So you finally decided that you want to employ an interior architect to turn your interior dream into a reality? But with all of the varying degrees of skills, experience and knowledge required, how could you possibly know if you found the right one? These specialists often challenged with a certain task when asked to design an interior space for a commercial, retail, or residential client. A retailer may ask to design a space that fosters consumer spending while a commercial client may ask to design a space that promotes workplace productivity. Whatever the task at hand, a successful project relies on selecting the right interior architect. Let`s review some of the considerations in order to help you match the right professional to the right project.
Since an interior architect is the marriage of the three different design disciplines of interior design, architecture, and industrial design, knowledge is a critical asset. Let`s start with the basics. Be sure to check on the education credentials, along with their years of experience. Most interior architects will possess at least a bachelor`s degree in interior architecture.
Licensures & Accreditation
In addition to their base knowledge of general architecture, interior design, and product design, it is imperative that the designer is abreast of current design trends, planning and building regulations. You can check with your Local Authority Building Control department to determine if they are working with an interior architect within their partnership scheme. This may assist in determining whether your chosen interior architect is up to date on knowledge of local building regulations. In certain jurisdictions, an interior architect may be able to become certified by a national or regional organization that is dedicated to the industry or profession.
A Good Sense of Design
This category might be too obvious to mention but certainly not one to overlook. They must have an understanding of how space, scale, colours, and furnishings can alter an interior environment. They must know how to manipulate these elements to create a specific mood. The theoretical and conceptual possibilities are explored within interior architecture, in cooperation with the pragmatic concerns of clients, to create innovative, meaningful spaces that facilitate the ordinary and extraordinary activities of people at home, work, or play. A great project starts with a great concept and a good sense of design is critical to achieving this goal. Evaluate your designer`s portfolio and past projects. This will be your best way of determining their design ability.
Many interior architects will carry a specialty either in residential or commercial buildings. Their portfolio and past project history will be a strong indicator of their specialization. Some may specialize in niches such as theatres, retail spaces, exhibition halls, or other types of buildings. Be sure to select a professional that is experienced with your particular project. Regardless of their specialization, good interior architects should have a solid working knowledge of interior construction, building systems and components, regulations, equipment, materials and furnishings. They should also be acquainted with the technicalities of electrical wiring and plumbing.
Project Management & Communication Skills
They must have strong written, oral, and visual communication skills. They must visually interpret verbal instructions and suggestions. Furthermore, they must be creative within the constraints of a budget. This is particularly important in preventing cost overruns. Look for someone with a team-oriented attitude, an attention to detail and an ability to meet deadlines. Projects are generally undertaken in collaboration with a team of specialist architects, engineers, and consultants to manage and coordinate a client`s needs. An interior architect needs to be able to coordinate with these professionals in order to facilitate and maximize a productive working relationship. Being able to explain design ideas clearly to all parties and to solve problems effectively and efficiently will ensure a seamless execution of any project.
These are just some of the various aspects to consider when selecting the right interior architect for you. You will find these specialists in a variety of firms, companies and agencies. Most work in small architectural firms, though some work for commercial building companies or government agencies. Some will work alongside architects or construction companies on a contract basis. Others will collaborate as part of a team of production designers in an architectural firm`s production studio.
If you have reviewed all of the various considerations and still don`t have a candidate that stands above the rest, don`t forget to request references and contact past clients for their opinions and recommendations. Often contacting someone who has already been through a similar process can assist you in finding the right match for you without making the same mistakes they did. Alternatively, going with your gut might just be the defining factor. Trust is arguably the most important variable of selecting your interior architect. If most of your candidates appear the same on paper, you might feel more comfortable selecting the candidate that you trust the most and find the most personal rapport. After all, they are designing your dream, and the person most qualified to articulate your dream in a design might just be the person who identifies with you the most.