Many people still do not understand how architecture and interior design synchronize. Architects stick to the measurements while designers throw the measurements out. Architects focus on the exterior while the designers focus on the inside.
In theory, architects and interior designers are highly trained professionals with comprehensive knowledge of architectural principles. Historically speaking, these two groups study different disciplines. Architecture is a highly regulated field. Above anything else, architects must design homes that are safe for the occupants. Because architects work with the main structure of a home, they are authorized to make changes to it. Interior Designers are allowed to change the parts of a home that do not interfere with its actual structure.
Generally speaking, architects:
- Design the whole structure of a home (its exterior and interior structure)
- Include electrical and plumbing requirements in each plan
- Focus on the home’s exterior design elements, and also its interior architecture, trim, millwork and ceiling finishes
- In certain cases, select the tile, flooring and lighting (fixtures and placement)
Generally speaking, interior designers:
- Design the look/style of a home’s interiors (usually all rooms)
- Include a lighting plan for each room
- Design backsplashes, choose all tile, flooring and lighting (fixtures and placement)
Focus on selecting interior materials, finishes, hardware, furnishings, textiles, drapery/window treatments, paint color, wallpaper and accents.
As much as it is clear for one to see that the two fields complement each other beautifully, there is a school of thought that argues that interior design is under architectural jurisdiction. This however is still under debate though interior design has curved a wonderful niche for itself.
Architects continue to argue that the design of interior space falls under their jurisdiction; that the architect is qualified by education and experience to design the interior; and that they’ve always had this responsibility. So this doesn’t need to change. But things have changed. Increased complexity in the design of interior environments has demanded a more focused expertise and skill set related to sustainable interior materials, ergonomics, design for multiple populations, ADA compliance, workplace design, facilities management, interior lighting and other aspects of the built environment focused at the interior scale. This is clearly evidenced by the growth of the separate, parallel career track in interior design. Architectural education, given its inherent breadth, has failed to provide the focused experience at the interior scale needed to support an evolving and high level interior design practice. Thus, many talented college-bound students have chosen to pursue an interior design education more directly aligned with their passions and interests, even if this might ultimately place them at a disadvantage in the professional and licensing arenas.
There is more to interior designing than just aesthetics. Interior architects also deal with functionality and safety. They take into account use of color and light plus the durability and strength of a structure.
Interior architects specialize in designing and building interiors for safety, functionality and aesthetics. It is important that interior architects not only understand the durability and strength of building materials, but also be skilled in the use of light, color and textures in a space.
Interior architects draft plans to create or refinish spaces in private homes or commercial buildings with their clients’ tastes in mind. Each job may require interaction with different clients, additional architects or designers, construction teams and inspectors. In creating plans for a space, they take into account interior construction, lighting and furnishings. Interior architects must also be aware of federal, state and local building regulations so their designs are up-to-code.