Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Interior Design

My dear reader, it is that time in the semester when I do nothing but homework, and feel guilty event to take the time to write a blog post. So what exactly do I spend my time doing?

Interior Design. That’s what I’m going to school for. People don’t really get it.

I’m not going to school to learn how to paint walls, or to make things look ‘pretty’ and decorate. I often have to defend what I’m going to school for when people ask because people discount it to my face, or just have no idea what interior design actually is. After I say I’m going to school for or my major is interior design, I get reactions such as: “Ah, inferior design!” “Oh cool! Could you help me decorate my house?” “When you graduate you can come and design my place!” “Oh yeah, interior decorating, that’s great…” “Do you watch HGTV?” *sigh* I’ve even heard of certain people saying: “Have your kids go to school for something worthwhile, not something like interior design for example…”

Sure you may think that I’m wasting my time going to school for interior design, but do you know what it actually is? Do you know the choices that designers make in the environments that you spend a majority of your time in? (The statistics say that Americans spend almost 90% of their time indoors now!) Why do you return to your favorite coffee shop? Or restaurant? How come you like shopping at one clothing store over the other? Why does it seem so much easier to study at the library? It most likely has something to do with the designed environment.
Since I love definitions so much, I’ll throw this one out: "Interior design includes a scope of services performed by a professional design practitioner, qualified by means of education, experience and examination, to protect and enhance the health, life safety and welfare of the public." from NCIDQ (emphasis mine)  

Or this: "Interior designers need to be creative, imaginative and artistic. They also need to be disciplined, organized and skilled business people. Combining aesthetic vision with practical skills and knowledge, interior designers work with clients to develop design solutions that are "aesthetically appealing, technically sophisticated and pragmatically satisfying." from ASID

Or this is a condensed version of what NCIDQ says interior design is:
creative and technical solutions are applied, solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life, aesthetically attractive. Designs coordinated with the building shell, acknowledge the physical location and social context, must adhere to code and regulatory requirements,environmental sustainability, follows a systematic and coordinated methodology,research, analysis and integration of knowledge, creative process, needs and resources of the client are satisfied.

Hmm, that sounds like more than painting walls to me...
Okay so I can give you the textbook definition of interior design, but what is it really to me? In the long hours that I work on projects I ask myself that all the time. It's artistic, it's visual problem solving, it's multitasking, it's thinking about people's needs, it's shaping the environments that people move through in their day, it can be designing people's lifestyles, it is installation art, it's a marketing tool, it can help people relax and heal, it's what gives your favorite restaurant character, it's shapes people lives.

Like you, I would love to spend the majority of my time outside enjoying a limitless sky above, and no walls at my side. But the fact of the matter is that in our modern world we work, play, eat, learn, heal, sleep, and live indoors a majority of the time. Interior design is what makes the spaces we move through beautiful and functional. It's the backdrop of our lives.

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