Every structure has a narrative to tell, whether it is about the past, the present, or the future. Historical monuments convey volumes about a space’s culture and history, whereas a futuristic parametric building speaks volumes about technology and advancement. But are these characteristics absorbed into a structure solely through its three-dimensional form? Examine the interior of some famous buildings. The combination of concept, three-dimensional forms, and interior spaces is truly stunning. Interior design and architecture are two disciplines that frequently overlap and collaborate in the built environment. Both fields involve the creation and transformation of spaces, but their focus, scope of work, and design method vary significantly. Although architecture and interior design go hand in hand, there are significant differences between the two.

The basics of architecture | Architecture and Interior Design

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An architect’s floor plan_©What architects can teach the rest of us about thinking like a designer_https://www.inc.com/linda-naiman/what-architects-can-teach-the-rest-of-us-about-hinking-like-a-designer.html

Simply said, architecture is a combination of science and art that deals with the design and construction of buildings. An architect is responsible for space planning, basic layouts, exterior design, service inclusion, and combining technical aspects to create the building. They ensure that buildings are structurally sound, satisfy building codes and regulations, and are functional for their intended use.

The basics of Interior Design

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An Interior Designer’s worktable_©Interior Designers Job, salary, & School Information: MPR (2022) My Perfect Resume_https://www.myperfectresume.com/career-center/careers/planning/how-to-become-an-interior-designer

Interior design is the art of developing and decorating interior spaces such that they are anthropometrically fit, ergonomically functional, and aesthetically pleasing. As the name suggests, it deals with the designing of the interiors, may it be a single room or a high-rise building.

Architecture vs interior design

Taking an example of a mall, although architecturally, the shop layouts in a mall may be similar and have the same dimensions but each store still appears completely different. This is due to the fact that each brand has its own identity, personality, and distinct character, which is used to design the interiors of a store. A traditional ethnic wear store may have more traditional elements and furniture, but a western fast fashion company may be more minimalistic in terms of interiors. An interior designer is in charge of the store interiors in this case, whereas the whole planning of a mall will be undertaken by an architect.

An interior designer works and the architect work together on the layout of the spaces, as well as how the cabinets, furniture, and other factors fit within the blueprint. This ensures that windows are properly positioned, rooms are adequately sized, and the overall space feels harmonious. An interior designer is usually in charge of aspects of design that deal with how the interiors look. Starting with wall and floor finishes (hardwood, linoleum, carpet, or stone flooring), furnishings (various kinds of tables, chairs, and beds), and then soft goods and accessories (pillows, rugs, and wall pieces).

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Commonalities between interior design and architecture_©Pelletier, J. (2017) Architecture vs. interior design, Board & Vellum_ https://www.boardandvellum.com/blog/architecture-and-interior-design/

An architect, on the other hand, determines the shape, size, and orientation of the building and rooms, as well as the basic furniture arrangement that seems appropriate. They study space, form, color theory, art styles, and aesthetics not just in terms of exteriors and planning, but also in terms of interiors. Many architects also work on the interiors of the buildings they design in order to maintain a beautiful flow of theme and imagination through both the exteriors and the interiors. In fact, architecture school teaches students about interior design as well. And, because interior designing does not require a license, an architect can also be an interior designer, but an interior designer cannot be an architect. It is possible for interior designers to work as architects; however, this may necessitate additional education and training, as well as a desire to learn new skills and knowledge.

An interior designer’s day-to-day responsibilities include:

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Interior design with a maximalist design approach_©Vibrant Contemporary Rugs (no date) Sonya Winner Vibrant Contemporary Rugs_https://sonyawinner.com/blog/the-return-of-maximalism/
  • Meet with prospective clients and pitch their idea to them.
  • Understanding customers’ requirements and preferences and translating them into design solutions.
  • Creating interior idea designs and detailed interior drawings.
  • Interior design involves the selection of materials, finishes, and furnishings.
  • Managing the design process in order to finish projects on schedule and within budget.
  • Assuring that rooms comply with safety and accessibility standards.
  • Provide the clients with a rough budget strategy.
  • At last, pay attention to details such as furniture, wall design, color strategy, design style, kitchen layouts, flooring, lighting, and furnishing to create a living/work area.

An architect’s day-to-day responsibilities include:

An architect’s work process_©TopHatch (2022) Rendering a floor plan with architect Osama Elfar • Concepts App • Infinite, flexible sketching, ConceptsApp_https://concepts.app/en/architectural-design-series/rendering-floor-plan-architect-osama-elfar/
  • Examine the requirements of a project/client
  • Understanding clients’ requirements and preferences and translating them into design ideas
  • Based on the discussions, create a plan/design and suggest a budget.
  • Creating concept designs and precise drawings for structures and buildings.
  • Managing the construction process in order to finish projects on schedule and within budget.
  • Making certain that buildings adhere to building codes and laws.
  • Working with engineers and other professionals to guarantee the building’s structural integrity and functionality.
  • Visit construction sites to examine the ongoing work.

Differences between an architect and an interior designer | Architecture and Interior Design

  • Educational and professional requirements: To become an architect, individuals must typically finish a professional degree in architecture, which takes five years to complete. Architects may choose to acquire licensure after completing their education in order to work professionally. Interior designers, on the other hand, generally have less rigorous educational standards. Some interior designers have a bachelor’s degree in interior design or a related subject, while others have a high school diploma and on-the-job training.
  • Focus and scope of work: Architects are responsible for the creation and construction of buildings and other physical structures, as well as the planning and development of sites. Whereas interior designers are in charge of creating visually appealing and cohesive spaces that satisfy the requirements of the people who will use them.
  • Design process and timeline: Architecture and interior design projects have very different design processes and timelines. Architects usually work on larger, more complex projects that can last for years. They participate in the design process from the beginning and may labor on a project for several years before it is finished. Interior designers, on the other hand, may work on smaller, shorter-term projects that require less time to finish. They may also be brought in later in the process to assist with the finishing touches and decor of a place.


Should you call an architect or interior designer? (no date) Livspace Magazine. Available at: https://www.livspace.com/in/magazine/difference-between-architect-interior-designer (Accessed: February 24, 2023). 

Narang, K. et al. (2023) Architecture vs. interior design: How are the two careers different?, Mindler Blog. Available at: https://www.mindler.com/blog/architecture-vs-interior-design-differences/ (Accessed: February 24, 2023). 

Should you call an architect or interior designer? (no date) Livspace Magazine. Available at: https://www.livspace.com/in/magazine/difference-between-architect-interior-designer (Accessed: February 24, 2023). 

Sharma, A. (no date) Major differences between architecture and Interior Design, LinkedIn. Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/major-differences-between-architecture-interior-design-aashish-sharma/ (Accessed: February 24, 2023). 

Pelletier, J. (2017) Architecture vs. interior design, Board & Vellum. Available at: https://www.boardandvellum.com/blog/architecture-and-interior-design/ (Accessed: February 24, 2023). 

Architecture vs interior design: Which profession reigns supreme? – archisoup: Architecture Guides & Resources (2022) archisoup. Available at: https://www.archisoup.com/studio-guide/architecture-vs-interior-design (Accessed: February 24, 2023). 


Shrini Shrivastava is a passionate and enthusiastic architecture student, looking for new prospects to explore. She aims to demonstrate the influence journalism has in the field of architecture and believes that a variety of elements- from human psychology to individual upbringing, can make-or-break architecture.