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Difference between an Architect and an Interior Designer.

Updated: Jan 31, 2023


architect vs interior designer

Architects design buildings, while interior designers the interiors of a building.

While an architect takes care of the interiors while designing the building, an interior designer enters the building only after the structure is ready. Both professions have their own importance as far as building design is concerned.

An architect gives shape to the building from outside and also takes care of the functions inside but an interior designer only decorates the building from inside.

Generally both collaborate to make a building and its interior areas practical, enjoyable, and visually appealing. They design areas in our environment that have an effect on our psychology and wellbeing.

People frequently mix up these overlapping occupations since they both have similar work profiles that require designing.


Who is an Architect?


An architect is a professional who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. Architecture practice includes providing services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that have human occupancy or use as their principle purpose. They are given a license number for practice and are listed in the Council of Architecture. Architects are bound to follow a certain code of conduct as per rules laid by the National Council. Violation of rules can entail cancellation of their license.

An Architect is a person who designs, reviews, and oversees the construction of buildings. She/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. Besides this the architect also plans the interior layout of the buildings. This includes division of space through walls and partitions. Design of services like plumbing, electrical, structure details are also the jobs of the architect. They design the layout and services of kitchen and washrooms too. Basic furniture layout in a building is also designed by 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?


The Interior Designer is in charge of decorating and furnishing the vacant areas in a structure once it has been created. As their name implies, they plan a location's interior and enhance it on the inside so that it suits the function for which it will be employed.

For instance, if they are given the task of designing a house, they choose which sofas should be placed in the drawing room, which curtains would compliment the sofa, what color scheme should be used throughout the home, whether any woodwork is necessary, where to place the various furniture pieces, which paintings would enhance the look of the house, and what kinds of accessories, such as wall hangings, clocks, vases, etc., are required to balance the space.

Interior designers take care of other details like false ceiling, lighting design, wall décor, color schemes, furniture design and material selection.

As you can see, architects and interior designers do quite distinct types of work. Let's now examine each of their differences' details individually.



What are the Major Differences between an Architecture and an Interior Design?


The following are some key training, emphasis, and design differences between the two professions:


What they Design- While architects design buildings, interior designers develop the interiors of such structures, which may include furniture, fixtures, and other accessories to give interior spaces the required appearance and functionality.


What they are educated to do: An architect undertakes a five year degree program which includes six months of internship and six months of thesis. Only after completion of the five years degree program, a person gets recognized by the Indian Council of Architecture. They are registered under the Council and are given a license number which enables private practice. On the other hand there are no such set norms for interior designers. A person can call herself /himself an interior designer even after a short term course of any unspecified duration.


They focus on different criteria: While interior designers are more concerned with the psychological and emotional effects of places on people, architects are more concerned with the technical requirements such shape, material, climate, lighting, ventilation, materials, construction techniques etc.


For instance, interior designers work on interior placements and details only. Architects generally cover both aspects- the civil structure and the interior space. It is evident that an architect is definitely more enlightened and educated on space design- both interior and exterior. While an architect can handle the interior design of any given space with ease, an interior designer has limitations. Their knowledge is limited to placement, aesthetics and enhancement. An interior designer may get stuck where a structural element hinders space enhancement, but an architect is technically qualified to handle such issues.


Now that you are aware of the differences between the two careers, let's look at the route you should take to become an architect or an interior designer. That is the difference between an architect and an interior designer.

How to Become an Architect?

1. Pursue 10+2 with science stream and math as a compulsory subject. Pass 10+2 with at least 50% marks.


2. Appear for NATA (National Aptitude Test in Architecture)- NATA is an entrance examination, qualifying which makes you eligible to enroll in B.Arch. It tests the following skills: Drawing, Observation, Critical Thinking Ability, Aesthetic Sensitivity and Sense of Proportion.


3. Enroll in B.Arch (Bachelor of Architecture) after clearing NATA. B.Arch is a 5-year course in Architecture.


4. Pursue M.Arch on the postgraduate level if you wish to specialize further in the field. Specialization courses include Landscape Architecture, Environmental Architecture, Digital Architecture, etc.


5. 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


The School of Planning & Architecture (New Delhi), Sir J.J. College of Architecture (Mumbai), Indian Institute of Technology (Roorkee, Kharagpur), Birla Institute of Technology (Mesra), Center for Environmental Planning and Technology (Ahmedabad), G.N.D.U Amritsar, etc. are some of the top institutions recognized by the COA (Council of Architecture of India) and AICTE (All India Council of Technical Education) and offering architectural courses.



How to Become an Interior Designer?

1. Pursue (10+2) with science stream and math as a compulsory subject and secure at least 55% marks to get admission in some good institute.


2. 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.


3. 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 Program in Design.


4. 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


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. are a few of the top institutions for interior design.

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