Saturday, October 30, 2010

Architecture to Other Design Disciplines

I have a question about my career choice.

I am a freshmen in college and have recently decided to pursue a major in architecture.
Let's say I do get my degree in architecture, but rather than just design buildings I want to maybe seek a job in industrial design or interior architecture. Would I be able to do that with my degree in architecture or should I just pursue a degree in the subjects directly? ex: Industrial design, interior architecture.

Excellent question!

In my opinion, the education that you gain as an architecture student would be well-suited if you later decided to pursue another design related discipline like industrial design or interior design. More than anything, you learn the design process as an architecture student. How to take a problem statement, generate possible solutions, further develop those solutions and eventually finalize a single solution for presentation. You would do something very parallel in industrial design or interior design. The difference is the scale of the problem and the palette of materials and tools you use to develop your solution. For industrial design, you may be asked to design the next child's toy or household appliance while in architecture you are designing a public library or civic building.

With that said, another approach would be to pursue a straight design degree as an undergraduate and upon graduation decide on your next step; if it is architecture, you can pursue the Master of Architecture (3-4 years) for those that do not have an undergraduate degree in architecture. Your option to become an architect has different paths.

Below are some resources --

Finally, a note on interior architecture; this truly is architecture and not a separate discipline like industrial design. Think of a doctor who later specializes in cardiology (heart). An interior architect is an architect who later specializes in interiors.

I hope this helps. Do let me know.

Dr. Architecture


Anonymous said...

Registration as an architect is limiting. For instance, if you'd like to be a building plans examiner, good luck because NCARB doesn't give "IDP points" for this service and many city building safety departments do not hire architects or intern architects for this work. They usually hire architects to color zoning maps.
If you every aspire to management in other than an architecture firm, good luck again because architects are not considered to have the analytic skills needed to be considered management material.
If you enjoy drafting endlessly and watching your life gradually ebb away...architecture is the way to go.

Dekorasyon Ankara said...

Thank you for this clever and useful architecture idea.

Anonymous said...

What Dr. Architecture has not discussed: The term interior architecture is defined differently on a global level (outside the United States). Globally the titles interior architect and interior designer are used interchangeably. It would be worth your time to review sources such as the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designer @

Sorry to muddy the waters, but in this worldwide marketplace you need to look outside the 50 states. Much of your future work with be completed overseas and you need to be globally aware.

Dean, Interior Design