How to Become an Interior Designer
Interior design is the professional and comprehensive practice of planning, coordinating and specifying the elements and finishes that comprise a space to achieve a coordinated and harmonious environment. It is a creative discipline that draws on the principles of architecture, environmental psychology and product design.
The purpose of interior design is to create environments that are functional, safe and aesthetically pleasing for the people who will be living or working in them. A designer’s job duties include creating layouts and selecting furnishings that meet a client’s needs, as well as adhering to codes and regulations.
It is a professional practice that is often considered a sub-discipline of architecture or environmental design; however, it has its own unique set of skills and methods. It is a specialized branch of design that requires a high level of education, experience and professional qualifications.
A qualified interior designer should understand a building’s structural and operational functions to determine how best to arrange the space and materials within it. The designer should also have an understanding of human behavior and preferences, as well as ergonomics, to create a space that is comfortable for the people who will use it.
This design process can take a long time to complete, as it involves a wide range of technical knowledge and a high degree of creativity and imagination. It also requires a firm grasp of how to apply the different elements of design in an effective and efficient manner, such as color, lighting, material selection and space-planning.
There are many ways to learn the necessary design skills and become an interior designer, including an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree program at a local college or university. The first year of an associate’s program focuses on basic design concepts and hand drawing and digital drafting, while the second year teaches more specialized topics, such as architectural lighting, marketing, and business strategies.
Another way to enter the field of interior design is to join a professional organization. A professional organization is a group of designers who work together to promote the profession, offer educational and career support, and provide certification and continuing education opportunities.
Some professional organizations specialize in a specific area of design, such as gerontological or healthcare design. These professionals can help you develop the skills you need to design spaces that are safe, healthy and welcoming for patients, families, and staff.
The design of hospitals, clinics, residential care facilities and physician’s offices is a specific area of design that requires a lot of attention to details and research. Healthcare designers need to be knowledgeable about patient needs, ADA requirements, and building codes as they plan and renovate these spaces.
Some professionals also focus on interiors that are environmentally friendly, such as using recycled materials and organic materials, which have a lower impact on the environment. For example, bamboo and cork are natural alternatives to traditional building materials like wood and plastic. These types of materials are often used to create furniture and accessories for the home or office.