Interior architecture vs interior design


I have graduated in B.Arch and wants to do masters in interiors. 

Now I see a lot of universities are offering course interior architecture and design.

So I wanted to know what’s the difference between interior architecture and design and interior design? 

Which one is better to do for employment opportunity in uk. 

Jun 10, 22 1:13 pm
Non Sequitur

Interior arch is just rebranded interior design.  

Jun 10, 22 2:07 pm  · 
1  · 

Please explain.

Jun 11, 22 1:44 am  · 
Non Sequitur

Interior design sounds too college diploma-home decorator type of hobby so some schools just changed the name and borrowed the sex appeal of architecture. It’s the same thing as by design, just with marketing. If it’s not accredited architecture degree, it’s not

Jun 11, 22 7:48 am  · 
1  · 

The simple reality is that there are a lot of confusion between interior design and interior decorator... even misuse of terms... add to it but yeah... like you said, N.S. in that its marketing and intention to distinguish between the interior DESIGN from decorating so yeah... its more 'professional'-sounding... even perhaps more serious.... using the label INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE.... especially those doing commercial interior.... so they can be taken more seriously. I wouldn't say it is about sex appeal but about sounding more professional, serious, and to be taken more seriously as professionals. There's more to it than a degree for anyone to be taken seriously and being a professional.

Jun 11, 22 2:19 pm  · 

Oh but it is all about sex appeal.  It is an overt appeal to males who may shy away from the "designer" stereotypes.  

Jun 12, 22 10:46 am  · 


In the past, there were several states that licensed interior designers and in some, they were licensed under the title "Interior Architect". A number of those states have dropped licensing of interior "architects"/designers. In reality, it's basically the same thing. In professional practice, interior design is basically doing interior design/space-planning or modifications of the interior without involving or altering structural systems. 

Academically speaking, interior architecture or interior design degrees are more or less the same and varies by institution. Now, primarily, there are two general tracks of interior design/interior architecture. (Now, let's not confuse this with interior decorators which are merely decorating the interior).

Track 1: (don't worry about numbers as that is meaningless and has nothing to do with degree tracks) Commercial Interior Design (example: commercial tenant improvement projects).

Track 2: Residential Interior Design/Architecture. 

The difference between Track 1 and Track 2, is Track 1 focuses on the kinds of interiors used in commercial spaces such as a coffee shop and branding/character, space-function planning, etc. Track 2 focuses on the residential interior and its domestic use and character. So there's a difference in the cosmetic/aesthetic aspects but also in terms of function and space requirements. 

Do note: There are people who do both tracks and those that focus exclusively on one or the other. 

I'm a building designer and like architects, we can and do engage in interior design or "interior architecture" as an aspect of what we do but we do a lot more than that. 

Academically, most degrees in interior design/interior architecture does very little to do with structural design and stuff like that. There are people who specialize in interior and that is what they do and do exclusively. Some of them are pretty good at it. However, those that primarily do interior design, are probably not well equipped to do structural design or designing buildings regardless of size or type. They are usually not equipped with how to do the structural work. Architects and building designers are typically more diversely trained and that includes the structural design aspect within reason. This is not to say that we don't use engineering consultants. There are times when it is appropriate or even required by laws. So Architects and building designers are essentially interior designers (or interior "architects") but more than that but we're generally less specialized in that particular aspect in our professional life.

Educationally speaking, the degrees are going to vary from commercial/institutional interiors to residential interiors as the focal area of the degrees. Most degrees that are going to be recognized by NCIDQ are going to be more commercial focus. In my state, there is no interior designer/interior architect license. Therefore, I can do commercial and residential interior design work and it is a service I do offer and is generally an integrated component of building design services. It really depends on what the scope of work is. My services range from interior design to comprehensive building design services, and to landscape design services. 

The title of a degree major is NOT your professional title or what title you may be allowed to use. In Oregon, I don't use the title "interior architect" because the title "architect" and use of such word in a title is regulated and requires a license as an architect with the Oregon State Board of Architect Examiners. Many states don't license or have any sort of licensure of interior design or requirement that a person is licensed to perform interior design services. Most of the states with any kind of licensure, now, are mainly a title act only and do not regulate or require a license to practice interior design. 

Does that answer some of your questions and/or raise new ones?

Jun 11, 22 2:34 am  · 

No state ever regulated the title "interior architect" under the guise of regulated interior design. There are in fact an increasing amount of states that do regulate the practice of "interior design"

NCARB and State Licensure Regulatory boards can and will seek legal actions against an interior designer claiming to be an "interior architect" when they are not a Registered Architect.  Just because your degree states that you earned a BS in Interior Architecture/Design or a MIA degree (Maters of Interior Architecture)  does not mean that you are legally allowed to practice as an interior architect.  The title IA is as misconstrued and misunderstood as the difference between ID and decoration. And on the debate goes.

Jun 12, 22 10:52 am  · 

Okay, thank you for clarifying that there hasn't been any state that licensed interior design under the a title of "interior architect". Fair enough. Interior architect is not a professional licensure title and one has to be licensed as an architect to use the "architect" in their title. Therefore, it was simply an attempt to distinguish interior design from interior decoration. Agree, the debate goes on. If they could simply ban schools from calling interior design degrees as interior architecture degrees would help in the long run.

Jun 21, 22 8:12 am  · 
1  · 

Decorators are the most misunderstood designers.

Jun 11, 22 4:04 pm  · 

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