7 Things You Need to Know About Studying Interior Design

int design blog

If you have a passion for architecture and a natural creative flare, you might already be considering a career in interior design or interior architecture. As an area that’s expected to see continued growth over the next few years, we thought we’d take the time to tell you more about this exciting career path…

1. What does an interior designer do?

Working alongside a broader construction team, the role of an interior designer is to ensure the best visual and physical use of the building’s internal spaces. It is the interior designer’s job to assess space requirements, determine furniture placement and develop an overall aesthetic in line with the client’s brief and the relevant building requirements. Interior design can be applied in a range of industries, each with its own specific needs. These include:

  • Residential property (private homes/ apartment blocks)
  • Educational (schools/ universities)
  • Commercial (hotels/ restaurants/ shops)
  • Industrial (offices/ factories)
  • Transport (ships/ aircrafts)

2. Where do interior designers work?

Some people prefer working for a firm, particularly in the early stages of their career, whereas others prefer the autonomy of working freelance. Whether you’re working for yourself, or for a firm, travel is almost always guaranteed when working in interior design. The same can be said for interior architects. There are pros and cons to both, but for those starting out, it’s advisable to seek coaching from an experienced interior designer whilst you develop your portfolio.

3. What is the difference between interior design and interior architecture?

Although there is plenty of overlap between the two, while interior design focuses primarily on aesthetics, interior architecture places more emphasis on the physical structure of a space. In that respect, it is more technical. Interior architects work more closely with builders, contractors and technicians to make sure a space not only looks great but that its design is technically sound and fit for purpose. Griffith’s BA (Hons) in Interior Architecture is suitable for anyone who is considering a career in the field.

4. How to start an interior design career…

Starting your career with an interior design course like Griffith’s BA in Interior Design can prove invaluable. Having a qualification under your belt is recommended, particularly if you wish to eventually work as a sole trader. Potential clients will feel reassured knowing you have a certain level of expertise and design studios will want to onboard staff with a minimum level of knowledge. Furthermore, an interior architecture degree like Griffith’s BA (Hons) in Interior Architecture can give you that added technical edge that employers will also find attractive. In both cases, clients and employers will likely want to see a portfolio that you will start creating in our interior design courses. Graduates will generally start their career as an assistant to an interior designer or interior architect before progressing.

5. Is studying interior design hard?

There is often a misconception that design degrees are easier than other programmes. Although many students enjoy the creative outlet that comes with studying design, there is significant work involved. Students of Griffith’s interior design and interior architecture courses are continually assessed meaning that all development work produced throughout the year is just as important as any final projects. Learners also need to make time for coursework outside of weekly class hours so being organised and managing your time is key.

6. Who can learn interior design?

In short, anyone. A number of Griffith’s interior design courses in Dublin do not require a portfolio as skills are taught from the basics. Varying study modes appeal to a range of learners also. While the full-time (daytime) courses are generally undertaken by school leavers, our part-time (evening) options attract a more mature cohort. Many of our mature learners are studying design for the first time, either as a passion project or having made the decision to change careers.

7. Can I study interior design or interior architecture online?

Some colleges offer online design degrees however at Griffith College we feel strongly about our design students having as much in-person time as possible. Although some subjects are offered online, all practical modules will need to be attended in-person at our Dublin campus. Simply sitting in a creative space or spending time with peers and lecturers can be beneficial for bouncing ideas and getting those creative juices flowing.

Learn more.

Griffith College offers a range of full-time and part-time interior design diplomas and degrees. For more information, email [email protected] or apply for our 2022/2023 intake.