Introducing the Interior Design Engineering (IDE) Programme at Gulf University (GU) in Bahrain stems from high demand on Interior Design Engineers due to the fast-growing construction sector in Bahrain and the Gulf Region. According to the Economic Development Board and the Information & eGovernment Authority, in 2017 the Building Construction Sector contributed 7% to the Bahraini economy and the sector grew by 5.7% in 2015 from 2016. The construction sector in Bahrain currently contributes 7% to the local GDP, and it is expected to increase 3-5% annually. Moreover, a market needs study of private sector is conducted by GU programme development team which indicates to the high shortage of engendering skills in the fresh-graduate of interior design programmes in Bahrain. Accordingly, there is an increasing demand on the recruitment of ID Engineers to serve the sector. Thus, Gulf University looks forward to launching its ID engineering programme to cover the Bahrain and GCC market needs for highly qualified ID engineers who can produce not only aesthetical but also applicable designs of interior space and products. This allows Bahrain to play its role as a hub for Higher Education in the region. This is also aligned with National Higher Education Strategy 2014-2024 encouraging the Higher Education Institutions to increase enrolment and graduation rates in engineering and mathematics related fields in collaboration with reputed international universities. The Interior Design Engineering is a four-year programme that prepares the student to be a significant member of the design team of construction firms, interior fit out & furniture and/or engineering consultation bureaus. An Interior Design engineer who will be graduated from GU is considered a key member of the team work, contributing to the holistic technical design solutions of interiors by developing schematic design and interior construction documents such as working drawings, details, shop drawing, technical plans, sections, installation details, bill of quantities, materials’ specifications and estimated cost.
This programme attracts students who are interested in the art, science and engineering of creating public and private spaces. Students who join this programme are expected to develop a plethora of skills in Interior Design as well as its engineering aspects. They are more likely to have sciences, mathematical and technical background with interests in humanities and social sciences. Although the programme is engineering oriented, it tackles the social and behavioural aspects related to Interior Architectural Design. GU provides a unique student’s life experience in Bahrain and the region through conductive learning atmosphere that consists of design studios, computing resources, laboratories workshops, equipped with modern tools and machines. Thus, attracting students from both genders and diverse cultural backgrounds, our students experience diversity among their peers and through the diverse academic staff members teaching the programme courses.
Our highly qualified academic staff members have developed the programme through a systematic benchmarking process. Similar programmes offered by top ranked international universities, CIDA standards, UK subject benchmarking statements of Engineering and Art & Design, EUR-ACE Framework Standards, and Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs (ABET) have been reviewed and compared to formulate the ID engineering programme at Gulf University. The programme focuses on five main domains of study in addition to offering a wide range of electives helping to shape the student’s specialization by graduation. The five main domains cover: Design as standalone domain, Sciences, Building Technology and Sustainability as Technology & Engineering domain, Rendering Technical drawings, Verbal and Writing as Communication domain, History, Theory and Humanity as Theory & History domain and Professional practice and management, Professional development (research) and Internship as Professionalism domain. The programme is supported with state of the art workshops and labs offering a wide range of specialized CAD and BIM Applications in addition to 2D and 3D printing facilities. With the offered programme and the supporting facilities, Gulf University seeks for CIDA validations. The programme graduates develop necessary skills for their professional life after graduation through a well-designed internship plan and interaction with professional ID designers and engineers through seminars regularly organized by Gulf University.
These regularly organized seminars and extracurricular activities ensure that Gulf University is building bridges with industry and professional bodies. Thus, keeping academic staff members and students updated with the latest in the field. Gulf University regularly seeks advice from the industry through its industry advisory boards which enables us to continuously develop our graduates’ attributes and ensure that our students graduate possessing the necessary attributes. The graduates of the Interior Design engineering programme are expected to have a passion for Interior Design and its engineering aspects, as well as being professional, effective communicators, team players, problem solvers, lifelong learners, sustainability driven, creative and reflective thinkers. All are attributes essential for increasing their employability, enabling them to secure their desired professional position and fulfilling their employer’s requirements. Upon graduation, our graduates can work in a variety of fields and play important roles such as:
- Opening their own design firms
- Working for design firms fulfilling many tasks like
- working drawings
- Workshop drawings
- Using state of the art CAD and BIM packages
- 3D modelling and presentation; both manual and computer based
- In the field of construction project management
- Work as contractors or for contracting companies
- Supervising construction work
- And can excel to become consultants
Through our carefully designed internship plan, students get to experience most of the above mentioned professional fields to ensure that they have the capabilities to integrate and implement their skills in the field.
In addition to their professional training, graduates of the ID engineering programme are fully aware of their responsibilities towards their society and environment. They understand that ID engineering study is a unique type of study since it introduces them to the social aspects as well as the engineering aspects of ID. Not to mention the impact the buildings they design and build have on the environment. Our graduates understand their role as engineers and Interior designers in developing projects which have minimal impact on the environment and contribute positively to the quality of life of people using these buildings and interacting with them. They understand the requirements to build within different contexts, whether historic or contemporary, and they are aware of the environmental requirements in different climates.
Knowing their responsibilities towards the environment, the graduates are prepared for further studies whether that is by becoming Interior designers through any of the international certification, or through pursuing their postgraduate studies in any of the fields related to ID engineering. They are aware of the relationship between research, teaching and industry and how their collaboration is essential for the development of the profession of IDE.