Interior design vs Architecture

Unlike those free hippie souls, most of our lives are spent inside physical structures made of bricks, cement, and iron. Whether you call it your home, office or your favorite cafe, it is a part of ourselves. It sets our mood, absorbs our emotions and sometimes sings lullabies to make us sleep.

But these spaces didn’t come out of the soil on its own. Someone made the plan, someone designed it. And there comes the names of architects and interior designers. Today, these two overlapping professions are of high demand among individuals who are creative and technical at the same time. Let’s get to know them a little better.

Interior design vs Architecture: Who is an architect?

From the house you live to the Burj Khalifa, the walls will tell you the story of its master planner. The craftsman who planned, designed and reviewed the construction of those physical structures. And we call them architects. 

As we all know, architecture as an academic field is the art and science behind designing, planning, and construction of physical structures such as buildings or parks. The people who are academically qualified to practice this profession are called Architects. They hold the authority to practice architecture in a particular region or a territory and are well aware of the government rules that set construction parameters in a particular area.

According to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), architects are ‘Licensed professionals trained in the art and science of the design and construction of buildings and structures that primarily provide shelter’. He or she is in charge of planning, designing and reviewing construction projects. 

That’s a pretty good one and I’ll go with it. 

Interior design vs Architecture: What does an architect do?

Architects are the master planners in any construction projects. They either work for a government/private organization or take up independent contracts. Their job role involves designing and constructing physical structures according to the client’s needs, building usage, government policies, and environmental impact. 

They are in charge of discussing the project with the client, formulating, designing and presenting possible plans, linking with other service providers, performing duties of a manager to ensure timely delivery of the project, constantly monitoring its progress, solving problems that come up during the construction stage, etc.

Interior design vs Architecture: Who is an interior designer?

Now, let’s talk about interior designing. A lot of things depend on how we perceive spaces. It can affect an individual’s mood, health and ability to understand situations. As physical structures such as our offices or our homes are important in our lives, how we perceive those spaces are very important. 

Interior designing is all about customizing those spaces. According to Merriam-Webster, ‘interior designing is the art or practice of planning and supervising the design and execution of architectural interiors and their furnishings’

An interior designer is someone who does that in an aesthetically pleasing and financially manageable manner. They design the insides of buildings or houses in a way that creates a positive mood. While an architect designs the building, an interior designer customizes it for his or her clients. 

Interior design vs Architecture: What does an interior designer do?

While architects construct the building, interior designer decides how things are set inside that physical structure according to the client’s needs and demands. Even their responsibilities include discussing the plan, needs, and budget for the project.

They come up with designs that match the client’s demands, advise them on factors such as space planning, layout, furnishing and color combination. They also estimate costs and work in tandon with contractors, architects, engineers, and plumbers to ensure quality. 

Interior design vs Architecture: How to become an architect in India?

The most common route towards becoming an architect in India is by taking up a B.Arch course. Successful completion of HSE in the science stream with mathematics and physics as compulsory subjects is the minimum requirement to apply for B. Arch courses. You should also pass those subjects with a minimum of 50 percent marks. 

If you are someone with the above-mentioned qualification, you’ve got three different ways to go about it. 

First one, clear National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA) and join B. Arch courses. NATA is a national level entrance test for those who are looking for BArch admissions and is conducted by the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Architecture (NIASA). A valid score in this test is mandatory for admissions in most reputed B. Arch colleges in the country. The test assesses an individual’s skills in various areas such as drawing and observation skills, sense of proportion, aesthetic sensitivity and critical thinking.

Next route, JEE. JEE Mains has two papers. Paper one is for Btech while paper two is for B. Arch. If you’re attempting to secure an admission in NIT’s or the IIT’s, attempt the second paper and score well to secure an admission. 

To join one of those old IIT’s including IIT Kharagpur and IIT Roorkee for architecture undergraduate course, you’ve to take another route. Even this is through JEE, but you should attempt the first paper instead of the B. Arch paper. After securing a decent score in JEE mains, attempt JEE advanced and then appear for Architecture aptitude test (AAT) to secure your admission. 

If this is not your route, many private institutions offer diploma courses in architecture. Though you will be graded below those who have done B. Arch, it still takes you towards your dream career. 

Interior design vs Architecture: How to become an interior designer?

There is no fixed route here. It’s all about your talent. 

An HSE qualification in the science stream with a minimum of 55 percent mark is an eligibility criterion for admissions to most reputed colleges that offer interior designing courses. 

The most common route chosen by interior designing aspirants is to join B. Arch in any reputed institution. You will either get to specialize in interior designing or you can take an interior designing course after that. You can follow the same steps I mentioned above to secure an admission for B. Arch.

Another way to become an interior designer is by taking a bachelor’s degree in Interior design. Reputed institutions like Manipal School of Architecture and Planning, Swami Vivekanand University and Arch School of Design and Business conduct this program. The courses can be of 3, 4 or 5 years depending on the institution you opt for. The admissions are mostly done based on your performance in +2 exams. Some Institutes may also conduct entrance exams. 

Another program opted by those who wish to become an interior designer is the Bachelor of Design (B.Des) course. HSE is the minimum qualification to apply for this course. Most reputed institutions in the country conduct national level aptitude tests for admissions to this program. Admissions to IITs for this program is done through Undergraduate Common Entrance Examination for Design (UCEED). For admissions to NIDs, qualifying through NID DAT is mandatory. 

Interior design vs Architecture:  Scope

It’s hard to imagine a world where buildings don’t exist. And as long as buildings get constructed, architects will be needed. In today’s developing world, architects have plenty of opportunities. From urban planning to independent projects, there are plenty of jobs. Architects find jobs in architect firms, consultancies, etc. They also work in government organizations such as Archaeological Department, Central, and State Public Work Departments, City Development Authorities, Department Of Railways, Housing and Urban Development Corporation, Housing Development Corporations, Ministry of Defense, Municipalities, National Building Organization, National Institutes of Urban Affairs and Housing, Public Works Department, State Housing Boards, etc. 

A decade ago, interior designing was not an in-demand career. Not many people did really care much about hiring a professional to decide the paint to choose for the insides of their homes or where to keep the chairs. But this has changed today. As living spaces are becoming smaller, personalizing those spaces has become an important part of our lives. As the course equips you with creative and technical skills, interior designers can start their career as Interior and spatial designer, Exhibition designer, Production designer in theatre/TV/film, Visual merchandiser, Architectural technologist, Estates manager, Furniture designer, Product designer, Stylist, Textile designer, etc.

Interior design vs Architecture: Payscale

I won’t say just becoming an architect or an interior designer will guarantee you a fat paycheque. But if you’re good at what you do, you will never have to check your bank balance while paying for things. On average, an architect earns more than 5 lakhs per annum. It can go up depending on the organization you work for. If it’s a government organization, your salary can go up to 10 lakhs depending on your job role. If it’s a private organization, your package can go beyond that. The bigger the organization, the better.

Even an interior designer gets paid well if they make it big. The amount a well-known interior designer charges for a single project is more than what we make in 5 years. On average, an interior designer starts his or her career with a package of more than 3 lakhs. That’s not a bad deal either.


Many people find it difficult to differentiate Architecture and interior designing. Though both careers overlap on various domains, they are entirely different professions. An architect is someone who plans and monitors the construction of a building while an interior designer is someone who designs the interiors of that building. This article intends to shed light on a few major differences between these two professions. I hope the illustrated analysis have powered up your insights and have widened your perspectives.

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    nice blog


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