Course Title: Research and recommend hard materials and finishes for interiors

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2011

Course Code: ARCH5174C

Course Title: Research and recommend hard materials and finishes for interiors

School: 320T Design (TAFE)

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5249 - Diploma of Interior Design and Decoration

Course Contact : Jennifer Crowley

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4819

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Full Time Program

Jenni Woods

Accelerated Program

Nancy Everingham

Maria Fey

Nominal Hours: 54

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit specifies the outcomes required to research and recommend hard materials and finishes for various interior decoration and design solutions.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

LMFID4006A Research and recommend hard materials and finishes for interiors


1.  Identify hard material requirements for project

Performance Criteria:

1.1. Applicable OHS, legislative and organisational requirements relevant to researching and recommending hard materials are verified and complied with
1.2. Project brief is reviewed to determine desired effects for interior space
1.3. Parameters for the project are assessed and confirmed with client
1.4. Resources are selected appropriate to work requirements and checked for operational effectiveness
1.5. Communication with appropriate personnel is established and maintained


2.  Identify types and features of hard materials

Performance Criteria:

2.1. Types of hard materials and their suitability to wall, floor, ceiling and stair applications is identified
2.2. Types of hard materials and their suitability to window and door applications are identified
2.3. Other hard material products and their features and applications are identified
2.4. Hard material requirements for application in a residential environment are analysed
2.5. Hard material requirements for application in a commercial or industrial environment are analysed
2.6. Environmental and sustainability considerations for hard materials are examined


3.  Research hard materials

Performance Criteria:

3.1. Aesthetic requirements of the space are assessed
3.2. New hard material technologies are researched and reported
3.3. Tactile requirements of the hard materials in relation to the design are researched
3.4. Application methods and available expertise for the desired effect are assessed
3.5. Manufacturing processes and available expertise for the desired material are assessed
3.6. Costs of hard materials are assessed and compared
3.7. Environmental impact of hard materials are assessed
3.8. Longevity and restorability of hard materials are researched
3.9. Hazards associated with the use and application of hard materials are researched
3.10. Quality of hard materials are assessed


4.  Recommend hard materials

Performance Criteria:

4.1. Elements and principles of design are used to examine the appropriateness of hard materials for client brief requirements
4.2. Hard materials are selected to meet client brief requirements
4.3. Presentation of research information is made, highlighting the findings and rationale for the hard materials chosen
4.4. Presentation includes a range of presentation strategies including one or more materials boards

Learning Outcomes

This unit supports the attainment of skills and knowledge required for competent research and recommendation of hard materials including a range of finishes and applies to a design and decoration retail, consulting or studio environment. These skills and knowledge are to be used within the scope of the person’s job and authority.

Details of Learning Activities


Guest Industry speakers

Online tutorials

Independent research

Excursions / site visits 

Independent Project work

audio visual presentations

accessing on-line material

Some activities will include a self directed learning approach. Self directed learning refers to organised activities that students undertake indepently, either as individuals or with other students. This may include workplace research, library assignments, field work and work placements.

Teaching Schedule


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


• Brown, G. Z Sun, wind & light : architectural design strategies.2nd ed.: New York Wiley,c2001.
• Graham, Peter Building ecology : first principles for a sustainable built environment Oxford : Blackwell Science, c2003
• Pearson, D. New Organic Architecture. The Breaking Wave. Gaia Books, UK 2001
Carlton General 720.47 P361
Websites: • Info – Link
architectural, interior design and construction products
Intrernet Address
• Ecospecifier
Produced by RMIT's Centre for Design this is a eco-products knowledgebase providing information to assist the design of eco-preferable buildings, interiors and landscapes in Australia
• Good Environmental Choice Guide

• GREENGUARD Certification Standards for Low Emitting Products
• Greenfly
• ECO-Buy, Victoria
• Green Seal

• Standards Australia
Internet Address

Other Resources

Learning Resources

Essential - course notes as provided on blackboard
A4 ruled note pad, coloured pens, highlighters, laptop optional, camera.

For Reference - collection of architectural/interior design magazines and gradual accumulation of product data and samples where appropriate.
Suggested publications and websites as listed above.

Overview of Assessment

• Effectively research and select hard materials to assist with informing the design process and arrive at a solution which meets client requirements
• Effectively apply design elements and principles to the research and selection of hard materials
• Effectively research and select hard materials in accordance with the concepts and design brief
• Comply with legislation, regulations, standards, codes of practice and established safe practices and procedures for researching and recommending hard materials
• Communicate effectively and work safely with others in the work area

Assessment Tasks

Task 1 - Materials Research Blog

Research 8 different hard materials and post your research and images of material in use and innovative uses.

Task 2 - Materials Board for a Kitchen

Using the Kitchen designed for project in 3D Design Process, select all hard materials, prepare a materials board with samples, legend and rendered perspective drawing.

Assessment Matrix

Please refer to blackboard for full details

Course Overview: Access Course Overview