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Interior design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants, and are aesthetically attractive. Designs are created in response to and coordinated with code and regulatory requirements, and encourage the principles of environmental sustainability.
The interior design process follows a systematic and coordinated methodology, including research, analysis and integration of knowledge into the creative process, whereby the needs and resources of the client are satisfied to produce an interior space that fulfills the project goals.
The work of an interior designer draws upon many disciplines including environmental psychology, architecture, product design, and traditional decoration (aesthetics and cosmetics). They plan the spaces of almost every type of building including: hotels, corporate spaces, schools, hospitals, private residences, shopping malls, restaurants, theaters, and airport terminals. Today, interior designers must be attuned to architectural detailing including floor plans, home renovations, and construction codes. Some interior designers are architects as well.
In jurisdictions where the profession is regulated by the government, designers must meet broad qualifications and show competency in the entire scope of the profession, not only in a specialty. Designers may elect to obtain specialist accreditation offered by private organizations. In the United States, interior designers who also possess environmental expertise in design solutions for sustainable construction can receive accreditation in this area by taking the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) examination.
The specialty areas that involve interior designers are limited only by the imagination and are continually growing and changing. With the increase in the aging population, an increased focus has been placed on developing solutions to improve the living environment of the elderly population, which takes into account health and accessibility issues that can affect the design. Awareness of the ability of interior spaces to create positive changes in people's lives is increasing, so interior design is also becoming relevant to this type of advocacy.
Not to be confused with interior decoration, interior design, which evolved from interior decoration, involves a multitude of technical, analytical, creative skills, and understandings of architectural elements. There is a wide range of disciplines within the career of interior design. Domestically the profession of interior design encompasses those designers who may specialize in residential or commercial interior design. Within residential design one can specialize in kitchen and bathroom design, universal design, design for the aged, multifamily housing amongst others. Other interior designers may dwell in the commercial or contract realm of interior space design. In addition to the above commercial interior designers may specialize in furniture design, healthcare design, hospitality design, retail design, workspace design, sustainability, and if they are a registered architect they can focus on the interior architecture of a space. It is the intent of the professional interior designer to improve the psychological and/or physiological well being of their clients. The professional interior designer achieves this by understanding their clients needs, seeking appropriate solutions, respect their clients social, physical and psychological needs and applying them in a safe and ecologically sensitive manner that promotes the health, safety and welfare of the clients. Interior decoration deals with the home renovations that can be easily and quickly changed, and at lower budgets such as changing kitchen cabinets, selecting wall paper, selecting furniture and usually does not deal with structural building codes. An interior decorator does not need a degree, but has a certificate in interior decorating, while an interior designer would have a four year degree in interior design. The word "decorator" in the phrase "interior decorator" is not an accurate one, since the decorator also changes style and quality of life with a home renovation, so the phrase should be: interior decorator/stylist.
There are a wide range of working conditions and employment opportunities within interior design. Large corporations often hire interior designers as employees on regular working hours. Designers for smaller firms usually work on a contract or per-job basis. Self-employed designers, which make up 26% of interior designers, usually work the most hours. Interior designers often work under stress to meet deadlines, stay on budget, and meet clients' needs. In some cases, licensed professionals review the work and sign it before submitting the design for approval by clients or construction permitting. The need for licensed review and signature varies by locality and relevant legislation, and scope of work. Their work tends to involve a great deal of traveling to visit different locations, studios, or client's homes and offices. Usually this work is done under the supervision of a design professional such as an Architect. With the aid of recent technology, the process of contacting clients and communicating design alternatives has become easier and requires less travel. Some argue that virtual makeovers have revolutionized interior design from a customer perspective, making the design process more interactive and exciting, in a relatively technological but labor-intensive environment.
- Aesthetic preferences
- Environmental psychology
- Interior architecture
- American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)
- International Interior Design Association (IIDA)
- Career Statistics - From the Bureau of Labor
- British Institute of Interior Design (BIID)
- Interior Design Projects and Concepts
- The Best Interior Design
- ↑ http://www.ncidq.org/ Retrieved September 1, 2009.
- ↑ "Employment." Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2008-09 Edition, US Department of Labor
- ↑ Industrial Design Industry Report, IBIS World, July 17 2008
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