The Interior Designer’s mission is to give strength to an inhabited space by studying its volumes, the finishes, and the furnishings it will contain, always bearing in mind the client’s requirements and the space’s specific features.
Interior Design, Inner Design
The way I see it, interior designers are professionals capable of interpreting the inner reality of a space and capturing the soul of those who will be inhabiting it. You shouldn’t consider them mere apartment furnishers or think that it’s just a question of having an above average amount of good taste! It’s all about creating a relationship, a symbolic rapport between the building and the person, following the teachings of Master Wright and his philosophy of organic architecture , according to which man, nature, and the built environment are all in perfect harmony. Furthermore, the area of expertise of an interior designer isn’t limited to home design; they also specialize in retail and commercial design, in the planning of collective areas, and of course even in outdoor design. So the professional skillset required to practice this profession is broad and, as always, it all comes from education.
In this complex and fascinating profession there is no room for approximation and amateurism. A set of professional skills is in fact required, ranging from design to creativity, as well as those involving cultural, technical, and organizational expertise. First of all comes culture, the backbone of our professional credibility. I’m talking about a knowledge of designer products and of the Masters who were the protagonists of the history of design. To fully understand the value of contemporary design, we need to become acquainted with the past and with the styles and trends that marked the various eras: from Baroque to Art Nouveau, from Bauhaus to the Fifties and up to the contemporary age. Designing skills, too, are a must, and they are expressed through a methodical management of space that cannot be improvised. In fact, there are specific approaches to design that should be adopted. First and foremost, the Metaproject, which thanks to an analysis of certain diagrams allows us to best express the potential of each room – kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom – by studying morphology, axes, flows, limitations, and lighting. However, the first factor you should consider is what the Latins called genius loci, the character of a place. In fact, it is only thanks to a careful interpretation of the energy conveyed by a location that you will be able to correctly interpret and express the style of a place, finding its mood, its sentiment, its character, which you will convey by using colors, shapes, textures, and materials. Of course you must also consider technical aspects, such as the use of professional software to produce mockups you can present to your clients or show to the artisans and workers.
These are instruments used to create 2D plans drawn to scale or elaborate photorealistic renders. The latter will allow you to create proposals to better describe your design idea and present it in a graphic composition created using special programs. In particular, aside from Autocad, for many years now I’ve been using 3D ArredoCAD Designer, which has become an essential instrument for me. Thanks to its vast library, I can present my clients with any kind of furnishing or architectural project, obtaining high-quality renders in a matter of minutes. What’s more, I can navigate my designs in real time, interacting with the various elements and modifying them, so as to further personalize the project based on my clients’ feedback. The creative phase, which many think is the most enjoyable, is never improvised or the result of the designer’s good taste. In fact, it too is the fruit of the application of a complex method that, by studying the genius loci, makes it possible to pinpoint the style and thus come to a study of the colors, materials, and textures, which will be managed with a moodboard. Finally, you need to be skilled in construction site management, in coordinating suppliers, in budget analysis and comparing estimates, and you will have to make use of a fair amount of psychology to handle your clients, who can be very flighty or dithering, or simply very confused and requiring a guide who, thanks to their professional skills, will lead them to the realization of their dream: their home!
How to Become an Interior Designer
Currently in Italy there is still no professional register of interior designers like there is for surveyors, engineers, and architects. Still, a degree in architecture is considered a plus for those looking to work as interior designers, for clients will be reassured by a certification of their skills. However, no diploma is legally required to become an interior designer, as you will not be required to sign documents that require a specific degree. It is important to know that there are certain operational boundaries you must never cross: you are not the foreman nor can you do their job, just as you cannot consider yourself an expert in building statics. If you are looking for training opportunities in this area, there are many specific courses and private specializations in interior design. These courses guarantee a very high level of training (but be sure to choose acknowledged institutions with skilled teachers!) and will certify the skills of a person who has chosen this career path. While they certainly require less time than a university degree, they offer a more intensive, hands-on approach.
Of course, there are also the training opportunities offered by ArredoCAD Academy, with whom I have been collaborating for some years. These are free webinars and short courses that can be useful both for interior designers looking to keep up to date on the latest trends and the new design instruments and techniques, as well as people who are thinking of choosing this career path and want to take a first step and explore this fascinating world.
by MARTA PAGANOTTO
Art Director - Moodesignacademy, Verona and teacher of Interior Design training courses