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3 JULY 2021

Interior Architect and Interior Designer – A Tale of Two Disciplines

Having a sympathetic and well thought out Interior of the space you inhabit, be it your home, office or favourite restaurant can have a very positive impact on your mentality. Two processes which play huge roles in these experiences are Interior Architecture and Interior Design. Whilst they do complement one another there is a misconception that these are the same discipline. It is however important to recognize the difference in the service these provide to a design and what benefits there are. Having training in both now allows me to create fluid Interiors from construction to final finishes.

One of the major differences between the two disciplines is the technical side of the training. Interior architecture focuses on the functionality of space for human occupancy, applying science and logic to create a positive journey and experience for the user. In effect, it’s more of a hybrid, combining architecture and interior design with a key responsibility to enhance the interior construction of buildings.

Interior architects have a unique level of understanding of the structure of buildings, regulations, materials, and practicality of spaces.  ‘Adaptive reuse’, is the ethos behind this process, leaving the exterior steeped in its original story while stripping the interior of the building and giving it a new purpose.

This sustainable way of design is vital in the climate we live in with such a ‘throw-away’ society, it allows a new story to be told without history being lost.

Interior Design however, far from merely decorating a space, is more focused on evoking an emotional response through the senses. To create a specific experience achieved through proportions of spaces and elements, lighting used, materials, scents, colours and texture.

Interior designers will first focus on the flow of the space they are designing, the path of the user being the key focus to creating this experience. This is where emphasis is given to understanding human behaviour to create a sympathetic, functional interior that remains beautiful to the eye.

In addition, the designer must also pay attention to the comfort, temperature and even acoustics of the space to bring the vision to life, expertly weaving all the elements of the story together.

Learning how the two disciplines differ but intertwine along with Architecture is so important, to begin to create a world of design where we have collaborations between the various roles. The more this begins to evolve, the more sympathetic and successful each design will be. Recognizing that we spend a huge percentage of our life in these spaces and we must create more fun, relaxing positive environments. Not only to support health and well-being in the manic day-to-day life most of us now find ourselves in, but to grow as an industry. I can begin to see a change in this movement in Guernsey but I would love to see these processes prioritised and to become more recognized in their importance in society.

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