interior design during the late nineteenth century
  • Craftsmanship vs. mass production in furniture and other elements of interior design
  • Differences in thinking about craftsmanship and mass production 
Module 4: The Role of Modernism
  • Modernism and how it impacted architecture, furniture and other elements of interior design across Europe and America
  • Innovations in materials and production during the modernist period
  • Impact of domestic and office interiors during modernism
Historical Summary 1, 10%, Museum Report, 20%
Module 5: The Transition to Postmodernism
  • Modern and postmodern interior design in architecture and furniture
  • Significant architects and designers during the postmodern period and their contributions 
  • The role of tradition, deconstruction and critique in postmodernist interior design
Visual Presentation 4, 10%
Module 6: The Twenty-First Century
  • Issues that impact contemporary interior designers including sustainability, branding and technology
  • Innovations in materials, technology and production in the contemporary interior design world
  • Problems confronted by contemporary interior designers and solutions 

Modern and Contemporary Summary 2, 10%

Sheridan Policies

All Sheridan policies can be viewed on the Sheridan policy website.

Academic Integrity: The principle of academic integrity requires that all work submitted for evaluation and course credit be the original, unassisted work of the student. Cheating or plagiarism including borrowing, copying, purchasing or collaborating on work, except for group projects arranged and approved by the professor, or otherwise submitting work that is not the student's own, violates this principle and will not be tolerated. Students who have any questions regarding whether or not specific circumstances involve a breach of academic integrity are advised to review the Academic Integrity Policy and procedure and/or discuss them with the professor.

Copyright: A majority of the course lectures and materials provided in class and posted in SLATE are protected by copyright. Use of these materials must comply with the Acceptable Use Policy, Use of Copyright Protected Work Policy and Student Code of Conduct. Students may use, copy and share these materials for learning and/or research purposes provided that the use complies with fair dealing or an exception in the Copyright Act. Permission from the rights holder would be necessary otherwise. Please note that it is prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote. It is also prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own or your own work with the intent to assist others in cheating on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote.

Intellectual Property: Sheridan's Intellectual Property Policy generally applies such that students own their own work. Please be advised that students working with external research and/or industry collaborators may be asked to sign agreements that waive or modify their IP rights. Please refer to Sheridan's IP Policy and Procedure.

Respectful Behaviour: Sheridan is committed to provide a learning environment that supports academic achievement by respecting the dignity, self-esteem and fair treatment of every person engaged in the learning process. Behaviour which is inconsistent with this principle will not be tolerated. Details of Sheridan's policy on Harassment and Discrimination, Academic Integrity and other academic policies are available on the Sheridan policy website.

Accessible Learning: Accessible Learning coordinates academic accommodations for students with disabilities. For more information or to register, please see the Accessible Learning website (Statement added September 2016)

Course Outline Changes: The information contained in this Course Outline including but not limited to faculty and program information and course description is subject to change without notice. Any changes to course curriculum and/or assessment shall adhere to approved Sheridan protocol. Nothing in this Course Outline should be viewed as a representation, offer and/or warranty. Students are responsible for reading the Important Notice and Disclaimer which applies to Programs and Courses.

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