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The Relationship between Interior Designers and Architects

While it’s the architect’s job to imagine the larger structure, it’s the interior designer’s job to imagine the way the interior of that structure will interact with the people inside it. This means everything from the placement of lighting fixtures to the style of handle that opens the door. While visitors to a space may not consciously notice the work of interior designers, they will inevitably feel the effects of the design choices which shaped that space as they interact with it. This is because the designer has chosen the amount of light that enters your eyes, the colors it sees, the ways you can move through the room, where you sit, what your had does when you turn a knob, flick a switch or turn on a faucet. It is these elements that we interact with every day, making them at least as important as the structure itself.

Traditionally, the design of the interior fell on the architect as well. Some notable 20th century architects, like Frank Lloyd Wright, put equal effort into the interiors as they did exteriors, creating buildings which were fascinating both to look at and occupy. While designers and architects still strive for this kind of integrity between interior and exterior elements, many recognize that interior design work employees a unique set of skills which take study and hard work to master. Interior designers work with architects to incorporate aesthetic elements of the larger structure to the interior design, while addressing concerns unique to their craft. These concerns include the individual tastes and demands of their client, as well as their practical needs. Designers must imagine the specific uses their clients will have for the rooms in their home or commercial building and outfit the spaces accordingly. Think of your own habits in your kitchen or workspace and then imagine asking someone to tailor-fit lighting, furnishing, appliances, etc to those needs and you will have an idea of the individual challenges interior designers face.

Schools to consider: