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A Career in Interior Design - Pearl Academy

Dr.SchmidtA Career in Interior Design by Dr. Schmidt, Area Head – Interior & Spatial Design at Pearl Academy

Can you tell us something about Interior Design?
Interior design is a relatively young and constantly evolving discipline, which emerged in the late 19th and early 20th century in England and the US. Originally referred to as “interior decoration” in magazines and other publications its origin was closely associated with women of exceptional taste and cultural literacy but no specific training. It was only in the 20th century that interior design developed into a profession with specialized training, standards and professional associations. Taste was transformed into skill and untrained amateurs became qualified practitioners.
The scope of the projects also changed from largely residential design in its beginnings to various forms of non-residential design and from the design of solely private spaces to the public realm. The complexity of the projects as well as specialized expertise ultimately resulted in a specialized training different from architecture. The terminology – albeit lose with no concrete definition -reflects this process of professionalization. “Interior decoration” has the ring of the work of an amateur, while “interior design” denotes the profession of a skilled practitioner and the move from mere aesthetic considerations to concrete problem solving.

What are the skill sets required to be an Interior Designer?
A passion for interiors, creativity, spatial imagination, aesthetic judgement are the prerequisites of any designers. There is both an aesthetic creative element to design as well as analytical problem solving skills. Yet ultimately one does not only design beautiful rooms that need to fulfill a specific function one needs to have good psychological skills and be able to translate clients’ needs and ideas into a design scheme. Thus it makes perfect sense when the legendary British designer David Hicks (1929-1998) tried out various creative fields but then opted for interior design because he was most interested in how people lived. Last not least it is cultural literacy that will result in truly outstanding design and this is worth remembering from the early lady pioneers in the field of interior design.

What are the working hours and job opportunities?
Interior design is not really a job but a vocation. I believe it is one of the most beautiful and rewarding things to do. Thus office hours from 9-5 do not really apply because a true interior designer thinks about interior design all the time. When a project needs to be finished odd hours certainly apply. With the massively growing real Estate sector, home furnishings industry there are many opportunities for young inspiring designers. It is important to be entrepreneurial and look for opportunities in many different areas – from kitchen and bathroom studios, to hotels, restaurant chains, yachts and planes, lighting designers, office design, interior design studios, architectural practices and the heritage sector – just to name a few.

How do I select the right design school for this course?
The choice of school is personal and depends on the applicant’s personal interests. A good school should offers a variety of courses on the undergraduate and graduate level. Ultimately the faculty is the crucial factor thus a student should look at the educational background, teaching experience and industry experience of the faculty and visit the school to get a feel for the place and general atmosphere. Ideally faculty should have a wide spectrum of industry experience as well as advanced research degrees. The curriculum should be rigorous and fit the complexity of the industry. Apart from a nurturing environment the school should offer industry exposure and site visits as well as international exchange programs to offer an ideal exposure. Some schools even provide interdisciplinary experiences for students as they also offer an education in fashion, communication and business – a great advantage to face the challenges of our complex world.

Know more about the course HERE

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