Our five-pronged approach focuses on your individual strengths to develop your unique qualities towards making you an exemplary pi- designer.
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Do you have a passion for design that goes beyond aesthetics and accessorising a space? Are you someone who has a knack for transforming mundane spaces into adaptable and functional ones? If so, a degree in the interior design industry could be the ideal choice for you.
Within the diverse world of design, which includes domains like interior architecture, interior design , set design, furniture design, industrial design, and many more, you’ll find numerous career possibilities that align with your aspirations and goals. According to Gitnux, the global interior design market was valued at USD 130.85 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.3% from 2021 to 2028. The growing need for innovative designers in the interior industry who make the most of any space, coupled with the booming real estate sector and fast-paced urban growth, stands as the driving force behind the market expansion.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the nitty-gritty of interior architecture, learn about the distinctions between this field and interior design, the skills required to excel, the fee structure, and the reasons why choosing this path might be the best decision you make for your future.
Interior architecture is associated with designing and implementing the structural aspects of interior spaces for residential and commercial buildings. It assists in the breaking down or addition of internal walls and the positioning and sizing of windows, doors, and openings to create a more accessible and functional design.
This practice essentially focuses on maximum space utilisation, material palette, building services, circulation, and functionality of a space. It also revolves around designing refurbished buildings, where a considerate and careful strategy is put in place to preserve the historical identity and charm of a space while adapting it for modern needs. Interior architects thrive within diverse teams, collaborating closely with architects, contractors, engineers, and other professionals to create practical and stunning interior spaces.
Interior architects are visionary problem-solvers who harmonise form and function and optimise spaces. Their key responsibilities include:
Numerous aspiring designers are interested in pursuing a career in interior architecture but may not know about the exact specifics of the job profile. If you find yourself intrigued by the prospect of a career in interior architecture, it is essential to acquaint yourself with the skills, personality traits, and educational prerequisites demanded by the profession.
Interior architecture is a diverse field with a multitude of specialities, and therefore, there isn’t a standardised answer to what it encompasses. Nevertheless, many interior architects find their work deeply fulfilling and earn a comfortable living. With the appropriate skill set and training, interior architecture can prove to be exceptionally rewarding.
It’s crucial to start by debunking a common misconception: Interior architecture and interior design are two closely related yet distinct fields. They are often used interchangeably in conversations pertaining to the design of interior spaces. However, there are some pivotal differences that separate the two. Interior design primarily focuses on the styling and ornamentation of interior spaces, with an emphasis on colour schemes, furniture selection, accessories, furnishings, and the overall decor of an enclosed space. Whereas interior architecture delves deeper, addressing the structural and functional aspects of the design. This practice is essentially about making the most of a given space using innovation and maximum space utilisation.
Understanding the difference is important because it can significantly shape your career trajectory. Here are several compelling reasons why:
1. Career Alignment - Both fields offer distinct career paths and opportunities. If you are more inclined towards decorating spaces with a focus on furniture, finishes, and colour schemes, interior design might align better with your aspirations. However, if you have a passion for creating designs that have to do with the overall structure of existing or brand-new structures, interior architecture could be your calling.
2. Skill Development - Identifying the gaps between your capabilities and goals allows you to develop the specific skills required for your chosen field. Interior architects focus on remodelling the structural elements of design, with an emphasis on the art of adaptive reuse, while interior designers work on the styling and decor of interior spaces.
3. Educational Choice - It helps you select the right educational programme perfect for your interests and goals. Regardless of whether you aspire to be an interior architect or an interior designer, choosing the appropriate degree is essential for a solid foundation.
To become successful in the field of interior architecture, you’ll need a versatile skill set which include:
1. Creative Skills - The ability to think beyond conventions and explore new concepts in design and layout for interior spaces.
2. Problem-Solving Outlook - Identifying and resolving design and construction challenges with the ability to pitch, model, and test designs.
3. Effective Communication - Articulating your ideas visually and verbally to clients, colleagues, contractors, and other stakeholders.
4. Understanding Fundamentals - The ability to understand the fundamentals of interior architecture, including residential, commercial, healthcare, historic preservation, restoration, corporate, visual merchandising, retail, and adaptive reuse.
5. Observational Skills - A major part of learning interior architecture has to do with your skill of observing everything around you—details on the site, evolving design styles, materials, colours, and much more
6. Attention to Details - Ensuring every element complements the overall design style set for the interior architecture of the space.
7. Sustainability Mindset - Having a sustainable mindset comes in handy to be able to incorporate eco-friendly practices into your designs.
After completing 10+2, there are various educational paths you can follow to pursue a career in interior architecture:
1. Bachelor’s Degree - You can choose between two main undergraduate programmes. The first is a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) with a specialisation in interior design. The second is a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in interior design.
2. Post-Graduate Programme - If you already have an undergraduate degree in design, you can pursue a Master of Architecture (M.Arch) in interior design. This is a 2-year programme that requires a minimum score for admission.
3. Certifies Courses - Additionally, there are certified courses available in the field of interior architecture. These courses offer specialised training and can complement your formal education
No matter which educational path you choose, it’s essential to gain practical experience through training or internships. Internships provide valuable insights into real-world challenges and teach you practical ways of dealing with them. This knowledge not only helps you brush up on your skills but also gives you the confidence to handle real-time projects.
Duration of An Interior Architecture Degree
The duration of the interior architecture degree programme is four years.
Foundation Year - The foundation year serves as a connecting medium, making your transition from traditional schooling to the world of design comfortable. It offers students a well-guided pathway to enter the domain of an open-minded, free-thinking and experimental design education.
Students acquire a diverse range of design skills and expand their knowledge. Upon completing the foundation year, students progress to the BA(Hons) Interior Architecture Design course.
Year 01 - The first year of interior architecture design introduces you to the fundamentals of the built environment - history, theory and psychology of spaces. It teaches you design principles such as ergonomics, anthropometrics, and aesthetic harmony to understand how we interact with interior spaces.
Conceptual ideas are translated into drawings, models, and renderings. Understanding materials and collaborating with your peers from diverse disciplines gives you an insight into space planning. You get an opportunity to work on furniture and residential design, where you learn model-making and technical drawings. The next step is to do an internship to gain on-the-job experience.
Year 02 - In the second year, students engage in real-life projects, gaining experience through client interactions, presentations and on-site observations. This year emphasises the integration of technical knowledge related to plumbing, electrical systems, lighting, HVAC, and firefighting with site visits and master classes.
Students learn to support their concepts with primary research and also how to source construction materials and furnishings through market studies. Additionally, they also hone their digital skills through tools like SketchUp, AutoCAD, Rhino, and Grasshopper for 2D and 3D visualisation. This year also generally requires an internship.
Year 03 - In the final year, students emerge as an aspiring interior architect with a style of their own. Students usually work on a major design project in their area of interest and also develop entrepreneurial skills helping them polish their skills for future industry interactions. This final-year project allows students to exhibit their potential as a designer with their individual style and make independent design decisions. Faculty and industry experts closely mentor them, and they get the opportunity to collaborate with their peers thus building teamwork skills as well.
The average interior architecture design course fee usually ranges between INR 80,000 - INR 6,00,000 per annum.
1. Lucrative Career - There is a growing demand for jobs in interior design with a specialisation in interior architecture as more individuals and organisations recognise the importance of well-designed spaces. This demand ensures a consistent flow of job opportunities for interior architects.
Interior architects who specialise in optimising spaces and creating functional and safe interior environments are highly valued. The average salary of an interior architect all across the globe is around INR 8,00,000 per annum. They are also eligible for an exciting bonus that ranges between INR 2,00,000 - INR 5,00,000 every year.
2. Creative Freedom - Being an interior architect gives you the opportunity to shape not only the interior environments but also the society. You can inspire, motivate, and create purposeful and safe spaces - the ones that take care of your physical and emotional well-being. Additionally, you can specialise in the sustainable remodelling of existing spaces with an emphasis on adaptive reuse and design for communities and user groups with specialised needs. Not only can you work on residential projects, but also schools, hospitals, museums, and theatres.
3. Collaboration and Interdisciplinary Learning - Interior architecture is known for teamwork and interdisciplinary learning. Interior architects collaborate with various stakeholders like engineers, architects, lighting consultants, and other professionals for minimum discrepancies and a smooth workflow. This approach exposes individuals to diverse perspectives and expertise, enriching their knowledge and problem-solving skills.
4. Niche Expertise - In the domain of interior architecture, you can specialise in various niches, depending upon your knack and interests, like healthcare, retail, hospitality, or sustainable design. This allows you to cater to a niche audience that resonates with your passion, ensuring that your work remains fulfilling and engaging.
5. Keeping Up With the Evolving Industry Trends - The interior architecture industry is constantly evolving, and interior architects have the opportunity to stay at the forefront of these changes. Whether it’s adapting to the latest advancement in technologies, incorporating modern materials or embracing innovative sustainable practices, they have a chance to participate and be a part of the movement. This adaptability ensures that the profession will remain exhilarating and relevant to the needs of the future.
IIAD is an independent design institute in New Delhi that offers various design courses, including interior design, fashion design, fashion communication, interior architecture and more, in collaboration with Kingston University, London.
Fee - Approximately INR 5,06,620 per annum
Pearl Academy is a renowned fashion and design college with campuses in Mumbai, Bangalore, Jaipur and Delhi. It offers a wide range of undergraduate design programmes, including fashion design, communication design, product design, interior design, interior styling, fashion styling, interior architecture and more.
Fee - Approximately INR 4,47,780 per annum
SID is a popularly known design institute located in Pune. It offers a plethora of undergraduate programmes, including fashion design, industrial design, communication design, product design, interior space design and more. The interior space design focuses on the design principles and structural elements of interiors, including space planning, material specifications and building services.
Fee - Approximately INR 4,60,000 per annum
Located in Pune, the MIT Institute of Design offers a range of undergraduate design programmes in diverse disciplines, including retail design, user experience design, interior space and furniture, product design, graphic design, fashion communication, and more.
Fee - Approximately INR 6,13,000 per annum
In conclusion, this question doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer because the choice of pursuing interior architecture hinges on numerous individual factors, circumstances, and goals. While it offers the opportunity for a lucrative income and a rewarding creative career, it does come with the trade-off of demanding long hours and the potential for competitiveness and stress.
The successful outcome of the course entirely depends on how well these subjects are taught. This is possible through institutes like the Indian Institute of Art and Design. IIAD is celebrated for its comprehensive and industry-oriented approach to design education. Its mission is to train creative individuals and prepare them for the dynamic field of design.
The course offered by IIAD covers adaptive reuse, refurbishment, and technical understanding of functional and safe spaces, all while improving your sense of aesthetics. The best part about this design institute is that it promotes on-site experiences, and a unique project-based curriculum to train you with rich practical insights. With the right environment and guidance, a career in interior architecture can be a promising one.
Looking for guidance and industry insights? Don’t miss watching this webinar on Career Opportunities in Interior Architecture & Design. Interested in a degree in Interior Architecture? IIAD (Indian Institute of Art and Design) offers a cutting edge programme in Interior Architecture & Design. To know more, checkout this 1-min video to get an idea about the course of Interior Architecture & Design at IIAD!
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An independent architect and writer based in Bombay, Sukanya started as a practicing architect but soon discovered the vast potential for multifaceted roles within the AEC industry. This led her to explore a series of possibilities – from design ...
ing and curating to researching and writing. Witnessing her designs come to life, critical thinking, and writing gave her a perspective both as a designer and a writer. With two years of independent work, she’s had the privilege of collaborating with publication houses, architectural studios, firms, organizations, and educational institutions. She advocates for mental health and is often found doing spoken word poetry.
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