Architects vs interior designers, roles and responsibilities

 Talking about the difference  between interior design and architecture  from the type of projects to liability  and license the design process  education career  and as we go through this you’ll probably  kind of get a sense of what type of  skills and personality type would be an  ideal fit for each 

In a very general sense  architects design buildings including  the envelope, the foundation the roofs, and interior designers design the  spaces within that shell this  difference in scale has a huge  impact on the work itself, and your  day-to-day would say the biggest  difference is the speed the  timeline for an interiors project is  much much much shorter than an  architecture project

 within the period of a few months or just a  few years you go from concept to  construction to completing a project in an architecture project the process of  going from concept to construction could take years  and a lot of times you might decide  after doing a feasibility study that you  know the project is not even worth  continuing,

SO if you are someone who’s  in this design field to  see the thing that you designed get  built which is you know valid, the interior should be a  consideration for you but as an  architect, you can also work on interior  fit-outs or renovations which is where  it gets a little bit confusing, but this  is very very common, the biggest distinction  it comes down to the  liability and the license and the  ability to stamp and seal drawings and  pull permits 

Asper NBC even if you’re doing very  minor work you still need to apply for a  permit  and when your interiors project involves  things that could compromise the health  and safety of the occupants of a  building you need someone who can sign  and seal the drawings and take liability  for their work aka someone who can get  sued if something goes wrong and that  person  in most cases is a registered  professional like an architect or an  engineer so  it’s very common for interior designers  to  work with either of these people either  as a consultant or as an in-house  architect 

The process of becoming a registered  interior designer teaches you things like life safety and health of the  occupants but we think because interior  design is a relatively new profession  compared to architecture or engineering, most jurisdictions don’t allow them to  sign and seal the drawings yet  the design process is actually where it  gets really interesting,

 the biggest difference between an  architect and an interior designer is  that architects work in the realm of  function  and interior designers work in the realm  of moods, obviously there is overlap but that’s the biggest distinction that  impacts the design process so when an  architect starts the design process we  meet with the client and we talk about  the site the landscape  and we talk about all the code and  zoning requirements like how much can  you build how high can you build and  we’ll talk about the functional and  physical constraints to understand you  know if the project is feasible because  there’s so much money involved and once  we have a good understanding of those  parameters we start diagramming  programming and massing and before we  even get into the design or like the  look of the building we’ll have at least  a couple of meetings where we’re just  talking about the massing and how it  works with the site and the feasibility  of the project and once we have a  direction  then we actually start the actual design  of the building

 when interior designers  start the design process  it’s very much connected to the feeling  and the mood of the space  as well as the functional parameters, they would meet with  the client and talk about their  ideas for the space like what kind of  impression or  like mood they want to create and if  they have any inspirational images they  bring that and we  gather all of the descriptive words  or imagery or any kind of branding  guidelines from the client, and from that, they create a mood board the  mood board is not made up of building  elements but any images that illustrate  the feeling that you’re trying to  capture in the space

 The barrier to entry is somewhat lower in interior design compared to architecture when you look around you’ll see a lot more younger entrepreneurial interior designers starting their firms than young architects, first reason we think is that while interior projects are faster you’re able to get more experience and build up a portfolio earlier in your career, and second reason we think it’s the amount of time it takes to become an expert in interior design is shorter in architecture we think the growth is much slower because buildings they are complex and because your career growth is kind of parallel to how many projects you work on and how many projects you lead, so by the nature of architecture projects being bigger and taking a lot longer, we think it just takes more time it takes more years to be ready to run your firm.

 another thing is a lot of architects don’t get the project management or entrepreneurial experience when they’re working at a  firm but in interior design firms you are the one who’s dealing with the client you are the one whose project managing and you have access to the budget of each project, so you knew exactly how much time you had to spend and you knew exactly how much money was left on the project so we think the business side is more of an integral part of being an interior designer compared to architects.

That’s  probably another reason why the learning  gap is a little bit shorter for interior  designers when they want to start their firms also there are the clients you  can get right because interior designers  are smaller and they’re less expensive  and therefore they’re less risky so you  will be able to get more clients  compared to architecture work, 

At a certain  point in your career, you will have to choose whether to stay in your firm or start  your own business  and  for some people like you’ll get to a  point where it makes more sense for you  to start your own business we have to make sure  that we have all the necessary experience  before leaping so in interior design you’re selling a  mood which we think is harder than  selling something with rational hard  constraints behind, it like the building  code or zoning regulations like when  you’re an architect you can very easily  tell the client okay like this is what  the code says and so you know this is the limits of what we can work with but  in interior design, you’re working  in the realm of like feelings and moods  and atmosphere  

As an interior designer, we think you  have to be a great communicator you have  to be great at selling your ideas you  have to be more personable you have to  be amazing at dealing with clients and  managing relationships not just with  clients but with everyone you work with, that rarely happens in the architecture firms that we work  

Having an entrepreneurial mindset  and you know being able to inspire  others that’s an important skill, but  even if you’re working for a firm  most of the time you are going to be  managing your project and handling  your clients, these skills are  really important if you are an interior  designer in architecture we think there’s  a wider variety of roles you can play  which will also determine the skills you  need but in general, if you want to start  your firm or move up into a senior  position  we think you need to have all the skills,  like selling your  ideas like relationship building and  just like being a likable person

 you will  have a hard time opening your firm  if that is what you’re interested in we think being in any senior position in  architecture you need to be good at  working with people and you need to be a  good conductor of people with different  skill sets but you know moving up into a  senior or managerial position isn’t the  only way to have a successful career in  architecture, if you specialize and  become good at one thing in a  large firm  you can also make pretty good money

whichever direction you  choose, every architect has to start at  the bottom  as an intern architect or a junior  architect and in general, we think one of  the most important skills for an  architect is the ability to  digest lots of complexes often technical information, and communicate it simply by using both graphic and verbal  communication all right so we hope that helped understand the  difference between architecture and  interior design we think there is a lot  more we could go into especially in the  career and skills sections  

 No matter what firm  or what field you’re in but you need to  balance it with your interests and your  passions once you find something that  you really like then you can put all  your heart and soul into it  but you know it’s okay to take more time  in the exploration and learning phase as  long as you’re constantly growing design  is a really fun profession  and in a lot of ways it’s a forever  profession  which means that you never really stop  learning but  it is very easy to burn out or get jaded  if you don’t put yourself in a position  to get properly rewarded for your work  which is why we try to urge people to get  licensed early and you know whether  you’re in an architecture firm or an  interior design firm pay attention to  what brings value to that firm and also  try to constantly be thinking about what  you enjoy doing and what you want to get  better at  and how you can contribute to the field  in your own unique 

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