Interior Design came of age only in the last few years. Earlier architects would do all the design work, both exteriors and interiors. Of late people have become more conscious of the design, layout and execution of their interiors, for offices, factories as well as residences. This has opened the door for a large number of professional designers. Unfortunately very few universities offer rigorous professional courses in Interior Design, and many who wish to take it up as a vocation either start with basic architectural degrees or with part time diploma programs in interiors. Interior design offers excellent opportunities for those who wish to be self employed, or work part time. It is one of the few professions where one can operate from home with a minimal investment.
COURSES: The best options for someone intending to become an interior designer would be to aim for the School of Interior Design at Ahmedabad, IIT, JJ School of Arts, Mumbai etc., or take up an architecture course and then specialize in Interior Design. Some universities including IIT Mumbai offer separate courses in Industrial Design. A short cut, though not as lucrative as the earlier option, is to enroll for one of the many part time one year diploma course being run in every city, which require very minimal qualification, but give good practical insights into the field. It will be very useful if the candidate simultaneously enrolls for a course in computer graphics, Computer Aided Design (CAD), or multimedia.
ENTRY: While entry to the first group mentioned above is through competitive exams (and they are really competitive !) , the private schools take in students with a basic SSLC qualification, almost without any selection. Architecture colleges generally follow the state’s Common Entrance Test for Engineering, with a special aptitude test added.
APTITUDE: Unlike many other careers, design inevitably requires both a strong aptitude as well as a creative talent in the field. Hence it is important that a person checks out his aptitude before entering into this area. For a person to be a good interior designer, he or she should basically be a right brained person (comfortable with three dimensions, spatial flow) have a curious mind, creative thinking, a flair for drawing (including computers, since most design work in future will be done on computers). Concentration is also an essential requirement. Those intending to do execution along with design, should additionally have the ability to handle labour and finances. Every candidate should get his drawing and creative skills evaluated by a practicing designer who will give an unbiased opinion.
THE FUTURE: For those graduating from the premier institutions, immediate employment with reputed design firms is assured, on starting salaries around Rs.8,000-12,000. Further progress would depend entirely on creative ability. Those who opted to go for an architecture degree would have to spend time gaining more knowledge in interiors, or by doing a diploma course in additiondates who have done a private diploma will have to take up apprenticeship in smaller design firms, unless they have the confidence to launch off on their own. Self employed persons will find a better scope only if they are willing to execute the work they have designed. Those designing and executing interior works are paid a percentage of the total cost of the project, ranging from 7 to 15 %, but one should remember that there is a financial risk involved, and handling labour is a tough job. Growth prospects depend entirely on the abilities and seniority does not play any role at all, but creating something in your mind and watching it take concrete shape can be a very satisfying experience. A fast upcoming couple who work as a team, operating from their house, find their daily routine going totally haywire, and they happily say “we slog away sixteen hours a day till we complete a project, and then just drive away for a
well deserved vacation to recharge our batteries before we come back and tackle a new challenge. And we make sure that we get different categories of projects to keep our ideas flowing.”
School of Interior Design, Centre for Environmental Planning Technology,
Kasturbhai Lalbhai Campus, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad – 380009, India
J J School of Art
Fort, Mumbai – 400001
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)
Powai, Mumbai – 400076
102 Richmond Road, Bangalore – 560025
School of Interior Design
6/3, 1st Main Road, Vasanthnagar,
Bangalore – 560052, Karnataka, India
Exteriors Interiors P Limited
2nd floor, Dhondusa Complex, 9 Residency Rd, Bangalore – 560025, Karnataka, India