PLEASE HELP! INFO NEEDED: ARCHITECT VS INTERIOR ARCHITECT??

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PLEASE HELP! INFO NEEDED: ARCHITECT VS INTERIOR ARCHITECT??

Postby ArtisticAthlete32 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:44 am

Hello all,

I'm a career changer who's about to embark upon a totally different field so I'm hoping someone can help me. It's time for me to leave the healthcare field; I want to do something along the lines of art, design and creativity.

I just have 2 questions I need help with:

1) What's the difference between an architect and an interior architect? Doesn't a regular arch design the exterior and interior? If so, what will an IA do?

2) What's the difference between an IA and an Interior Designer?

Thanks a bunch! :D
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re:

Postby nox_armada » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:11 am

from most of my observation, i've seen many architects doing IA and ID works (such as Zaha Hadid and Lord Norman Foster on the project of Hotel Puerta America) but i've seen none of interior designer or interior architects (the ones with degree in ID or IA) doing architecture works.
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Postby ArtisticAthlete32 » Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:11 pm

Oh, ok. So, I guess it would be better for me to get a degree in Arch? I wasn't sure if I should do that because I'm not that interested in building structure (exterior). I'm more interested in designing the interior of a building. I'd enjoy drawing floor plans, windows, doors, etc but the exterior...not so much. And, of course, I'd enjoy choosing all of the furniture and decorating the interior. That's why I was thinking IA would be the perfect fit for me...ut, if they don't "draw" then I don't really see the difference btw a IA and ID...
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Postby MA2PA » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:18 pm

An architect is responsible for designing like you said the building in general but more specifically an architect is qualified for designing all things structural, while an interior designer does not really design anything structural, they work with the shell that was given by the architect. An architect can do both, but in bigger firms and whatnot your usually a part of a team and the interior designer works with you on that.
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Postby Fabdesigno » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:17 pm

at my college you take 4 years of general architecture engineering education then u specialize, either in interior design or continue with general architectural design..
also note the difference between architectural engineering and arch design, the latter i think is more intensive in the design rather than structure..
are u planing for a major or a minor?
good luck
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Postby KryFreeman » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:12 am

I am also a career switcher from a totally different field, and went back to get my undergrad degree in interior architecture, and am now in my second semester for a grad degree in architecture. In short, IA is sort of like user-centered architecture for those who don't want to deal with structures and exteriors, ID is mainly decoration, and arch puts you on the hook for things falling down. Some people have described IA and ID as design from the inside out, whereas architecture is designed from the outside in.

Interior design generally works with light, experience, ergonomics, layout, materials, furniture, fixtures, color, composition, and placement. You do a fair amount of hand drawing. ID programs will vary by school, where some will be mostly about pillows and shams, and others will be almost indistinguishable from interior architecture.

Interior architecture does the ID stuff, then adds human factors, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, carpentry, construction documents, relationships of interior to exterior, and a fair amount of architectural theory. You work in existing spaces and try to rearrange/remove/add the walls and elements within the existing shell. My studio classes were team-taught by 1 licensed architect and 1 interior designer. We did a lot of hand drawing, but there was also a lot of CAD work and digital visualization. We had to do 132 semester units specifically for the BIA program, whereas you could get a BFA for 120.

Architecture takes all of that stuff, de-emphasizes the user-centric aspect somewhat, then adds zoning, site, climate, landscape, setbacks, waterproofing, lots of structure, some engineering depending on your program, energy use. So far, my studio projects have channeled most of my time into researching sites, climate, zoning rules, then building the exterior envelope, figuring how not to have it fall down, then the interior spaces are the last thing we look at (and so far we have not gotten down to choosing materials and furniture). The sexy presentations are all about the exterior.

The most important difference (at least in the US), is that you cannot call yourself an architect unless you have a (usually) 5-year undergrad degree or a 2-3 year M.Arch from an accredited school. And you cannot stamp working plans unless you have passed the professional exams after you graduate AND apprentice for a certain number of hours in specific categories. Stamping the plans means you are responsible for anything that goes wrong, i.e. you can get sued if something falls down, it leaks, ADA non-compliance (in the US), etc.

Having gotten a BIA, I can call myself a designer in the US, but not an architect (at least until I finish my M.Arch). Good luck - IA at an art school like RISD or SAIC sounds like a good fit for you and your healthcare background may serve you well, as healthcare design seems to be a growing sub-specialty within architecture.
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Postby Fabdesigno » Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:57 pm

what do u mean by the professional exams? do u mean the getting qualified by the NCARB?
thx
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Postby teamjdc » Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:08 am

In the US there's no such thing as an interior architect.

You're either an architect or you're not.
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Postby teamjdc » Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:11 am

KryFreeman wrote:Having gotten a BIA, I can call myself a designer in the US, but not an architect (at least until I finish my M.Arch).


You won't be able to call yourself an architect after the MArch either.
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Postby starkca3 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:15 am

team you seem so angry...why wouldnt he be able to call himself an architect?
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Postby Checkpoint43 » Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:21 pm

starkca3 wrote:team you seem so angry...why wouldnt he be able to call himself an architect?


Because in the architectural profession, the term "architect" is sacred.
Meanwhile, in the layman's world, words like "Architect" and "Engineer" are used as self-promotion.

I'm sure you've heard garbage collectors referred to as "Sanitation Engineers", and computer programmers like to use the term "Architect" for the job they do, even though neither of these jobs have anything to do with Architecture or Engineering.

Therefore, it is possible that an interior designer decided to promote his services by calling himself an "Interior Architect".

I'm a Residential Designer, and proud to be what I am. I would never tell my clients that I am an Architect. That only leads to trouble.
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Postby starkca3 » Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:02 pm

sp what your saying is that if you have your masters in architecture you are....not an architect...sounds logical
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Postby KryFreeman » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:13 pm

Teamjdc is mostly correct, because I neglected to spell out the obvious logical conclusion - if I spent my time getting a BIA (Bachelor of Interior Achitecture), then spent another couple of years getting my accredited M. Arch, then obviously I wouldn't stop there. To reiterate the paragraph preceding the statement that made teamdjc apoplectic: To stamp documents as an "Architect" in the US, you have to then pass the ARE tests and apprentice for IDP credits before the AIA will knight you and bestow the sacred "Architect" title. And they will sue you if you try to practice architecture without their blessing.

There's no reason not to call yourself an architect socially, however, when someone asks you what you do for a living, as long as you are not building them something. You can call yourself an architect as long as you are not advertising your services as an architect, stamping plans, or the "Architect of record." of a project - i.e. you can be part of a team under a licensed architect. Your business card should not say you are an architect, and if you are sole proprieter of a business, it should not have something close to "architect" in the name which might mislead someone into thinking that you are licensed. It's sort of like practicing law without a license.

By Teamdjc's narrow definition, however, if you are licensed in say, California, then build something in Illinois, you cannot call yourself an architect in Illinois because you are not licensed there. That's not true, since you just have to have an Illinois licensed architect stamp the drawings and become the architect of record.

Would anyone say that Pritzker Prize winner Renzo Piano is not an architect because he does not have an US architectural license or membership in the AIA? He is known as the "architect" of US buildings like the Modern Wing addition for the Art Institute in Chicago, the NY Times building, and the California Academy of Sciences, etc, and his website says "Renzo Piano Building Workshop - Architects".
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Postby teamjdc » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:34 pm

KryFreeman wrote:Teamjdc is mostly correct, because I neglected to spell out the obvious logical conclusion - if I spent my time getting a BIA (Bachelor of Interior Achitecture), then spent another couple of years getting my accredited M. Arch, then obviously I wouldn't stop there. To reiterate the paragraph preceding the statement that made teamdjc apoplectic: To stamp documents as an "Architect" in the US, you have to then pass the ARE tests and apprentice for IDP credits before the AIA will knight you and bestow the sacred "Architect" title. And they will sue you if you try to practice architecture without their blessing.

There's no reason not to call yourself an architect socially, however, when someone asks you what you do for a living, as long as you are not building them something. You can call yourself an architect as long as you are not advertising your services as an architect, stamping plans, or the "Architect of record." of a project - i.e. you can be part of a team under a licensed architect. Your business card should not say you are an architect, and if you are sole proprieter of a business, it should not have something close to "architect" in the name which might mislead someone into thinking that you are licensed. It's sort of like practicing law without a license.


Not true. Merely calling yourself an architect if you are not licensed can lead to serious consequences.

Even social interaction can, and often leads to professional relationships. Representing yourself as an architect is misleading.

You may want to read state laws.

By Teamdjc's narrow definition, however, if you are licensed in say, California, then build something in Illinois, you cannot call yourself an architect in Illinois because you are not licensed there. That's not true, since you just have to have an Illinois licensed architect stamp the drawings and become the architect of record.


Again, you are incorrect. You may not call yourself an architect in a state where you are not licensed.

Would anyone say that Pritzker Prize winner Renzo Piano is not an architect because he does not have an US architectural license or membership in the AIA? He is known as the "architect" of US buildings like the Modern Wing addition for the Art Institute in Chicago, the NY Times building, and the California Academy of Sciences, etc, and his website says "Renzo Piano Building Workshop - Architects".


If he's not licensed in a particular state then he is not an architect in that state.

Renzo Piano is indeed licensed in New York.

Many states offer limited licenses for specific projects. You may also set up a joint venture with a local firm if necessary, which I'm sure he has done many times.

There is no question, however, that if Renzo Piano is soliciting work in a state where he is not licensed, he is breaking the law... I'm sure he's too smart for that.
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