The term ‘interior design’ is somewhat self-explanatory. Simply put, it is a process of designing the interiors of a room or property. It includes development of a concept up to the actual execution of the design.
Interior design has developed over a long period of time from the pursuit of amatuer designers to the emergence of professional designers in the 1900’s. Professionally designed spaces can be seen today in many residential and (if not most) commercial properties. For example, high end hotels are known to have a certain look, feel or atmosphere inside their premises that are in line with their branding or reputation. Many customer service industry businesses such as hotels, restaurants and cafes pay particular attention to interior design, both to to increase functionality of space and for aesthetic purposes. Interior design in private residences is a much more individual pursuit, where clients demand very specific design briefs in both new and existing structures.
Highlighted courses and degrees in interior design
Interior Design is a very specific field. As such, students of this degree program will be taking classes in relation to design elements, history of interior design, color theory, textiles, drawing, sketching, materials and other more concentrated classes. Throughout the program, students will be working on their portfolios.
In most curriculums, students are required to manage and execute a major project in their later years in the program wherein they will be required to demonstrate the ability, skills and knowledge they have cultivated.
The accreditation of a degree usually depends on the country where the degree is awarded. In most cases, countries have their own accrediting systems for universities, students and graduates. Please check with the institution you are interested in for their accreditation details.
In some cases, for you to be professionally considered as an interior designer, an exam must be taken and passed or a license obtained. This would depend on the country where you would want to practice.
Generally, interior design is considered to be a specialisation in most design degree programs. Because interior design is such a highly specialised field, actual specialisation is normally gained through mentorship or professional experience.
An undergraduate degree in interior design can typically take four years. Another option, which is shorter, for those who want to take an interior design program, is an associate’s degree which takes two years.
There are also various degrees available for those interested in interior design at the master’s level. With these higher education programs, interior design can be taken as the major field of study or integrated with other related fields such as architecture.
Entrance into an interior design degree program varies from institution to institution. Some universities require you to take an entrance exam, while some will take into consideration national or standard exams.
Another possible consideration or requirement would be a creative portfolio. Creative portfolios can usually be sketches and pictures of previous design work or be case study based.
For a complete list of requirements, you are advised to check out or contact the institution you are interested in applying to.
Visit our scholarships and funding section to read more about funding your studies.
Graduates who have completed a degree program in interior design usually remain and work directly in the field to build their career. Some graduates are self-employed, while others are employed by or are owners of firms. An example of an interior design job would be remodeling a home for a growing family. Another would be creating a concept and design for a new restaurant. There are many different types of jobs that are required of an interior designer.
After gaining experience, some may choose to become teachers in design schools and universities. Some graduates, on the other hand, choose to enter related fields like architecture, exhibition design, museum design and television, theatre and film production design. The skills that come in handy here are of course the specialised design techniques and practices that they have gained while taking the degree program.
On their way to completing a degree program in interior design, most students also gain transferable skills such as project management, budgeting skills, communication skills and idea development. These different abilities play a big role in choosing a job or career and can be applied whether or not graduates of interior design actually end up in the field, a related one, or a field that is completely different.
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