Do Architects Design Interiors? Let’s Find Out

By AALofts Design

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By AALofts Design

Since both Architects & Interior Designers are responsible for designing buildings’ external & internal parts, people often confuse where the profession overlaps. Traditionally, an Architect creates a building’s structure, while an Interior Designer works out the internal functionality & what goes inside the building. However, architects are often responsible for working out the overall spatial arrangement within a building’s structure – this is where it gets slightly confusing. 

Both Architects & Interior Designers work in sync with each other to make a building, & it’s indoor spaces functional, pleasant & appealing. They create structures in our surroundings that impact our psychology & well-being. The short answer to do architects design interiors is yes. But typically, architects do not design interiors spaces to the level that interior designers do. An architect thinks about internal functionality, the flow of traffic & form, the interior designer, dives much deeper into aspects such as colour & furnishings etc. 

Can an architect design interiors? With their level of knowledge, absolutely yes. Do architects tend to design interiors to the level that interior designers do? Typically no. Interior design is a whole other remit that encompasses detailed finishes, fixtures, furniture, bespoke elements etc. Qualified, professional interior designers are much more focused on interiors than architects. 

All other things being equal, interior designers should provide a more detailed & comprehensive design solution, & potentially a more creative interior proposal than a proposal by an architect. However, some architects, known as “interiors architects” do specialize in interiors. Some are licensed & either do or have done work on the exterior.

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What is the Responsibility of an Architect?

Architects are designers that are certified to design buildings. An architect provides design services for buildings & space within the surrounding site with human occupancy or use. In the architecture, technical & environmental knowledge, design & construction management, & business understanding are as important as design. An architect accepts a commission from a client. The architect participates in developing the building requirements the client wants. Throughout the project, the architect coordinates a design team.

Once hired by a client, the architect is responsible for creating a design concept that meets the client’s requirements & provides a facility suitable for the required use. The architect must meet with, & question, the client, to determine all the planned project requirements. The architect may make initial proposals to the client, which may rework the brief’s very terms.

A crucial part of the design is that the architect often consults with other specialists such as engineers throughout the design, ensuring the coordination of the structural supports & air conditioning elements. Architects deal with local & federal jurisdictions about regulations & building codes. Some established jurisdictions require adherence to design & historic preservation guidelines. Health & safety risks form a vital part of the current design. In many jurisdictions, design reports & records are required, including ongoing considerations such as materials & contaminants, waste management & recycling, traffic control & fire safety.

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What are the Major Differences between Architecture & Interior Design?

The two professions differ based on their training, what they focus on, & what they design. Architects design buildings, while interior designers develop the building’s interiors, including furniture, fixtures, & other accessories to create a desired look & function for spaces inside the building.

Architects don’t generally get as involved with paint specifications, furniture or fabrics, signage or decoration as interior designers. Architects do not act in the contractor & designer’s capacity in the same way as some interior designers. They do not (or should not) directly supply any physical materials for a contract.

An Architect is trained in designing a structural building that meets national, state & local building regulations. Interior designers are trained in creating a functional & quality interior environment. Architects are more focused on technical specifications like form, material, climate, lighting, ventilation, flooring, etc., while interior designers specialize in using design to impact human psychology & emotional.

Interior designers generally lack technical knowledge of the exterior of buildings. They don’t deal much with things like insulation or waterproofing. They also don’t tend to have any experience with long term durability. Interior design is much more ephemeral than architecture. Architects learn, understand & care much more about how materials age in the longer term.

Architecture is regulated & validated by a central professional body that imposes standards & a code of conduct, leading to the licence’s revocation if breached. This means that clients have protection against fraudulent & incompetent practice. There is no restriction on who can practice as an interior designer in many parts of the world.

Where Architecture Crosses Over to Interior Design.

There are some aspects of building design where architects & interior designers cross over. They can both design cabinetry (fitted cupboards & shelves), although you might expect a designer to give you a more thoughtful result. Both can plan where plug sockets should go to enable you to use the space entirely.

Many architects provide some of the things an interior designer would typically do, such as planning in furniture placement, choosing tile & woodwork finishes, & select interior doors. Again, one would imagine a designer would give a finish which is more in keeping with your existing style.

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Wrapping it All Up.

If you’re interested in further reading, please see the links to my trusted resources page & related articles below. To find out more about AALofts Design, please click here. If you found this content helpful, want to collaborate on a project, or would like to request an article topic, please click here to get in touch via the contact form. Feel free to share & connect on social media, if you found this content helpful.

Article by Amy Lofts.

Article by Amy Lofts.

Owner of AALofts Design

Welcome! I am a graphic designer & digital marketer with over ten years of experience within a range of industries including; e-commerce, architecture, cruise liners, textiles & interior design. Having grown with exposure to various disciplines of art & design, my brand reflects my love of elegance, beauty & exploration. Get in touch or learn more.

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