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Opportunities for an interior designer  

Who is an Interior Designer?

Just like a sculptor gives shape to clay, carves and moulds it, an interior designer defines space to give it meaning, achieves harmony and lends it aura. An interior designer works with space. Interior designing is an art of planning and arranging different elements of an interior so as to convey the twin aims of beauty and utility.

The three basic principles of interior design are

  • Colour
  • Scale
  • Proportion.

As an interior designer, one could work in a wide range of settings, commercial and residential. Within these two broad categories, you could further specialize for example in designing restaurants, hospitals, hotels, etc.

Area of specialization

Interior Designing

Interior Designers have technical knowledge of buildings and structures. They are trained to plan interior spaces, ventilation, electrical circuits and installations, drainage and water supply, air conditioning and heating systems.  

Interior Decorators

Interior Decorators suggest use of colour, textures, fabrics and decorative materials and light effects. They also give advise on layout and furniture in creating an attractive and functional interior.

Theatre and Set Designers

Theatre and Set Designers work on stage decor and also for film and TV sets. In film and TV, the chief designer is often called the art director who briefs the carpenters, lighting technicians, set dressers and decorators.

Exhibition Designers

Exhibition design begins with planning entire exhibition sites to designing individual stands, display panels to project an image within the exhibition itself.

Window Display Designers

Window display designers - shop window of a typical shop to a special occasion driven decor, for example Diwali displays.

Landscaping and designing based on Vaastu / Fengshui principles are other emerging fields an interior designer can explore.

Nature of Work

Interior Designing is emerging as the most sought after and lucrative profession in urban India. With the demand to create more working space increasing and with more and more people realizing the need and importance of professional designers, interior designing as a profession has come to be recognized in our country . Apart from the fact that it generates a good remuneration, its popularity lies in the glamour and recognition it provides.

But on the other hand it is also a very demanding and challenging profession. Interior designers have to be extremely creative and innovative to constantly come up with new ideas and themes. For example in set designing one needs to give a new look to the same space for various studio shoots. The pressure also lies in the fact that international standards have to be matched.

Knowledge of the various options available and the source are essential to make an informed decision. Meeting deadlines, working on many projects at the same time, making presentation to prospective clients, are all part of the profile of an interior designer.

Courses and Eligibility

Undergraduate courses in Interior Design offer both degrees and diplomas. The duration of these courses ranges from 1 to 5 years. There are also a number of Advanced courses and short-term Certificate courses being offered by a number of reputed universities and institutes. Institutes like the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad also offer extensive courses

Eligibility criterion for students aspiring to join interior designing courses is 10+2 in preferably the science stream (PCM) with 60% marks and a flair for sketching.

Most institutes and universities conduct an entrance test for admitting students. The training provided by these institutes is both theoretical and practical. Basic design, architecture, materials, acoustics etc are all taught in these courses.

Personal Attributes

Interior Designers need to have visual sensitivity apart from creativity imagination and an aesthetic colour sense. Awareness of latest trends and up to date knowledge of the latest styles and tastes is extremely essential to survive and grow in this field. A good hand at sketching and drawing is an added advantage as it enables the designer to express ideas in sketches. A sense of lighting and decoration is also essential. An interior designer/decorator should be good at communicating his or her ideas to others. A good working knowledge of architecture helps too.

Since interiors are an extension of one's personality, an interior designer has to essentially be a people’s person. Designers need to understand attitudes, lifestyles and cultural preferences, and take all three into account in their designs. In addition, they have to keep in mind the hobbies and habits and lets not forget the budget (good taste need not necessarily be expensive) of the person they are designing for.

Job Prospects

  • Work with established interior design organization, in architect’s firm or consultancy firms
  • Work with builders and constructors
  • Design consultants with hotels, hospitals
  • Shopping arcade
  • Furniture stores
  • Design studios

Institutes

Some of the major institutes offering courses in interior designing are:

  • Amity Institute of Design
  • Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad
  • SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai
  • School of Interior Design and Institute of Environmental Design, Gujarat-4yrs
  • Exterior - Interiors, New Delhi (in collaboration with Jensen & Nicholson and Computer
  • Aided Design by Edit Institute, Mumbai)
  • Apeejay Institute of Design, New Delhi
  • National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
  • J. J. School of Arts, Mumbai

South Delhi Polytechnics and vocational training schools in most cities conduct short - term courses in interior design.

Future Prospects
An internship with a design firm is an excellent way to build your skills. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate your talent and make job contacts. You could then work with interior design organizations, as a consultant, with builders or contractors. After gaining the initial experience and industry knowledge, you can start your own independent interior designing business.

Opportunities are aplenty in architects’ firms or in consultancy companies. Private business is a very lucrative option. One also needs to be extremely dedicated about keeping commitments. To be successful in private practice, one also needs to have a native business sense.


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