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Designing Spaces or Crafting Structures: Interior Designing vs. Architecture

29-01-2024
  1. Choosing a career between interior design and architecture can be a dilemma for many unless they learn the difference between these two fields. While some might be interested in creating cosy living spaces. others might be dreaming up monumental structures.

So, is an interior designer the same as an architect? The answer is no. Although both these fields might be interdependent on each other, they have different approaches and aspects when it comes to professional milestones. Today, in this blog, we shall understand the difference between choosing a career in Interior design or a career in Architecture!

Interior Designing vs. Architecture: An Overview

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Interior Designing

Architecture

Definition

Interior design focuses on enhancing the functionality, aesthetics, and atmosphere of indoor spaces.

Architecture primarily focuses on the overall planning, designing and construction of buildings.

Focus

Interior designers are concerned about the aesthetics, functionality, and user experience of the built structures.

Architects are concerned with the structural integrity, safety, and engineering aspects of the building.

Design Elements

Interior designers focus on micro-level design, dealing with the arrangement of furniture, lighting, textures, colours, and other interior elements.

Architects work on the macro-level design, dealing with the building's external appearance, structure, layout, and overall spatial arrangement.

Timeframe

Interior design projects often have shorter timelines since they focus on the interior spaces within an already existing structure.

The architectural design process involves longer timelines due to the complexity of building structures, obtaining permits, and coordinating with various stakeholders.

Interior Designing vs. Architecture: Course Duration

The undergraduate (UG) programmes that one can pursue in the field of Interior design are a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in Interior Design and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Interior Design. The duration of the UG courses is 3 years across all institutions in India. The postgraduate (PG) programmes in Interior design are namely a Master of Science (M.Sc) in Interior Design and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Interior Design. The duration of the PG courses is 2 years across all institutions in India.

The UG programmes that one can major in the Architecture field are namely Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch), Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in Architecture and Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Architecture. The duration of the UG courses is 3-4 years across all institutions in India. One can also pursue their PG programmes in Architecture such as Master of Architecture (M.Arch), Master of Science (M.Sc) in Architecture and Master of Arts (B.A) in Architecture. The duration of the PG courses is 2 years across all institutions in India.

Interior Designing vs. Architecture: Course Curriculum

A degree in interior design and a degree in architecture offers unique curricula that are designed to cultivate specialised skills and knowledge in budding interior designers and architects. While interior designing focuses on enhancing indoor spaces for aesthetics and functionality, architecture delves into designing entire structures and their integration with the environment. Let's dive deep into some of the core concepts that are taught in each of these fields.

The curriculum of Interior design usually consists of Design Studio, Interior Design History and Theory, Space Planning and Layout, Colour Theory and Application, Materials and Finishes, Furniture Design and Selection, Lighting Design, Textiles and Soft Furnishings, Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Building Codes and Regulations.

The curriculum of Architecture usually consists of Architectural Design Studio, Architectural History and Theory, Building Construction and Materials, Architectural Drawing and Drafting, Structural Design and Engineering, Environmental Systems and Sustainability, Urban Design and Planning, Building Codes and Regulations, Architectural Technology and Building Systems, and Site Planning and Landscape Architecture.

Interior Designing vs. Architecture: Career Opportunities

The fields of interior design and architecture are both integral to the creation of captivating and functional spaces within our environment. While these fields often overlap, they possess distinct focuses and expertise contributing to the design process. Their collaborative efforts, domain expertise and skills open the door to diverse career advancement opportunities in the business world. Let us explore some of the high-demand career prospects in each field:

Career Prospects in Interior Design
As interior designers have an artistic flair and technical expertise, they have access to great career opportunities in various sectors, from residential and commercial spaces to specialised niches. Here are some promising career avenues in interior design:

Interior Designers plan and design functional and aesthetic interior spaces for residential, commercial, or public use. Residential Designers specialise in creating personalised interior designs for homes and private living spaces. Commercial Interior Designers focus on designing functional and appealing interior environments for commercial spaces like offices, retail stores, and hospitality establishments. Retail Store Designers design retail spaces to enhance the customer experience, product visibility, and branding. Sustainable Design Consultants integrate eco-friendly practices and materials into interior designs to promote environmental sustainability.

Career Prospects in Architecture
Architects play a pivotal role in designing the built environment, merging artistic vision with structural ingenuity. Their expertise in designing functional structures allows them to access lucrative career pathways within the field of architecture. Here are some of the potential career choices upon graduation in architecture:

Architects design and plan buildings, considering functionality, aesthetics, safety, and environmental impact. Urban Planners develop and design land use plans and policies to create well-organised and sustainable cities and communities. Landscape Architects design outdoor spaces, parks, gardens, and recreational areas to enhance natural environments. Restoration Architects work on preserving and restoring historic buildings, structures, and cultural heritage sites. Research Architects focus on architectural research, innovation, and the development of new building technologies.

Way Forward

In conclusion, a career in interior design is distinct from a career in architecture with respect to different aspects. An interior designer is focused on crafting interior spaces that are not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing. On the other hand, an architect uses all his energy to construct new projects and redevelopment initiatives. Although both architects and interior designers are entirely different from each other, they somewhat rely on the same skills, i.e., to develop a better design plan with better design functions. Therefore, the choice between these fields rests on one's passion and interests in either crafting compelling spaces or constructing sustainable buildings.