Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Interior Decorator, Interior Designer, Architect: Who’s Space?

There has been a divide between interior designers, interior decorators and architects since the 19th century. There are many misconceptions by the public as to what work each of the fields actually entail.

Florence Knoll workplace designs

In the working space, for example, Florence Knoll, who was the director of the interior design service; The Knoll Planning Unit (1943-1971), introduced a new field of interior design and presented a new way of designing corporate interiors by addressing the clients’ needs. In a New York Times article in 1964, Florence Knoll said “I am not a decorator … the only place I decorate is my own house” In a time where interior design and interior decoration was considered a “feminine” job, Knoll questioned and re-defined the labels of architect, interior designer and interior decorator. Her methods resulted in equating the importance of interior design with building’s architecture.

Exteriors and interiors of Zaha Hadid's Guangzhou Opera House

Media only magnifies the public misconception of interior decorators, interior designers and architects. In a journal I read while researching this topic for uni, the writer explained that in shelter magazines, editors avoid including the designer’s spacial conception and instead focus only on the objects and furniture, while architectural magazines tend to show spaces stripped out of any traces of décor that make the space inhabitable. Architecture and Interior Designers should co-exist and form a single vision that compliments one another.

The bigger misconception, which media has contributed greatly to the public’s confusion, is that between an interior designer and an interior decorator. In another journal, a study shows that design-based reality shows tarnish the image of interior designers. We’ve all seen them on TV as there are countless versions of them but they somehow always miss the mark to portray the true job of an interior designer. They give away the perception that being an interior is “anyone’s job” and fail to include what it takes to be one, including qualification and experience. A quote, which I completely agree with from that journal, says “For those of us who entered the profession through the process of education, experience, and examination, the public’s lack of knowledge of who we are and what we do is extremely frustrating.”

Interior of Zaha Hadid's Guangzhou Opera House

The public perceptions of our profession, has caused for the addition of yet another label ‘Interior Architect’ to better communicate the importance of the role an Interior designer has on the actual building’s outcome. And even though there are many reasons for these perceptions that still remain, we decide our own labels.

Florence Knoll workplace designs
Exteriors and interiors of Zaha Hadid's Guangzhou Opera House

What’s in a Name? Interior Design and/or Interior Architecture: The Discussion Continues by Allison Carll White
I Am Not a Decorator: Florence Knoll, the Knoll Planning Unit and the Making of the Modern Office by Bobbye Tigerman
Curtain Walls by Joel Sanders 

No comments:

Post a Comment