Residential Space Designer
Residential space design is an interesting field where interior architects bring their specialised knowledge coupled with fresh design perspectives to develop concepts suiting the client’s requirements and lifestyle. In residential design, projects would involve designing interiors of residential spaces, condominiums, apartments, home offices, and the like.
While working in residential space design, as the designer, you ought to be cognizant of various building, life safety and accessibility codes and regulations. You would be involved in preparing preliminary sketches of space planning, furniture layouts, colour palettes and finish specifications for client review once you have gathered knowledge about the building’s systems (structural, architectural, plumbing, HVAC, security, etc.). Preparing final drawings depicting the appearance from different angles and elevations, consulting with engineers, contractors and suppliers to arrive at the project cost and coordinating between client and various contractors/vendors would be some of the tasks that would come under your purview.
A good residential designer is one who is a patient listener, a great problem solver and someone who comprehensively grasps the overarching objectives of the project. You need to have a thorough understanding of human behaviour and be sensitive to the functional, aesthetic and budgetary needs of the client. As an interior architect and designer it is important that the drawings are executed accurately to avoid any cost increases and potential problems during the actual construction.
Commercial Space Designer
With a rise in urban development and standard of living, there has been a growth in the development of commercial infrastructure. This has necessitated the emergence of the Commercial Space Design as an important allied field. A fast paced and exciting field, commercial space design encompass designing the interiors of movie theatres, hotels, restaurants, retail stores, government buildings and the like. A commercial space designer’s task is to plan optimum utilisation of space and design spaces in order to accommodate specific functions.
As you foray into commercial design, there are some tasks and considerations that would be part of your daily routine like visiting the site and analysing the existing site conditions to aid in ideating a design concept that caters to the needs of multiple groups interacting with the space. While working on a commercial design project, you will need to be aware of the building’s systems (structural, architectural, plumbing, HVAC, security, etc.), draft out the built space layouts from various perspectives and elevations and provide all design documents for project approval.
A successful commercial space designer skillfully uses his/her knowledge and understanding of space planning, interior design and project management to create novel design plans that provide a fillip to the business as well as client goals. Commercial facilities need to be designed with utmost care and safety as there will be a large number of people entering the facility at any given time.
Much like any interior space to be designed, a commercial space will have three groups that need to be taken into consideration while designing and they are - the owner, employees and the customers. If the thematic experience woven by you has been well received by the owner, employees and most importantly the customers - consider your job done as a commercial space designer!
Institutional Space Designer
The institutional space category covers a wide range of facility types such as educational institutions, museums, libraries, hospitals, airports, etc., with diverse client needs. Depending on the type of facility, the interior designer must ensure that the stakeholders involved must be appropriately acknowledged and satisfied, much like the case in other interior design projects.
While designing an institutional space, the interior designer must also be sensitive to the needs of the end user. For instance, it is an established fact that hospital visits are least enjoyable, therefore an interior architect and designer taking up healthcare designing needs to ensure that the interiors are psychologically comforting for the patient/visitor. Therefore, when dealing with public spaces, one needs to be cognizant of human factors and behavioural psychology.
Understanding the business and its respective functions, needs and requirements is one of the pre-requisites to designing an institutional space. Gathering knowledge about how the service is being provided to the customer always helps in designing the space better. Designers are also involved in acquiring knowledge about the building’s systems (structural, architectural, plumbing, HVAC, security, etc.) and collaborating with the administration, staff and architect while preparing the prototype design. In addition to these tasks, designers also prepare feasible budgets, schematic designs, space plans, furniture plans and gather various other design documents for perusal.
Besides the general factors affecting the design of an interior space, designers working on Institutional design projects ought to be wary of budget constraints, logistics, public funding, politics, and historical aspects when dealing with a public built space.
Office Space Designer
As an interior architect and designer aspiring to undertake office-space design projects, you will need to balance design and business goals of the client and suitably transform the work environment. Numerous studies conducted globally have revealed that workplace design and ambience affect an employee's happiness quotient, which directly translates into higher productivity levels.
One of the key factors while providing effective design solutions is to understand the office hierarchy, work interaction, communication patterns and overall workflow of the organisation. This aids in sketching accurate floor plans and earmarking appropriate locations for the individuals in the workplace. As a designer one must always bear in mind to balance the design and business goals of the client. Office design is an exciting yet challenging field owing to the element of mixed-use. This makes the speciality an alluring field for interior designers who wish to leverage full potential of their design thinking.
Be it theatre, television, film, concerts or award shows, spectacular set design captivates the audience, provides the context for a particular scene and helps convey the story to the audience. This is where a set designer comes into picture and creates marvelous sets as per the director’s vision. Being a set designer is exhilarating as you get to showcase your originality, creativity and ingenuity through intelligent use of concepts, techniques and materials. Set designing is an intensely collaborative process and involves immaculate planning and execution of tasks in a structured manner.
As a set designer, you would be required to visually represent the design concept through hand-rendered or computer-aided sketches/illustrations. Apart from brainstorming on aspects of lighting, sound, costumes, etc., with the design team, you would also be consulting them while finalising the budget for the project. Elucidating the entire production schedule, ensuring timely completion of tasks, preparing miniature scaled 3D models of the final set with accurate flooring, walls, furniture layouts and placement of props are some other tasks that would demand your attention. Designers also need to anticipate potential problems in the set that can compromise the safety and aesthetics of the setting. This would require them to attend rehearsals/takes to ensure that everything is progressing as per plan.
Set designers are entrusted with recreating the director’s vision on ground and bringing the performance to life. This challenging speciality gives you the opportunity to vicariously transport the audience to a make-believe world created by you!
If fast-paced interior design projects give you an adrenaline rush, then exhibition design could be ‘the’ career choice for you! Whether it’s about designing an entire exhibition space or a single stall, this dynamic field demands a sound understanding of space utilization, critical thinking and design thinking. In addition, exhibition design requires one to have a good grasp over conceptual design, computer aided design software, model making, safety regulations and applicable standards among other skill sets.
Routine responsibilities of an exhibition designer entail developing an understanding of the products/services to be displayed and the overarching brand philosophy and then working on the design concept. Presenting ideas via sketches, computer generated models, visuals or scale plans, liaising with various material suppliers and working out a budget for the project are some other tasks that an exhibition designer would be involved in.
Furthermore, it is the designer’s responsibility to ensure that the project underway is within the budget limitations without compromising on the quality of the deliverables. The job of an exhibition designer does not end with commencement of the show, rather it extends to the moment after the show ends wherein the setup needs to be safely dismantled and disposed off as per environment safety standards.