Potential students who want to become interior designers would like to know what course options are available so that they can decide whether to take the next step into a new career. If you were to get together ten interior designers you could probably get a consensus of what the core skills that are needed for the job of design and the best interior design schools will be training in those areas.
The difficulty in generalising how these skills are obtained arises because a whole range of different personality types and career backgrounds have become interior designers and there is more than one way to learn something. Interior design can be taught by demonstration (learning by doing) but studious types will be prepared to spend extra hours learning theories, history and architecture to inform themselves of the interior work they expect to do in the future. Therefore as long as the subject is in some way related to interior design it is not superfluous or unnecessary.
There are a number of courses that could be deemed as fundamental to a career in interior design and I will mention them here:
1. Interior Design
Interior design itself is hugely important. Different institutions’ courses have diverse names for this subject, and serious schools could rename this subject given that it leads the designer into the business of interior design. Interior designers eventually work on projects, earning fees by getting a client to engage with them on the design of a room or rooms in their house. A good course will therefore explain to the student what is involved in the process of getting the project, preparing the presentation for the client, how to choose the correct fabrics, time management, presentation – anything a designer would need to know working on a standard project.
2. Soft Furnishings
This subject could also be called F, F & E (Furniture, Fittings and Equipment) and shows a student how to take a room of given dimensions and correctly dress it with all of the items that are going into it. Some items can be bought off the shelf but a good course will deal with how to source exclusive items, how to get bespoke items made if the client wants something exclusive. This course would usually deal with style and consider colour and contemporary interior design trends to make sure that students are following the correct design ideals.
AutoCAD is the industry standard for 2D and 3D project visuals and its wide use means that interior designers need to learn how to use it. Courses range from beginners to advanced but once the student has been introduced to the software they can generally find their way around its more advanced features. Good courses will also deal with the third party software that can be used with AutoCAD enabling a much broader range of uses so that real world dimensions can be used to produce high quality 3D models and visuals. A potential student should not be put off from using this software because the modern windows environment has made learning its features much easier.
4. Technical Drawing
Most interior design schools will cover technical drawing. This subject is extremely useful to break down any barriers that career changers might have since they will get a much clearer idea of what they are getting into once they have done their first 3 point perspective of a room. If combined with a course such as creative design, students will be able to progress through this subject and really understand what an interior design project entails. A technical drawing is effectively a tool to enable an interior designer to transfer all of the measurements relating to the room being designed, either to the client or a potential supplier and interior designers need to be able to interpret it.
5. Photoshop (Visual Packages)
Adobe Photoshop and similar visualisation software is fundamental to the learning stages of an interior designer. Learning how to take photographs and scan them into layers will allow students to become aware of how they can develop their creativity. Because a final project will be a room design, what is not evident are the design phases that led to the final acceptance of the project by the client. The student will therefore need to develop creativity to give them the enthusiasm to research a project and produce visuals that will entice the client to undertake their services. Through the use of software that allows students to quickly chop and change ideas and colours and play around with textures, this will develop the necessary intuition enabling them to listen to clients and come up with design solutions.
If you would like an example of where such courses can be taken, you could find this at the following link: http://academyforartdesign.co.uk/interior-design-courses