The 4 Most Important Subjects for an Interior Designer to Know

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

Interior Design is a Discipline with Broad Range

One of the best things about an interior design education is the broad range of subject matter drawn upon to create a well-rounded design curriculum.  I loved almost everything about learning interior design when I was in school and almost all of it was practical and easy to apply to real-life design settings.  

Yes, even the “theory” stuff.

It is the meeting between the technical and the creative sides that makes architecture and interior design such an incredible whole-brain education

Von sassy

Teasing Out the Essence of an Interior Design Course of Study

I’m a teacher, so one day, simply as a thought experiment, I pondered: what if I could boil down my design education to the bare bones?  

What would I end up with?

In other words, what are the most important elements needed to ensure a well-rounded education in interior design?  

I can just hear some people screaming, “Sacrilege!!!” 

Hear me out. I’m not suggesting that college and university-level design courses throw their syllabuses out the window.  I’m simply hoping to convey to a new or self-taught designer what the most important subjects to learn (and to make sure they understand thoroughly) are. 

The Big Four

So, without further ado, (and keeping in mind that this is my personal opinion) in order of importance the four most important subjects for an interior designer to know are:

  • Materials science and functionality
  • The history of architecture, interior design and art
  • Design theory
  • Color and light theory 

Science and Art Meet in Interior Design

I’m stoked how these four subjects fall neatly and somewhat equally into humanities and the sciences.  On the humanities side we have history and then design theory; which is more of an art and thus subject to looser general principles than a strict science.  On the science side we have materials and the theories of color and light.  

I think you’ll agree when you look into it that it is this meeting of the technical and the creative sides that makes interior design and also architecture such an incredible “whole brain” education. You will be amazed at how differently you will think, and in a good way, after getting an education in design.

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

I want to mention that I’ve dealt with design education subjects separate to skills.  To read about the skills an interior designer needs in their toolkit in order to do the job of interior design, read my article on that here on Design Baddies.

Link below!

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