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Flair to create

In demand: Interior designers have diverse options.

In demand: Interior designers have diverse options.   | Photo Credit: iStockphoto

There is more to interior design than just outfitting a space

Like many “creative” professions, the intricacies of interior design as a profession aren’t understood enough. It isn’t unusual for someone with an aesthetically-outfitted home, office or workspace to be often told that they could have had a very successful career as an interior designer. Needless to say, a flair for creating nice spaces is a crucial skill for an interior designer. But, by no means, is it enough.

Attributes such as project management abilities, strong client servicing skills and an entrepreneurial attitude are equally important for success.

Flair for design

At its core, interior design is the art and science of enhancing the interiors, sometimes including the exterior, of a space or building. An interior designer is someone who plans, researches, coordinates, and manages such projects. In the contemporary context, especially when it comes to offices and institutions, interior design will take into account utility, workflow and understanding the power of design to create distinctive brands.

With rapidly shrinking urban residential and commercial spaces, there is an increased demand for interior designers who can make the interiors more spacious and comfortable. However, beautiful homes and offices are not the only things that interior designers create. With an increase in disposable incomes and changing lifestyles, there has been a steady increase in demand for designers with the sensibilities to design malls, cinema halls, gyms, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, old age homes, spas, and salons. Even canal boats and yachts!

Another emerging area of demand for designers is in designing temporary setups for concerts, fashion shows, and exhibitions. For anybody looking for a touch of glamour in their work, this could very well be the profession of choice.

Creativity, an artistic flair, and an ability to visualise a design conceptually, are obvious skills required. Interior designers also need to have a good understanding of material, colours, lighting aspects, and their influence on spaces and people. Increasingly, there is also a demand for designers who can create interiors that are in harmony with nature or those who can leverage technology optimally to design smart homes. Interior designers should be able to understand the specific needs of the client and keep them at the centre of their design approach.

Further, they need to be effective communicators and strong project managers who are able to work with a team of architects, carpenters, electricians, plumbers among others, to get the desired results in a given span of time. They also need to have a desire to constantly learn and stay up to date with the technological and design developments in their field.

Opportunities

Students who have completed or about to complete 10+2 exam (higher secondary) from a recognised board are eligible to take up an interior designing course. Most interior design diploma courses accept applications from students who have passed Class X. Interested candidates can also take up an interior designing course after completing graduation.

Salaries start from about ₹2.5 lakhs per year and can go up to ₹30 lakhs per year for senior designers. Interior designers are in demand at architecture and design firms, infrastructure and property developers, furniture design companies, manufacturing firms and production design firms.

Those with entrepreneurial instincts can set up their own business. And for successful designers, there is no limit to what they can earn. The interior design profession does offer several opportunities and advantages, even though the early years of the career can be a tough battle for good work and fair compensation.

As with other self-employed professions, experience and reputation take a while to build; as does the network effect of referrals from clients.

The writer is Associate Dean, External Engagement, at Anant National University, Ahmedabad.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 9:40:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/flair-to-create/article19895197.ece

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