Every building tells a story, a story embedded in its walls, a tale told by its originators. Such stories are crafted by the intricate work of both Architects and Interior Designers.
Such people work in sync with each other to make a building and it’s indoor spaces functional, pleasant and appealing. They create spaces in our surroundings that impact our psychology and well-being.
Since both Architects and Interior Designers have a similar work profile that involves designing, people often get confused between these overlapping professions. For instance, an Architect designs the structure of a building, while an Interior Designer designs what goes inside the building.
Hence, before ambling on to any of these professions you should know the differences between them. I’ll take you through all of these differences one by one, and will also discuss how you can pursue a career in either of the two fields.
Who is an Architect?
Empty spaces built to perfection with a delicate balance between planning and execution is the work of an architect. They create new, colourful, interesting, creative spaces that light up our surroundings and don’t let boredom set in.
An Architect is a person who designs, reviews, and oversees the construction of buildings. S/he creates a structure on a given space that is both functional and pleasing to the eye at the same time. All the details that are present on the exterior of a building are the work of an Architect.
They also plan the basic structure of the building that includes the placement of rooms, kitchen, dining room, garden, and ensure that appropriate space is rewarded to them in accordance with the client’s requirements.
Who is an Interior Designer?
After a building is constructed, the responsibility of accessorizing and furnishing the empty spaces within the building lies with the Interior Designer. As the name suggests, these people design the interiors of a place and internally beautify the site in accordance with the purpose they will be used for.
For instance, if they are given the project of a house, they decide which sofas are to be kept in the drawing room, which curtains would go well with the sofa, what color scheme should be followed in the house, if any woodwork is required, where should the different furniture items be placed, which paintings would enhance the look of the house, what kind of accessories like hangings, clocks, vases, etc. are required to balance the room.
Hence, interior designers fill up the empty spaces within a building to make them complete.
So, as you can see, the work of Architects and Interior Designers is vastly different. Now, let’s look at the specifics of their differences one-by-one.
What are the Major Differences between Architecture and Interior Design?
The two professions differ on the basis of their training, what they focus on, and what they design, as follows:
- What they Design– Architects design buildings, while interior designers design the interiors of the building, which includes furniture, fixtures, and other accessories to create a desired look and function for spaces inside the building.
- What they are trained in– An Architect is trained in creating a structural building that meets national, state and local building codes. The interior designer is trained in creating a functional and quality interior environment.
- Requirements they focus on– Architects are more focused on the technical requirements like form, material, climate, lighting, ventilation, flooring, etc. while interior designers pay attention to the human psychology and emotional aspects of spaces.
For instance, Interior Designers design hospital rooms that affect the psychology of the patient and promote faster healing, such as calm/ healing colours, light in the room, movement, enough windows and scenic view, etc. Similarly, they design spaces that encourage better learning in educational set-ups.
Having gained clarity on how the two professions differ, let’s look at the path you should follow in order to become an architect or an interior designer.
How to Become an Architect?
- Pursue 10+2 with science stream and math as a compulsory subject. Pass 10+2 with at least 50% marks.
- Appear for NATA (National Aptitude Test in Architecture)- NATA is an entrance examination, qualifying which makes you eligible to enrol in B.Arch. It tests the following skills: Drawing, Observation, Critical Thinking Ability, Aesthetic Sensitivity and Sense of Proportion.
- Enrol in B.Arch (Bachelor of Architecture) after clearing NATA. B.Arch is a 5-year course in Architecture.
- Pursue M.Arch on the postgraduate level if you wish to specialize further in the field. Specialisation courses include Landscape Architecture, Environmental Architecture, Digital Architecture, etc.
- Pursue a PhD program (optional), where you can undertake research work in a specialized field, such as Transport Planning, Urban Design, Environmental Planning, Housing, Industrial Design, etc.
Colleges for Architecture
Some top institutes recognized by COA (Council of Architecture of India) and AICTE (All India Council of Technical Education) offering architectural courses are School of Planning & Architecture (New Delhi), Sir J.J College of Architecture (Mumbai), Indian Institute of Technology (Roorkee, Kharagpur),Birla Institute Of Technology (Mesra), Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (Ahmedabad), etc.
How to Become an Interior Designer?
- Pursue (10+2) with science stream and maths as a compulsory subject and secure at least 55% marks to get admission in some good institute.
- Take the multi-level entrance test conducted by The School of Interior Design (SID) CEPT University, Ahmedabad for taking admission to a full-time 5-year Professional Education Program in Interior Design leading to the award of Bachelor of Interior Design.
- You can also opt for the NID Entrance Exam for getting admission in National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, another top designing Institute offering 4 years Graduate Diploma Programme in Design.
- After completion of your 4-5 years degree course, you can work with a senior Interior Designer for exposure and experience or opt for a higher-level Designing course like MSc. (Interior Design) offered by different design institutes in India.
Colleges for Interior Design
Some leading institutes for Interior Design include: National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad), Sai School of Interior Design (New Delhi), Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (Ahmedabad), Sir JJ School of Art (Mumbai), National Institute of Fashion Design (Multiple Locations), etc.
So, where do you think you fit well? Interior Design or Architecture? If you think you have the skill to design places and fill empty spaces with your creativity, then take the Mindler assessment and let our career coaches help you discover your perfect career.