Our five-pronged approach focuses on your individual strengths to develop your unique qualities towards making you an exemplary pi- designer.
“The essence of interior design will always be about people and how they live. It is about the realities of what makes for an attractive, civilized, meaningful environment, not about fashion or what’s in or what’s out. This is not an easy job.” – Albert Hadley
We’ve all noticed a stream of job applications in our searches that quote ‘Interior Architect required for a full-time position’, and that leaves us wondering, what exactly is the difference between an Architect and an Interior Architect.
Design is a vast field of study – and to encompass this, there is a diverse range of design courses, programs and degrees. The diversity in the field is a testimonial that there is no one way to be a designer. While many industry insiders might suggest that a macro-level study is important; it is fairly tough to narrow down to your specific interest and potential. For example, if you are inclined towards being a workplace designer, comprehensive coursework of an Architectural degree will not suffice you with the precise knowledge required for that role.
Design legends like Es Devlin, Neri Oxman, Else Crawford, and many more, have extended their design expertise after first heading down the conventional mainstream path. But what if there could be a concentrated study for the area of your interest.
Through this article, we will explore the various nuances of Interior Architecture and Architecture, understand the difference, diversity and potential in both. While the term “Architecture” might be a commonality between both these phenomena, the real-time interpretation of this term is different. Architecture covers a vast range of topics while giving a peek into the enormity of each subject. On the contrary, Interior Architecture design focuses on design finesse and an upper hand on specific details in the fields of Interior and Architecture, therefore the name ‒ Interior Architecture. This, in turn, helps an individual in having an upper hand through a specific niche related role in the industry as a professional.
While general know-how of the industry is a must, it is insufficient to provide a detailed study of professional challenges through it. Therefore when an individual gains niche-specific knowledge, they can easily devise viable design solutions. A targeted study from macro to micro can also help in gaining subject matter expertise.
In the new age, a streamline of niche-specific service providers is in demand. Even as a buyer, we prefer products that are niche-specific over a brand that caters to every commodity. We believe that a niche-specific product will be more detailed, value for money and worth the investment; this same principle goes for the construction industry.
An architectural degree addresses the macro-level requirements of the construction industry. Architecture explores ideas and methods of creating functional, efficient, aesthetic and structurally viable building solutions. The coursework of architectural education mainly explores the act of design that creates entire buildings from their foundations up as well as the surroundings that the building sits within.
Scope of Work: Responsible for the creation and construction of an entire building and or groups of buildings, along with the physical planning and design.
When are they approached: When a building or campus needs to be constructed from scratch or it needs structural changes; renovation or refurbishment.
What is their expertise: The expertise lies in designing and building a structure that abides by the building codes, rules and regulations while ensuring an efficient functional plan. Their scope of work focuses especially on the technical aspects like mechanical, electrical, plumbing and spatial functioning of a building as well as construction management.
While architecture deals with enclosure and envelopes of a structure, Interior Architecture courses deal with creating a balance between aesthetics and practicality; it also has an emphasis on functional and environmental design with an intuitive thought towards a human-centric approach. Creating design interpretation by studying human psychology also forms a pivotal part of the Interior Architecture degree. It has a streamlined macro to a micro approach which helps in forming holistic design solutions that are both; aesthetic and functional.
Due to this dynamicity, the training process also requires a specialized approach where in-depth and precise knowledge becomes a must.
Role of an Interior Architect
Scope of Work: Responsible for creating human-centric designs that are both aesthetic and functional while taking into account the environmental and external factors that affect them.
When are they approached: Interior Architects are approached in a broad range of projects such as hospitality, residential, commercial, institutional and much more. After the basic structure of a project is partially ready, the interior architects enter the picture.
What is their expertise: Their expertise includes design analysis, interior designing and execution, knowledge in building construction codes and environmental design.
Role and Responsibilities:
Interior Architecture also involves collaborating with various surveyors, contractors, vendors, clients, etc. to create a design from scratch. They are even responsible to revamp the entire program of an existing building. For example – an old office building block can be completely revamped and re-adapted to be used as an apartment block. The shell remains intact in which the internal meaning and concept of the entire space can be changed, therefore making it a complex profession that thrives on specialization.
There is a detailed difference between an architectural degree and an Interior Architecture Degree, both are versatile in their places, and both serve a greater purpose. They can provide a wide arena of job opportunities in their individual directions. While both of these degrees have their own merits, it is important to know which one you are inclined to. Overall, an individual’s design inclination defines their sustenance in the industry.
Therefore, it is important to have a niche-based study to adapt to the construction industry at a faster pace. Understanding the difference between an Architecture and interior architecture Degree is thus, important.
Before pursuing an architectural degree it is necessary to know the study involved in the coursework ‒ what are the challenges; the merits as well as demerits, let’s look at a few of them:
Interior Architecture deals with precise coursework that emphasizes specialization within the profession, let’s look at the perks, challenges within this degree.
Typically clients prefer a “single window” service, the Interior Architect meets this requirement easily. Unlike an Architect, an Interior Architect is therefore in a much better position to take on design and build projects, which are also referred to as Turnkey projects.
This provides the Interior Architects to explore new facets in the design language, making this the right place to be in 2021!
After analysing all the above factors, you must have devised a tentative solution to choose between the Architecture and Interior Architecture degrees. The choice, however, is relative to your individual potential, interests and goals. This should also align with the current scenario in the construction industry.
Due to the pandemic architectural project timelines have exceeded with a lesser demand for new talent. Whereas, the demand to re-think architectural spaces has created a huge demand for Interior Architects.
The choice between both these options, therefore, depends on the demand of the market and your individual interests.
After pursuing a 5-year architecture interior design course, if you feel that specialized expertise in the Interior Architecture market is what you need, then you can pursue upskilling programmes or coursework usually at a Master’s level. Several courses in design are offered today in both the traditional offline and in the online mode.
These courses are centric towards designing while enabling new identities to the existing spaces; forming an intersection between architecture, interior design and experience design. Rigorous coursework can help you in developing analytical thinking to be critically creative in the field.
Your degree defines your career path, it is important to be intuitive and well-researched while entering this realm. Design is a versatile field but to be relevant it is necessary to position yourself as a subject matter expert through specialized coursework.
Both the courses, Architecture and Interior Architecture Degree, though related, have their own set of advantages, challenges, merits and demerits but choosing them as per your inclination and market demand is important. Interior Architecture is a lucrative profession with a technical aspect, Architecture is a broad study of the building envelope; both these facets are equally important in making thought-provoking structures. If you are highly creative with a technical inclination, you should opt for Interior Architecture. Architecture might have lived long but the rapidly growing Interior Architecture profession comes with a higher demand for designers.
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