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School of art direction and interior architecture

France Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

Penninghen is a private establishment of higher education, legally registered at the French National Ministry of Education & Research, located in the historical St Germain des Prés district in the center of Paris.

Our objective is to create a pool of artistic talent that places creativity at the very heart of its educational program. With this objective in mind, we offer 2 different 5-year Master Degree programs:

  1. Degree in “Art Direction”, which qualifies graduates for careers in all visual communication fields (both graphic and digital design sectors)
  2. Degree in “Interior Architecture”, recognized by the French Board of Interior Architects, for a state-certified qualification for careers in commercial architecture, residential design, spatial & scenic design, furniture/product design as well as architectural 3D modeling.

Students begin their MA Degree course by completing a one-year art & design foundation course in order for them to either move on to their selected degree course at Penninghen or prepare them for the selective entrance examinations to other schools of fine art in France and abroad. 

Our educational program is designed to develop student’s creativity, perfect their design skills and ensure they are able to put into a place an efficient and professional working methodology. In today's complex design industry, it is essential graduates are able to successfully analyse and evaluate information from multiple sources and have the ability to work on design projects with a multi-disciplined approach.

In order to guarantee this, Penninghen has put into place a high-quality teaching program with a renowned faculty of professionals who share their knowledge and experience with each new generation of design graduates.

The result is that our students are able to produce relevant and contemporary design solutions within a wide range of different design fields. By the end of their studies students are totally autonomous and fully prepared for a career in the design industry and are able to demonstrate competency in design and technical skills applicable to their chosen design field: Art Direction or Interior Architecture. 

International Role

Since its creation, Penninghen has always set out to develop collaboration with international schools and institutions. We were one of the very first French design schools to become part of the Cumulus international student exchange program, that gathers together a large network of international design schools and universities from around the world. Since the creation of Cumulus back in 1992, thousands of our students have been able to study abroad in order to develop their design skills in an international environment. 

We also have been issued the 2014-2020 Erasmus Charter for Higher Education, and have participated in the Socrates-Erasmus program for over 15 years with hundreds of student exchanges.

The final Master Grade Degree is also awarded by an international jury of design professionals.

National Role

Penninghen also continues to maintain close ties within the creative industry, developing strong business connections and regularly putting into place workshops with other partner universities to encourage professional collaboration. Graduates can benefit from our comprehensive alumni network of design agencies and specialized companies, which facilitates contact with over 2000 design professionals, ranging from creative directors of small to medium-sized agencies and freelance designers to renowned Art Directors in large advertising and visual communication agencies.

Main Focus

Art direction Image & media
The Master's degree in art direction images and media trains as artistic director and creative director: image, visual communication (graphic art, press, video, television, cinema) digital design. The art director assists and advises the company in its development project, translates its communication strategy into visual elements, giving it meaning.


Interior Architecture
The Master's degree in interior architecture trains as interior architect and designer : layout of the built environment, control of volumes and spaces, ergonomics (sales spaces, retails, offices, hotels, scenography, theaters, museums, ephemeral places, public and collective spaces…..). The interior architect conceives and thinks spaces consistent with the brand’s aesthetic values and activity from conception to realization. Penninghen has been recognized since its inception by the CFAI (Conseil Français des Architectes d'Intérieur).

Faculties and Departments

  • Art Direction
  • Interior Architecture

Master Level Programs

  • Art Director
  • Interior Architect

Subject Areas for Exchange Students

  • Art Direction
  • Interior Architecture

Application Deadlines

  • April, 13th to attend 1st semester
  • October, 9th to attend 2nd semester

Teaching Languages

Teaching is in French. Good level in french is required to attend the courses. 

Semester Dates

  • 1st semester: September, 20th to January, 20th
  • 2nd semester: January, 20th to June, 5th

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)

1500€ per month (including rent, transportation, food and art supplies)


Bachelor: 546
Master: 267

Exchange Students

Incoming: 20
Outgoing: 40

Teaching Staff

Lectures: 20
Part-time Teachers: 100

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