Both career paths are similar, yet they have significant differences in practice. Today we explain relevant aspects of both careers centered in interior and functionality.

You might have wondered what career path to take if you are interested in decoration and buildings. Interior Architecture and Interior Design both involve creating indoor spaces; although they are complementary, they have different approaches in practice. 

The requirements and responsibilities may vary between them. Keep reading this article to find out the main certifications and skills required in each field, so you can decide which area fits better with your career goals. 

Interior Architecture is a profession that blends design and building functional spaces, focusing on the technical aspect of the task. Interior architects manage complex projects, meet  with engineers, constructors, interior designers, and even other architects to discuss, plan, and execute the project. 

Interior Architects oversee construction sites and teams, ensuring security, quality development, and supervising the resemblance of the layout to the actual space. They specialize in designing and also building spaces from scratch. 

On the other hand, Interior Design mainly focuses on aesthetics rather than functionality; it takes inspiration from art, forms, history, or conceptual ideas to fulfill its mission. An interior designer works from a finished space, creating atmospheres and incorporating aesthetic elements such as flooring, wallpapers, furniture, curtains, and artwork or decorative pieces. 

Interior Designers develop lighting, color schemes, textiles, finishes, materials, and textures ideas. Their job is to work hand-to-hand with the client to understand how they intend to use the space and its requirements to make it more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. 

In both professions, there is overlap between activities and responsibilities. For example, both have to create a timeline for the project execution, keeping deadlines under control.  A time management chaos can raise the cost and energy of all involved. 

Interior Designers and Interior Architects are familiar with design software for showing the project’s layout. They use computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting and building information modeling (BIM) applications, this way they can virtually create the space in a fast and efficient way. They also supervise the budget, including cost estimates, supplier orders, and required staff. 

In addition, they manage project meetings to follow up on signs of progress and discuss new options in case of any inconvenience found on the way. 

Surface or Structure: Interior Design vs. Interior Architecture

As previously explained, both career paths have some similarities as their goal is to create and build beautiful spaces. The main difference perhaps has to be with certifications. 

Architects must have a license to practice architecture. In this case, a degree is essential to work in the field. Architecture boards (national or local) set industry-recognized standards to pass a licensing exam. Interior Designers, on the other hand, may not need a license to practice according to national regulations. Nevertheless, they can learn the practice by studying a bachelor degree or taking a course specialization or master’s degree.

Interior Architecture usually turns one type of space into another, analyzing and testing materials of the existing interior structure to be aware of any technical requirements. 

Interior Architects are used to refurbishing existing spaces, designing and adapting the new space taking into consideration the structural elements such as electrical, plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning. 

Interior Designers, on the contrary, do not modify structure elements unless they are mandatory for the project. If required, they will work with a multidisciplinary team to change the building structure. However, their main focus is to design and optimize the previous room spaces or elements to benefit the global project. 

If you feel attracted to Interior Design, you must know there are plenty of specialization areas to choose from. You can find yourself working on residential projects or be more interested in corporate and commercial spaces, such as offices and retail ventures. 

Many Interior Designers may focus on renewing baths, kitchens, living rooms, or bedrooms, the possibilities in residential projects are infinite. Whatever your career choice may be, now you have some specific information to help you decide which path is better for you. 

Whether it is Interior Design or Interior Architecture, both offer you a profession full of creativity, challenges, and beautiful ideas.