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An interior designer may wish to specialize in a particular type of interior design in order to develop technical knowledge specific to that area. Types of interior design include residential design, commercial design, hospitality design, healthcare design, universal design, exhibition design and spatial branding. The profession of Interior Design is relatively new, constantly evolving, and often confusing to the public. It is a creative profession that is consistently changing and evolving. It is not an artistic pursuit and relies on research from many fields to provide a well-trained understanding of how people are influenced by their environments.

Residential

Residential design is the design of the interior of private residences. As this type design is very specific for individual situations, the needs and wants of the individual are paramount in this area of interior design. The interior designer may work on the project from the initial planning stage or may work on the remodeling of an existing structure. It is often a very involved process that takes months to fine-tune and create a space with the vision of the client. Fine examples of contemporary designers include Kelly Hoppen and David Collins who in keeping with current trends have both a strong media presence and successful independent business.

Commercial

Commercial design encompasses a wide range of sub specialties.

  • Retail: includes malls and shopping centers, department stores, specialty stores, visual merchandising and showrooms.
  • Visual and Spatial Branding: The use of space as a medium to express the Corporate Brand
  • Corporate: office design for any kind of business such as banks
  • Healthcare: the design of hospitals, assisted living facilities, medical offices, dentist offices, psychiatric facilities, laboratories, medical specialist facilities
  • Hospitality and Recreation: includes hotels, motels, resorts, cruise ships, cafes, bars, casinos, nightclubs, theaters, music and concert halls, opera houses, sports venues, restaurants, gyms, health clubs and spas, etc.
  • Institutional: government offices, financial institutions (banks and credit unions), schools and universities, religious facilities, etc.
  • Industrial facilities: manufacturing and training facilities as well as import and export facilities.
  • Teaching in a private institute that offer classes of Interior Design
  • Self-Employment
  • Employment in private sector firms

Other

Other areas of specialization include amusement and theme park design, museum and exhibition design, event design (including ceremonies, weddings, baby and bridal showers, parties, conventions and concerts), interior and prop styling, tablescape design, theatre and performance design, stage and set design, production design for film and television. Beyond those, interior designers, particularly those with graduate education, can specialize in healthcare design, gerontological design, educational facility design, and other areas that require specialized knowledge. Some university programs offer graduate studies in theses and other areas. For example, both Cornell University and University of Florida offer interior design graduate programs in environment and behavior studies. Within this at University of Florida, students may choose a specific focus such as retirement community design (under Dr. Nichole Campbell) co-housing (Dr. Maruja Torres) or theft prevention by design (Prof. Candy Carmel-Gilfilen) (Campbell, 2012, Personal Communication).

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