Interior design vs Other Design Disciplines

Scope Of Interior Designing In Relation To Other Related Design Disciplines.

Interior 001An architect can be considered as a right person to suggest the way of using different building spaces can be used. His suggestions can be of very importance as he has greater understanding for the ways in which different spaces can be used, but he needs to have wider exposure for finer aspect of Interior Designing. The scope and complexity of Architecture and Interior Designing are related but different in terms of Scale and emphasis.

An Interior Designer has much finer aspects to deal with and the same are certainly not talked about in Architectural Training. For Interior Designer, the frame is already set and he needs to work within the given frame. It is also possible that interior of same space might be redesigned at a time when architect of building is no more available. It often happens that the functions of given space will also change. In such a case the visualization of Architect will be affected considerably. The Interior Designer may have to redesign the space and he may come at much later stage. He often needs to have an architectural orientation but only architectural exposure will not be enough for him. He has to deal with the space in different capacity.

An Interior Designer deals with a space more comprehensively. He designs environment in relation to the functional needs. An architect also does the same but his priorities will be government by much different criteria than those of Interior Designer. The understanding of scale, proportion, light, texture, color, harmony, context, form, balance, movement, structuring, finishes, language, vocabulary, approach and also the material to be used; will be different in both the cases. An Architect’s perception will be at building level while perception of Interior Designer might be restricted to a given space only.

Interior Designer have to design the space more comprehensively and also needs to design individual item furniture. His role is not the same as product designers as he will not be designing any product in isolation. His role is neither like that of an Architect nor like that of a product designer. Interior Designers often act as a coordinator for different working agencies involved for execution of his design. He needs to initiate a team work. He is in a way project manager and has to deal with not only designing but also financial and management aspects.
Kind Of Exposure Required For Interior Designer

  1. An Interior Designer has to play, he needs exposure of different kinds to have professional efficiency. He needs experience which other disciplines do not provide. He needs training of a kind by which
    He can evaluate and understand the context in which he has to design. He needs to react to not only physical conditions of a given space but also values of person/s for whom he is designing.
    He can be aware of architectural, constructional and structural aspects of buildings so as to design in coherence with other dimensions of dimensions of space/and building.
    • Perception and sensitivity towards finer design aspects can become appropriate and profound.
    • Can lead and coordinate the teams of different workers to get good results.
    • Become familiar with range available in items of Interiors and economics as well.
    • Can understand, appreciate and respond positively to traditionals and cultural values of society.
    • Underst interrelationship and interdependence of different elements of Interior Designing can become more contextual and
    • Stops getting carried away by strange notions of client and alien influences.
    Need Of Formal Training
    The lack of formal education is categorically seen in many works of Interior Designers. Often he will lack confidence if he has no relevant education background. He may opt to directly copy ideas from books, magazines and very often might have to accept irrelevant ideas of clients, if he cannot categorically theoretically advocate his own ideas.

He may go for attractive finishes to make things look good to hide his faults. It may happen that he will go for popular trends without checking the contextual appropriateness. He may disturb the harmony of building by altering architectural language in wrong way. He may design and execute an Interior which the client will think of changing soon.
Many Interior Designing work is done by persons who have not undergone formal training not even in Architecture and Product Design. Depending on person’s ability, creativity and sensitivity, the interior designed by them may turn out to be a good one; but exceptions cannot make rule.

Taking a cross section of profession of Interior Designing, one can definitely feel need of formal training in the field; and the training should be independent from other design disciplines.
• How important it is for architects to learn about interior design – a discussion
• The first question at the Round Table (as first questions often are) were rather general:
• How much do architects learn about interior design in architecture school
• During internship Is the educational picture changing in this regard

Should interior design courses be mandatory

Is there time during the years of architecture school for a significant study of interior design

And in response (before we turned to the specific questions of curricula, and internship, and early experience in the office, and changing client demands), the panelists responded in general ways, though the responses helped shape all of the discussion that followed, and got some varied opinions (indeed, sharp disagreements) out in the open.

An Architect who specializes in interior design, has long been a champion of professionalism in interior design, said: I’m not aware of many architecture courses dealing with interior design. When I attended college, we didn’t learn much about interior design. We were concerned with building concepts and abstractions of building forms and how buildings were organized in conceptual ways.

We were not trained to be sensitive to the ways things would look complete. It always appeared to me that interior designers were much more aware of how buildings were experienced and lived in, how they would look when you were actually in a room, in a space; they were much more in touch with scale and texture and combinations of forms.”

Says another participant : in the earlier days, when you designed a building, it implied a certain kind of interior there was a stylistic implication of what was going to happen inside, from the mouldings to the finishes to the furniture. I think it is only in recent years that many of us have begun to educate ourselves in interior design.

Recalling his days at the architectural college, he reminisced, “My education was strongly oriented towards urban planning and very large scale projects. It would have helped me to be taught that interior spaces were important that the exterior space, not just the exterior, is important in an urban context.”

The question, is not just the relationships between the inside and outside of buildings, but total design as it relates to people. Post-modern thinking raises new questions about the relationship between a building and its interiors. The interest in rehabilitation has caused us to be less enthused about whether we are going to have rectangles or triangles and more concerned about the functional use of space. And new uses are affecting thinking about the interiors.

Objective Vs Subjective

About the importance of objective vs Subjective approaches to architectural education, a participant, whose firm has done mostly interior work, argued that : The crux of the issue from the architectural education point of view is that interiors are now fashionable, current, being talked about. Ten years ago, buildings were important, interiors weren’t. Now that interiors are also equally important, people are going to talk about whether interior design is objective or subjective, pretty or ugly, a separate discipline or a part of total design.
Taste has come out of the closet; that while some years ago it wasn’t fashionable to talk about taste (which is why architects looked down upon interior decorators), it now is not only fashionable, but very important, not just in interiors but in the design of exteriors too. It would be interesting to see the effect of work of some of the architects in the context of the more pragmatic things that deal with the structuring of interiors. Interiors have always been legitimate; but they long frowned upon by architects because they dealt with taste. That made architecture a bit hermetic and a bit private. But now, all that has changed.

Commented another participant : Taste is important. That takes one to the whole background, the educational process, the question of how taste is developed and how you communicate that taste to the client. Perhaps I come at this more business oriented than architecture oriented, but I think, architects and interior designers alike spend too much time on philosophical issues and not enough time on what the market really wants and what it demands and what it is really not furnishing. Architects don’t like to think in terms of providing a service most like to think that they are in the building industry. That is why they talk in terms of construction cost instead of talking in terms of the creative fees.

It’s the client that determines our business, and we need to sit down and talk to our clients about how we are going to serve them best; because that’s the name of the game.

The question, is not just the relationships between the inside and outside of buildings, but total design as it relates to people. Post-modern thinking raises new questions about the relationship between a building and its interiors. The interest in rehabilitation has caused to be less enthused about whether we are going to have rectangles or triangles and more concerned about the functional use of space. And new uses are affecting thinking about the interiors.

A Client : As clients who build buildings, I have found that the people we opt to work with in doing interiors are the people whether they are architects or interior designers or interior decorators who design not to please architects and and certain individuals, but who design to please the person who has to live and work there. Our goal – and we make it very clear to any professional we work with is to try to make people feel good about themselves while they are with us.

An architect, whose firm also deals exclusively with interiors, says : At any rate, when you are dealing with interiors, it’s a subjective choice. I think we can pander, if you will, to a too common denominator. I think one of our charges is to work with the client and present as exciting a space as we can, and then try to get the user involved so he isn’t afraid of the space and feels comfortable.
Architects involved in interiors work, and interior designers, are moving fast in the direction of becoming a service industry. We need education on both sides; we need to educate ourselves to be in a service industry, and we need to educate the clients.

The growth of interest in interior architecture has its roots in the economy. We now see architects involved not in just interior architecture, but in furniture design and other areas that serious architects were not interested in formerly. Many a architectural firms are now looking around for interior designers so that they can offer a full service that is now expected of them and all of these changes eventually filter back into architectural education. It is really the demands of the outside world that have affected the architectural profession. Interior design is not an emerging profession, it’s 50 years old and has always been noble enough to recognize architects.

Rules of The Game

Academician : Architecture is not a service; it is the making of objects on this planet, it is a constructive and optimistic act. Of course every one practices, but that’s not what brings the younger, newer brilliant designers. At the college, one should try to be more concrete about teaching methods. But it’s hard to do so. What I can say is that we should try to make architectural education more of a Renaissance or generalized education.

One emphasis is humanistic values, with electives in sociology and philosophy the cultural impacts that buildings have on society. We are trying to maintain a high technical curriculum. We support the design studies as the place where design education happens, where you have a role model working on a one to one basis with the student. And if the studio system works, it’s an incredible vehicle, stronger than any other teaching vehicle. When it doesn’t work, it’s lousy, as we all know. But when it works, it’s magic.

In the studio, we are attempting to cover the whole scale of design from urban design through a normal range of architectural design to interiors and we are getting more courses together on interior design and furniture. And I must admit that the student has no idea how to develop the interior as coherent piece of design. So we have started asking the student to design a piece of furniture for a specific room, then design the room in short, as they say, design from the inside out. Then the student can do the whole building gain. I must say that architectural education, that ignored the interiors has robbed architecture of a kind of co-herence that it has had in the past.

I find it difficult to be specific about the question of how architects learn about interior design (or vice versa) because you are responding to the question of quality of education. We expect of graduating students to have an ability to think, an ability to conceptualize and come up with a creative solution whether or not that solution is viable an ability to read and understand what is going on in the world. The years one goes through school are the years in which one has the opportunity to find what life is all about.

It is important for students to learn that there must be an emotional involvement with every job. You have to rethink everything every time, never make expedient decisions. You have to get emotional about things at very small scale, about furniture and materials.

Real estate developer : Just go back and remind yourselves, who you are and who you are supposed to be working for. We expect people who come to us to be technically proficient, and they are. We are interested in making objects the building of buildings. But we need to remember who we are there to build for. Every discipline has built into it the trap of hermeticism of thinking that by studying details in design, numbers in business schools, that in and of itself will structure capability and proficiency. Instead, the study of the nature of man’ is central to the education of an architect, interior designer…any designer. I would contend, is in part remembered because of his civilizing capabilities. The work in any school of architecture or interior design has to transcend the work of inside the discipline. You need to understand that you are in a cultural continuum. There is simply no other way no matter how proficient or controlled your work is that you will be able to operate in a society unless you understand how it perpetuates itself.

Client : As a client, I feel the architect is an artist. I would expect the architect that I work with, to be able to conceptualize with some input on my side as a client the whole project, the total thing. I would expect him to be able to accomplish what has been agreed to as a concept what I think of as an operational philosophy, a platform for the architect to start working. Once it has been agreed upon, I expect him to put on his very creative hat and, whatever it takes, create the entire thing. I think of the building as a creation, and when it is successful, it is successful not only to the architect and his client, but most importantly to the people who are going to use it.

About Teamwork

Earlier, they used to set aside a full year in which students from all related disciplines would have to work together as a team to complete a building or an interior. This system created an opportunity for architects to understand that you have to create and work in team you can not play a solitary game here. The architect can not personally design every piece of linen, every chair, every piece in the kitchen. I think it is terribly important that the students move back and forth among disciplines.

There is nothing wrong with being financially successful. I think it is very important that the students get the idea that if you are doing good for the society, you shouldn’t make any money. That is an option that should be left open to individuals. As far as education is concerned, we have to recognize that there is an incredible kind of academic animosity that has grown up over the last few years. Often interior design design is taught in different college and architecture in different colleges. Sometimes interior design is taught in the art department, and there are colleges in which architecture falls under the department of engineering. The problem is that people in each department are educated under different systems. Those barriers should be brought down.

Are Design Skills Learned or Inborn

An Architect : There was an implication in my training that somehow architectural skills were inborn, that there was a talent that either you had or you didn’t have. If they taught medicine the way we teach architecture, you would bring a student into the room, give him a knife, and a sick patient on the table, and say, ‘Go operate him.’

As a client, I feel the architect is an artist. I would expect the architect that I work with, to be able to conceptualize with some input on my side as a client the whole project, the total thing. I would expect him to be able to accomplish what has been agreed to as a concept what I think of as an operational philosophy, a platform for the architect to start working. Once it has been agreed upon, I expect him to put on his very creative hat and, whatever it takes, create the entire thing. I think of the building as a creation, and when it is successful, it is successful not only to the architect and his client, but most importantly to the people who are going to use it.

Architecture is not idiosyncratic there are ways of doing things that are excellent, that should be respected. The past has a great deal to teach us, and these are skills that you go in and learn. You don’t begin by saying, ‘Here is the city. What would you do with it ’ You start by designing a door how does it hinge and how does it latch and why is a door a good idea You learn to understand the door, and then you go to the window, and then to the wall and you begin to build up a competence. So far, that has nothing to do with self-expression, nothing to do with whether the student has poetic or artistic skills or not. It has to do with basic skills; with the fact that there certain ways to put a roof on a building so tit won’t leak. This is something you can learn water has no respect for any individual; it goes in, no matter who you are.

It’s true that fashions are going to change, that people are going to emphasize different aspects of what a building or an interior should be. But what is important is not that we teach the fashion, but that we open the eyes of the students so that they learn to use their eyes to make visual judgments become sensitized to proportion, scale, weight of masses. Words and ideas about architecture are very important; but so are visual judgments. What makes a designer I think, it is the ability to manipulate visual things, visual elements, proportion, line, color, texture, spatial relationship.

One of the things that an architectural education can do is to help prevent the prolification of ugliness in our lives junky buildings, lousy interiors, inferior products. Most of the students who come asking to be taught, have some visual predilection. We need to teach them to see; to understand what is good and what is bad and why; to have their visual judgment.

A man proceeds from within to without. A man is like a soap bubble. This bubble is perfect if its breadth is evenly distributed and regulated from the inside. The exterior of the bubble is the interior. And I think of that as the essence of interior architecture. I feel this is where it all begins. It begins with the planning process, and when we programme properly, we have a good plan and this is the basis for total design. I think the biggest void in interior architecture is the lack of good planners.

I like the idea of an architect doing everything having complete understanding of the project and the direction it is going to take. An architect must obviously have other people working for him, but one person has to be in total control. I also believe strongly that a concept or operational philosophy has to be developed before any pencil can be put to use. This is the time when the architect and client sit down and try to figure out what the client wants. Its more than what you call programming or planning, I think it’s a philosophical thing. I think even this should be a part of the education architectural as well as interior design.

I do agree that you must start from the inside out down to the furniture. When you are hungry, you don’t look at art; when you are not comfortable in a chair, you don’t admire the interior design around you. I would hope that architecture and interior design would remain integrated, that the architect not abdicate from interiors, and that there be no new professional called interior architect. That is really my hope.

As long as the goals are shared, clearly understood, with a certain level of sensitivity, then whether the orchestra leader is didactic or relatively loose, doesn’t really matter. The key word is sensibility, and you can’t teach that.

The communication between the disciplines starting right from the beginning, is absolutely essential. Let the budding architects examine themselves, their own personalities, their own abilities. To examine whether they are best suited to deal with clients or to deal with codes, or to do pretty renderings, or to work with colors, or to do accounting. The fact remains that the architects are letting interiors slip away of course there are plenty of exceptions

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