Interior Design Services and Interior Architecture – What’s the Difference?
Many people think interior design services and interior architecture services are one and the same. Not really. Though there are many similarities between the two services and many in the design industry often use the words interchangeably, there are some differences between interior design and interior architecture and the services they both provide.
One thing is certain. They are closely related,, a part of the same industry, and are within the same niche.
If you intend to employ the services of a designer but are not sure whether you need an interior designer or an interior architect, you will get a clearer picture of what to expect of the two professions and know whether it's best to get the services of one or the other.
If you are a student and pondering on “which to study,” this article will help you make a better and more informed decision on the path to take.
Interior Design Services
Interior design services go beyond what you’ll expect to get from an interior decorator. Interior designers not only offer all the design services that an interior decorator can offer, they go way beyond just decorating and 'prettying-up' an interior space.
Part of the services of a professional interior designer has some technical aspects including being proficient with CAD software like 3D Home Design, RoomSketcher, and even though more difficult to use than the two, AutoDesk.
Providing design services involves explicit communication of ideas and effective implementation of instructions in a technical professional manner using detailed drawings, specifications, schedules, and mood boards.
An interior designer will consult with a potential client to ascertain the scope of works. This will be followed by:
- Space planning
- Production of floor plans, elevations, 3D illustrations, working drawings to create a set of blueprints
- Lighting design
- Specialized designs - interior construction works, kitchen designs, storage solutions, bathrooms, and bedroom designs,
- Coordinating colour schemes
- Designs for custom furniture (if required)
Interior designers can provide residential and commercial design services while some in specialized interior design niches can do projects that involve uncomplicated commercial projects like hotels, offices, and restaurants. Others provide services for large architectural firms who are ready to pay top designers hefty salaries.
Services Offered by an Interior Architect
As we know, the terms interior architecture and interior design are many times grouped under and referred to as interior design, but an interior architect takes on a more complex task than an interior designer.
Interior architecture covers design analysis and interior construction, a good knowledge of building regulations, and an understanding of the structure of buildings, in order to make projects safe, habitable, and functional. Areas of specialization are:
- Art of design
- Industrial design
- Science of architecture
Interior architects can gut or strip the inside of an existing structure and then rebuild it to accommodate a totally different purpose. For instance, an old office block can be renovated and converted to a block of modern apartments. And though the building may retain its existing exterior design, the transformation of its interior may be a thing of great beauty. This is referred to as “adaptive re-use” of a building’s shell.
Working as an interior architect is a bit more challenging that providing interior design services. It requires a high level of skill and the ability to work on major projects, keep to tight deadlines, and communicate with consultants, builders, technician, contractors, and ‘big’ (sometimes difficult) clients with very large budgets.
How far into interior design study are you willing to go?
Summarizing the Difference Between Interior Architecture and Interior Design Services
A deeper knowledge and technical ability are the major difference between the two services so if you aspire to become a part of this lucrative profession and are technically inclined to a fair degree, you can decide to study interior design. However, if you have good technical and architectural skills asides being highly creative, you can opt to become an interior architect.
And even though the interior design profession has been around much longer than interior architecture, interest in the latter has grown rapidly in recent years.
With all the new materials like environmentally friendly resources, the ‘green design’ movement, new techniques, and recent technologies like architectural glass ceilings, floors, and walls, including new technologies for heating and lighting, interior designers and interior architects have found exciting new ways to plan and design interior spaces to great advantages for humans who have to interact well within boundaries of a building’s shell.
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