The discipline of interior architecture is concerned with the arrangement of interior spaces. The main job of an interior architect is to design interior spaces that are aesthetic, functional and compliant with safety standards. For this, the interior architect utilizes both interior design and architectural principles.
Having a good design sense is perhaps the first requirement in this career. An interior architect must have an understanding of how space, scale, colors and furnishings can alter an interior environments. They must know how to manipulate these elements to create specific moods.
Since altering interiors can involve altering construction structures, it is also necessary for an interior architect to be knowledgeable about construction materials and methods. Interior architects must know how to read building plans, and know about building codes and permits. They must be acquainted with the technicalities of electric wiring and plumbing.
It is important for an interior architect to have good communication and problem solving abilities. Interior architects work closely with clients, architects, engineers and construction teams. It is essential that they be able to explain design ideas clearly to all parties. Project management and budget management skills are also essential for managing the scope of a project.
To be able to practice professionally, interior architects must have formal training in both architecture and interior design. The minimum required qualification is a Bachelor's Degree in Architecture. Interior designers, with several years of work experience, can get an interior architecture certification from the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).
A Bachelor's Degree in Architecture usually takes five years to complete. The eligibility requirement for admission to a graduate course in architecture is generally a high school diploma, with high scores in Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry. It also helps to have taken courses in art and drafting in high school.
Before taking admission, research different architecture and interior design colleges. Decide between online and regular colleges. Make sure they have proper regional and national accreditation. An accreditation by the Foundation of Interior Design Education and Research is good. Compare the course programs offered.
The course matter should include traditional and computer drawing, aesthetics, interior design, architecture, materials and planning, technicalities of construction, and structural systems design. Prospective interior architects must study safety standards, conservation issues and occupational standards and responsibilities. Courses in business management and communication are a plus.
Gain experience through interior architecture internships. Check online job boards and career web pages of architectural companies. Qualified interior architects can find employment in private, commercial and government sectors. Interior architects, with experience and industry contacts, may work in partnerships or go into business for themselves.