Ah, the wonderful world of design. I’ll give you a little bit of background on myself before we begin. I have just completed my third year of post-secondary schooling in Interior Design, with honours. Therefore, I feel throughout my six semesters at school I’ve developed a little bit of useful intel to help some of you out who want to know more about it—or are generally just curious.
When I started Interior Design, it was more of a draw out of a hat. I knew I wasn’t smart enough to be a marine biologist and if I wanted to study psychology I probably wouldn’t get anywhere without a doctorate. Thus, I decided “Sure! Design sounds fun!”
Here are some things to know about the design process:
- Research: You may not like it, but research is hella important. You need to justify everything you decide with a reason. A lot of designs are focusing on sustainability—so you need to know the facts and why they are LEED approved. If you don’t know what LEED is you need to google that. Also, know how to reference MLA or APA, plagiarism isn’t cool.
- Concept: From what I have heard, in the field a lot of the concept is left in the gutter. But in design school they want you to express your creativity. Have fun with it. Generally I grab some trace paper, write down a list of ideas and begin to doodle overtop of the floor plan. Then I come up with a single word I like, grab a thesaurus and see if there’s anything that sounds fancier—if you will. Then go back to step one and do a little more research.
- Schematic Design: What the heck is that? This phase of design is programming—in interior design room locations and adjacencies are very important, you have to make sure everything is ordered properly and you have provided enough space for these areas. Generally you take some graph paper and decide the square footage of each room, from there you lay them out depending on what needs to be close to where. It’s kind of like solving a puzzle; a complicated 3D puzzle that will eventually be a space that people use and work in.
- Design Development: This is the fun part, after you’ve laid out your room locations you get to incorporate more concept, and use your research on materials and sustainable technology to apply to your project. This is the part of the stage where you can make a bunch of beautiful renderings and save a million and one bookmarks on your browser to refer to during your working drawing stage when you have to place all your materials and furniture into a legend.
- Working Drawings: You either hate them or you love them. I don’t believe there’s an in between. However, these are a necessity. These are how your final designs are eventually built and they are very technical, they specify everything and they take hours upon hours in AutoCAD or Revit to do. These are usually the causes of sleep deprivation and coffee addiction.
I know, you weren’t expecting that. This, my folks is the true process of interior design (obviously some secret steps are left out—ha ha) but during an Interior Design project we go through all these stages. It can be miserable at times, it can be fun. I hope I didn’t deter any of you from this! Leave a question or comment below!
(all photos are my own)