Becoming An Interior Designer Is No Picnic.

By livewithnoremorse:

Interior design education from a credible school isn’t half as fun as it sounds. Anyone looking into becoming an interior designer really needs to learn the difference between an interior decorator and an interior designer.

Interior design is much more than picking out paint colors, pinning cute furniture on pinterest, and pulling furniture away from walls. There’s a science behind design that is apparent in all forms of design: graphic, industrial, interior and otherwise. Learning the psychology behind space, color, and a user’s interaction with the built environment is crucial to creating a pleasing atmosphere.

An education in interior design will teach you that every space you’ve ever been in has been designed, albeit some better than others. However, prospective students need to know there’s more to interior design than what you see on HGTV. There’s a lot more work than people think, and you will be criticized for choosing a ‘cop-out’ major that doesn’t have a future. Your education will start out seemingly pointless. You’ll take basic drawing courses, color theory, and art history, and will likely roll your eyes every time your teacher talks and question it’s relativity to your future. Then you’ll move into drafting and design courses, where you will lose a lot of sleep! However, nothing beats that feeling you get when you finish your term project in a class you knew nothing about a few months prior.

All in all, prospective students should really look into schools and how they fit them. You will likely be attending a for-profit art school, where money will be a deciding factor in your education. Talking to current students at a university you’re interested in is imperative at getting an accurate depiction of the school. Just remember, admissions representatives only want your money.

thetravelsoftimo said: Wait.. so those hosts on TV shows like Candice Olson, and Genevieve Gorder wouldn't be considered Interior designers then? Would it? Cause I feel like Interior design is far beyond just changing the paint and creating basic cabinets and things of that nature.. You can google them cause I don't think they are known in the UK..

As I have said a few times before, I am by no means an expert on this subject, but I have to agree with you. There is a great discrepancy between public perception and what an Interior Designer with an accreditation actual does. And yes, the media has definitely got something to do with this. There is a vast number of TV programs out there which unfortunately gives the overall impression that interior decoration is the same as interior design. Obviously we are in no position to influence public perception, but perhaps we can demystify and educate a few people who are looking at pursuing a career in Architecture/Interior Design. I have received a lot of positive feedback so far, (thank you), and just because I am not publishing all your Ask’s just yet, rest assured that they will be published over the next week or so. (I just don’t want to spam your dash.) Next up, I am going to write about the education in the UK, and then we will see where it takes us. I might look for some help in putting together a decent questionnaire for students of Interior Design/Architecture. 

microwavecoven said: I'm also an Interior Design major. I'm only a sophomore but I think I have a pretty good feel for what's in line. Like it was said before, there's a huge difference between interior decorating. Most people don't realize this so I feel like interior design as a major, at least at my school, is really under appreciated because everyone thinks we just decorate which can actually get annoying. So I can also be somewhat of a resource for anyone with questions about the major!

Thank you for the message, Buddy. Well, with regards to the education not being appreciated. Let’s see if we can change that mindset, shall we? :)  I am thinking about putting a questionnaire together for students/interior designers. Would you be up for answering a few questions about your interior design school, and your own experience in particular?

coup--detat said: In the US, the college that has the number one Interior Design program is Pratt University, but that's still debatable.

You are the second person to tell me that Pratt University is the best interior design school in the States. I will definitely have to have a closer look at them as part of my investigations. Thank you, and please do get in touch if you think of anything else. 

  1.  peaceofm1nd said: come to Auburn University. i’m an industrial design major, but i know our interior design program is ranked.
  2.  evol-design said: Its Pratt Institute, not University. I am actually a student in their Architecture Program. Cheers

Part 2.0: Interior Design School, The Education, The US.

I posted this earlier today, but as it concerns the American’s more than the European’s I have to re-blog it again. (Time zone issues.) Again, if you are following me for the photos only, please disregard this post. I have undertaken the task of educating myself and other interested parties in understanding exactly how one goes about becoming an Interior Designer, so unless this is a direction you plan to take in life, I suggest you stop reading right… Here.

1. Up until fairly recently, the type of courses and book based learning was limited and therefore the most common way of becoming an Interior Designer was through work placements/apprenticeships.

2. Today, there are various routes when it comes to pursuing Interior Design through formal education. Due to popular demand, more and more colleges are offering it as a subject, and both art and design schools have degree courses. As being an Interior Designer has become a recognized profession, the demand for courses have grown and students have also been given the opportunity to study Interior Design at university level.

3. Although I am by no means an expert, (just yet), I did pick up on one important detail, which I think one should consider carefully before picking formal schooling. First of all, when it comes to higher education, it is advisable to go with an accredited organization, as you’ll eventually be having practical training with already established professionals. While some individuals has gone onto become highly successful without having studied with an accredited organization, it is a wise choice for the majority as the supervised practical experience’s after the training courses hones your skillset and ensures that you will be ready for what is bound to be a very competitive job market.

4. In the US numerous colleges and universities including offer four year baccalaureate degrees, and a few design colleges even has it a stand alone program.

5. However, when it comes to obtaining a masters degree, (being MS, MFA, MA or MID,) in interior design, the choices are limited, as it is currently not available at most universities.

6. The same applies to PhD programs.

7. As for obtaining accredited interior design school degrees through distance learning,  it is today possible to obtain both Baccalaureate and Masters Degree’s online.

8. Before I finish up, I should just mention that some graduate degree’s does not require a related bachelor’s degree. Also, while researching the above topic, I found that some Interior Design Schools offers degrees in Interior Architecture. It is important that this is not confused with degrees in Interior Design, as in order to call yourself an Interior Architect, it is a requirement that you are also a licensed Architect. In some schools where architecture is also offered as a program, interior design students may take some classes with the architecture students at the beginning.

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