A question that a lot of architects have a hard time answering is what exactly is architecture. As a word, it is a broad and challenging one that is mostly defined in contrast to the rest of the design world. Although the field is diverse and complex, in fact, architecture is the discipline that deals with the creation of tangible things, in all its aspects: urban, architectural, social, and ecological. Therefore, it can be said that it is one of the most expansive disciplines in the world today.
In essence, it is the branch of the design world that deals with the creation of things and spaces – also known as the spatial and urban realms – within which we live. It can cover a range of things from entire buildings to interior spaces to landscapes, streets and even furniture! In a way, it is the art of designing all of these things within our environment, through which we can live, work, learn or play. Hence, everything that is related to those spaces and spaces’ surroundings has to be encompassed by it.
In addition, there are some professionals that belong to the field of architecture but their work is mainly centered around interior design, for example, a professional in woodworking. As a result, there is a difference between architecture and interior design. Nevertheless, the two are closely related and as the question implies, they are different.
Definition of architecture
It is possible to say that architecture is the field that deals with the creation of tangible things. That is why the word is often used to refer to the creation of buildings, but it is also used to refer to spaces, spaces’ surroundings, interiors, furniture, urban projects, etc.
Moreover, it also includes spatial planning, urban planning, landscape architecture, interior design, project management, architecture education, etc. This way, the field can be further defined as the design and planning of tangible things within a specific environment. As pointed out above, architecture can be related to buildings and interior design, but they are not the same.
Definition of interior design
Architecture is in fact a broad and vast discipline. In other words, there are many different types of designers, specialists and architects, each with their own specific practices, backgrounds and knowledge, who are dealing with different aspects of architecture. Nevertheless, interior design is a much more restricted field. However, in reality, interior design is only the interior elements of architecture, hence the words can have a similar meaning.
More specifically, interior designers are mostly interior elements of architecture, such as wall systems and furniture, but they may also be a part of the architectural design of spaces. This implies that they are involved in designing the interior layout of the buildings that surround them. Thus, there is a difference between interior designers as part of architecture and interior designers in which their projects are centered on interior design.
Difference between architecture and interior design.
As they are different professions, we can notice the differences between architecture and interior design. For example, one of the big differences is that architects deal with the building itself (as in the case of a house, an office, a skyscraper, etc.). In contrast, interior designers deal with the interior elements within the buildings, such as walls, floorings, ceilings, furniture, etc.
However, there are other significant differences between the two fields, which are as follows:
- Architect – the general term for a person who is skilled in architectural design and planning. They design and plan for all kinds of structures.
- Architectural Drafter – an architectural drafter is a professional who designs and plans interior elements of any building including walls, lighting, floors, ceilings, etc.
- Architectural Designer – an architectural designer is a professional who designs and plans the external parts of buildings and spaces, such as facades, outdoor areas, and urban elements.
- Interior Designer – an interior designer can work on architecture, interior design and retail design. In other words, they are an expert who knows how to design and plan the interior elements of buildings.
- Interior Architect – a professional who is skilled in interior element design and planning.
In general terms, architects deal with tangible elements of buildings and plans the interiors of these elements, while interior designers deal with spaces, their interior elements (walls, floors, ceilings, etc.) and furniture. As architects are responsible for the interiors of buildings, they are more involved in the planning and design of interior elements. On the other hand, the role of interior designers is mainly to be involved in designing spaces and their surrounding elements, such as walls, floors, roofs, doors, and ceilings. Finally, interior designers’ focus is on the planning and design of the interiors in buildings.
Architecture is an expansive, complex and diverse discipline. On the other hand, interior design is a much narrower and more focused one. Both these fields have their own specific characteristics and it is not possible to treat them the same way. A professional in any of these two fields is going to be more skilled and specialized in their activities, and will use different tools and approaches to complete their work. In this way, different jobs can be found in both the fields.
However, even though both fields are different and even at times seem to be very different, there is a small but significant difference between them. This difference is that interior designers tend to be more involved in the planning and designing of spaces than architects. However, architects deal with the design, planning and construction of buildings while interior designers are responsible for the design of the interiors of these buildings. It is important for a professional to be able to be able to recognize the difference between these two fields.