How much time does the average American spend indoors during a typical week? Studies show on average, Americans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. With spending such a significant number of hours in doors there has been a number of counter studies. These counter studies evaluate how the built environment affects an individual’s overall health and well-being in a variety of different sectors of interiors spaces. With this information employers and building owners are becoming increasingly aware how this can affect the bottom line. There has been a substantial amount of research related to proper design improving student performance, contribution to quicker recovery time in hospitals, higher sales in retail markets, and more productivity in the working environment. The focus of proper design in these spaces and how it affects the general public is an important aspect to create healthy functional spaces for the present and future population.
Registered interior designers specialize in creating these indoor environments. An interior designer may focus their ability in a specific field including residential, commercial, sustainable design, healthcare, retail, education, hospitality, federal, historical, or assisted living; just to name a few. Designers work with local and federal jurisdiction to establish the level of code compliance, product and interior build-out features, furniture, and equipment needed in order to pass code established by these jurisdictions. Designers work closely with the client to establish a design aesthetic layout the function and programming requirements of the space. Interior designers coordinate with the architects, engineers, product vendors, and contractors to keep projects on schedule and within budget. The coordination and communication between client, designer, architect and contractor assists with a smooth and successful project build-out.
Aesthetics play a major role in a successful design; professionals must be knowledgeable in design theories in order to create an aesthetically pleasing space. Harmony and balance of patterns and architectural elements only a practiced designer can accomplish in an environment which has not been built yet. Designers are able to anticipate how people will feel in and move through an indoor environment and therefore effectively function in the environment. Many use a systematic and coordinated methodology that involves the integration of research, analysis and knowledge into the creative process. In addition to the design theories interior designers use within the built environment, they also have a keen understanding of product manufacture process and chemical make-up of interior basis products and substrates. Specific indoor environments require different levels of needs as it pertains to maintenance, acoustics, and longevity, anti-microbial, cost, fast-tracked, or chemical resistant’s. All of these items are taken into consideration when making selections for an indoor environment and a registered interior designer is well versed in all of these aspects of design.
In truth, a building can be built without an interior designer but an environment cannot be created without one. With so many studies showing the pros and positive outcomes of hiring a professional interior designer one could see were the payoff would be. Historically speaking an interior designer role first emerged in France around the Renaissance in order to coordinate all of the interior finishes. The idea still stays the same but with the specialty needs of many areas and the technology of product changes every day it is a designer's job to achieve the following goals:
- Work with jurisdiction and understand life and safety goals of the building as well as the classification of the product needed for the particular build out.
- Have a knowledge base of the building function and the level of maintenance, proper product placement and location.
- Work with the client on the vision and function in which the space is to make.
- Find and selection product which will meet and exceed all items stated above.
- Lastly, have knowledge based in all related fields such as architecture, landscape, electrical, and mechanical so communication can happen smoothly to have a coordinated and well defined design.