I appreciate your thoughts on the ID industry. I am just about to start taking ID classes at a community college in the hopes that my passion for perusing and analyzing design images online might somehow translate into a career. I am, quite frankly, terrified of failure. 7 courses short of a BA in Psych and I'm completely starting over. At any rate, thanks for providing such an inspirational blog! - Christina of design-vox
Thank you Christina!:D
Being afraid is completely normal, and that’s why school can be so important, it will give you confidence into working in the industry, and understanding what you don’t know will also give you a realistic view of how to get there. I see myself in your fears, you are not alone:) And think that your previous experiences (academic and professional) will enrich you not only as a person but as a professional even when in not really objective ways.
I read many different stories from people who started their careers without any education in the field to others who had already some sort of artistic abilities and education to others who did the “regular” path and got educated on interior design by a degree or another course.
Everything is possible but the ones who are successful and “gain lots of money” with no education (I read recently about a famous young designer who doesn’t know how to draw floorplans…) are a rarity and from my perspective are really talented/know how to market themselves and are somehow involved with artistic people with money to spend aka prospective clients. Don’t fool yourselves thinking this is the norm just because you see these examples on magazines. There are also older designers in the same kind of place but they started when there was less competition so they could make some mistakes, learn and build their names and success.
With this I want to clarify that you need to know how to read technical drawings, you need to know how to work with CAD (computer-aided design) software, how to make presentations to clients… and so on. Interior Design is not just about beautiful fabrics and nice furniture and in some countries with strict regulations you need a license to work as professional. And today there are less opportunities to experiment and make mistakes. Clients need to feel reassured of your capabilities and education certainly helps in many more ways than the obvious.
In my understanding most degrees lack the “hands on” approach and tend to be too theoretical and that’s why internships are important or as I think is better, intensive courses that really focus on the practical aspects of this career. But education does not equal success because knowing how it works does not mean you’ll be able to do it.
So I refuse to accept one or the other. If you are 18 and want to be an interior designer why not take a degree on it? It will probably be good for you in many levels, if you are older and want a career change maybe you should look for alternatives. Like I wrote above everything is possible and if you are really talented you will only find it while working and that’s why the education part also helps, it gives you confidence and maybe a nice starting portfolio to present to possible studios and then get a nice internship.
Be creative with your choices and remember that there’s not a right way to do it.
If that anon really wants to be an interior designer, they HAVE to go to school. There is no way they'll get any sort of client especially since it's mainly commercial work right now because of the recession. And more and more residential clients are looking to hire people with degrees to. Firms hiring want people with bachelor degrees not just associates. It's not at all like an HGTV show, take it from someone halfway through a BFA in interior design.
I agree with you. But like I wrote in the answer the type of education you need depends a lot on the country you’ll work in. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to be educated, but maybe you don’t need a degree (specially if you already have one in a different subject).
There are really respected one year intensive courses at least in the UK. But in the end people must know there’s a lot of competition and be realistic about it.
Thank you for your input Stephanie and good luck on your studies:)
Hi, I´m a graphic design student who is quite bored to sit on the computer all day... So when I started thinking about that problem I realized that maybe interior design could be the solution; because it´s a bit like graphic design in 3D without not so much computer ;-) and I think I would be quite good at that too... But how could I get a foot in the door? I live in the middle of nowhere and of course I can not walk around and ask everybody "hey, can I design your interior?" Please Help!!!! Thx
Dear bored graphic designer,
First you need to know more about the interior design process before you make a career decision. It is normal to have a romantic idea about it and therefore you should be realistically informed about the many responsibilities of a professional in this field. Your graphic design background would certainly help in terms of dealing with clients, managing creative frustration and of course in terms of the “good eye” for the visually appealing and the technical knowledge you already have. But I’m sorry to disappoint you, this career is much more than “graphic design in 3D without the computer”, because there’s much more to manage than just what’s visually appealing (but I get why you say that ^_^)
That said I think you should inform yourself and if it still feels like something you really want to do look for some education. If you want to be respected and trusted as a professional and feel confident about your work you’ll need to learn some technical aspects of interior designer at least. And depending on where you live (different countries have different requisites) you should find the education that fits your needs. And get an internship an learn with someone who already does it, don’t avoid this step.
There’s a book I read that really helped me to gain realistic knowledge of how interior design works and that I recommend: “Starting your career as an Interior Designer” by Robert K. Hale and Thomas K. Williams.
You said some time ago that you read books with more than pretty images in it and that you read about environmental psychology. I am interested in psychological questions of living and of interior too, and also in books about interior principles going beyond the obvious tips. Do you have any favourite books or websites that you would recommend?
The best two books I read about the psychology of interiors and the explanation of why some rules exist are: “Place Advantage: Applied Psychology for Interior Architecture” and “A History of Interior Design” (by John F. Pile). They are a bit expensive but in my opinion they are mandatory if you’re really interested in this subject.
Hope I helped:)
If any anyone has more suggestions feel free to add*
where did you get your interior design degree? I'm currently in college majoring in it
I’m ending my college degree in advertising and marketing and starting an interior design course trough KLC School of Design. It’s not what I wanted but I can’t afford my dream course and at the same time I can’t stand the idea of going to college for a second time again. So I’ll have to be creative with my academic and professional choices. But if I could go back I would’ve taken an interior design degree as my first choice.
Hi there! Look, how did you decided to be an interior designer? I Think about fashion and it seems like everybody who loves it now wants to be a stylist or a fashion designer but it's different with interior design, or it isn't? Great tumblr btw:)
I believe it’s easier for people to think they could be fashion designers or stylists because we are more educated about fashion and really nice clothes are more affordable; fashion was democratized in a way.
With interior design is a bit different because we experiment less with it, it’s not a priority, most people don’t see your house but everybody sees you on the street right? And in my opinion interior design processes are more complicated because it envolves many different areas and it’s not something you can just try on and change in five minutes, it’s suppose to last and mistakes can end up being quite expensive. It requires more than just “good eye”, you also need business and organizational skills with a bit of a psychologist in the middle.
I decided I wanted to be an interior designer and shift my academic choices according to it when, for an entrepreneurship project for college, I was always more focused on the physical spaces of my projects than on the business plans ^_^ But I’ve been influenced by my mother since I can remember because we were always changing furniture around the house, painting old furniture and buying interior design magazines. But before that project for college I had never thought about interior design as a career possibility.