In ever-shrinking major centres globally, the enclosing of space is a responsibility of note. The same is true in South Africa – but there is more to consider:

Architects design a built structure, but do they appreciate what will transpire within? How the interior spaces will function and ultimately how they should be designed and decorated?

Interior architecture and design is a discipline that needs careful consideration, lengthy experience, direction and commitment to extracting the maximum from a given space.

The discipline of interior design

When examining the history of architecture, the partnership between architect and interior designer was not as we know it today. Historically, architects held the responsibility for both a building’s exterior and interior.

Architects still debate as to whether interior design falls under their jurisdiction since they feel qualified to complete this part of the design process. However, with the ever-increasing complexity of interior environments, separate and more focused expertise is now required, which has led to interior architecture and design becoming recognised disciplines in their own right.

This new expertise has enabled a more intensified approach, allowing greater attention to detail since the individual requirements of a more globally aware and design-savvy client need to be met.

Evolution in both architecture and interior design has enabled clear distinctions between the two disciplines. Depending on the scope and demands of the project, interior design is related to space planning, furnishing and material sourcing, designing ergonomics – such as spatial flow – as well as interior lighting, shell design and decoration.

Architecture meanwhile, concerns itself with the science, engineering and construction of a building.

Gauteng-based interior designer Audi Snyman maintains that the interior design process goes beyond beauty and aesthetics to reflect the meaning and deeper values of the homes she designs. She finds it vital to comprehend exactly what her clients’ particular requirements are from the outset. And maintains that she needs to be involved from blueprint stage onwards.

So, despite the origins of interior design, it’s safe to say that in 2020 our architects and interior designers alike work harmoniously to produce homes which are meaningful, functional and aesthetically pleasing. Audi Snyman feels that this is a cooperation that should extend across both disciplines, now and in the future.


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