Does Interior Design Apply to Other Fields of Study?

Interior design can be a creative, interesting, and rewarding stand-alone career, and with the right education, many exciting career opportunities are available. Students of interior design can also apply their interior design education to other fields of study for broader career choices. Though there are numerous possibilities, including construction and project management, the most common fields of study where interior design skills can be aptly applied are architecture and architectural landscaping. In fact, some design schools now offer degrees in interior architecture.

Building Architecture

While interior design is all about creating the finished inner space contained within the shell of a building, architecture is a similarly creative field. Individuals who notice and appreciate the shape and details of interior spaces often notice and appreciate the shape, lines, and details of the structure itself. Combining interior design education with architectural design is a logical step for someone who values all aspects of a structural design.

Architectural design is a field of study that combines elements of interior design and architecture. People who are educated and skilled at designing the exterior and interiors of a building are highly sought by firms who work in commercial and residential design. Understanding both of these aspects of a building's design makes a person a valuable employee.

Landscape Architecture and Design

Similarly, architectural landscaping is a specific area of study where interior design education is applicable. The creation of outdoor spaces that affords the comfort and style of indoor spaces is a highly sought concept by homeowners, hospitality industries, and even commercial building clients. With a combined education in interior design and architectural landscaping, hardscapes that combine natural elements and building materials with color and texture can become a specialty niche.

Product Design

It's entirely possible that a skilled interior design with the appropriate computer training can edge into the field of product design. While an interior designer learns how to maximize an interior's space, they also learn how and where items inside the interior are used--otherwise known as spatial design. Interior designers must learn how shape, size, use, texture, and color all come together when choosing furnishings and materials for the interior. In essence, they are designing the perfect couch in their mind, while the furniture store must provide the best they can. With the proper training in software and consumer psychology, interior designers could easily design the products with which they fill their client's interiors.

New Design Niches

Combining interior design with recently popular fields of study is also an option. Environmental and renewable resources design would be a perfect match for designers interested in interiors and decorating. For example, as environmental awareness heightens, green building and sustainability projects are becoming very popular. As an interior designer educated in green design, opportunities to work with green builders become more abundant, and staging homes and models with green products may be an option.

While many students are satisfied with an education in interior design without combining other fields of study, those looking for expanded career opportunities can prepare themselves by taking additional courses--or completing a minor--outside their design program. Though this is not necessary, it offers more opportunity in the workforce and may enhance a designer's satisfaction with their interior design career.

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