The Rise of the Architecturally-savvy Interior Designer 

The lines between interior designer and architecture are blurring with more and more university degrees and specialist skill sets based on balancing the art and science of designing an interior space. And, there's an increasing demand in the job market. What does this mean, and who should you be calling to help you plan the interior of your home? 
 
The role or skills of an interior designer can vary greatly. Sometimes all that's needed for a job is a creative and artistic eye, with an ability to match colours and style uniquely. In other cases, the designer may need to know the state of the build and will need to be technically minded as well as artistically—understanding structural, and CAD developed design. 
 
There are three ways we categorise these job roles: 
 
Interior decorator - A decorators role covers the aesthetic and artistic side of your interior. From furniture to the wall colour, to carpets, a designer will match themes to your desire. 
 
Interior designer - A designer will also work on the more technical elements of the build, including built-in structures or adding electrical features. There will be more collaboration with an architect. 
 
Interior architect - Unless a person has professional accreditation from an architectural body (such as the Royal Institute of British Architects), they cannot don this title. This role incorporates all the science behind the structure of the build. It focuses on how the building structure will affect the design of interior space (its specialist focus is primarily on renovation work). 
 
But, for any of these roles to be carried out correctly, there must be competency in decoration first. And, as more and more home-owners and architects look to push the boundaries of interior design, the rise of the architecturally savvy designer only increases. 

An increase in architecture & interior design courses at UK universities 

There are currently 104,00 architecture-related jobs in the UK's creative industries. Perhaps that's why we see so many universities begin to supplement their offerings with new courses. Courses such as: 
 
● Industrial design 
● Interior & spatial design 
● Design for branded spaces 
● Architecture & interior design 
● Interior architecture & design 
 
These courses are being offered across some of the UK's leading universities such as UCA, UAL & Royal College of Art. And this increase in interest is being reflected in UK search habits too: 
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With an increase in job demand for those with this skillset, and more people searching and applying for these styles of courses, what tech skills are finding their way into the interior designer job role? 

Advanced IT and software skills are becoming a must-have 

Architecture has been an industry where software has been embraced, and advancements are being made regularly. Having proficiency in: 
 
● Photoshop, 
● Adobe Indesign, 
● Computer-aided design (CAD), 
● 3D modelling software such as Cinema 4D and SketchUp & 
● Building information modelling (BIM) software such as VectorWorks 
 
are expected in such roles, which is changing the way interior designers work and interact with projects. These new tech-savvy skillsets are going to see interior design roles focus more and more heavily on a full renovation - not merely an artistic overhaul. 

Interior architects are not just for renovations 

Statistics from IDI show that 56% of the projects interior architects work on are new constructions while 44% are renovations. While the role is known for a focus on renovating older buildings, a significant amount of new-build and private projects find themselves in need of a qualified designer to match the structural design to artistic. 
 
Take staircase and landing layout - as an example - matching this design to the aesthetics of the building to tie it into the art-form is well sought after. 

Is the rise of the tech-savvy designer going to stop? 

Not anytime soon! With more and more interior design going beyond just the pure aesthetics of a home, we'd expect the future generations of interior design to be more and more armed in the scientific and technological side of a build. 
 
And, with a lot of architectural options now available for design and manufacture offsite - like precast concrete - the way we design, build and renovate our homes and commercial buildings is changing; and so too are the supporting roles. 
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