An interior designer enhances the function, safety and aesthetics of interior spaces while taking into account how different colors, textures, furniture, lighting, and space work together to meet occupants' or visitors' needs. He or she works with both private and public spaces including residences, shopping malls, schools, offices, and hospitals.
Interior designers work closely with architects, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, and construction laborers and helpers to determine how interior spaces will function, look, and be furnished. Interior designers read blueprints and must be aware of building codes and inspection regulations.
Although some sketches or drawings may be freehand, most interior designers use computer-aided design (CAD) software for the majority of their drawings. Throughout the design process, interior designers often use building information modeling (BIM) software to create three-dimensional visualizations that include construction elements such as walls or roofs.
Many designers specialize in particular types of buildings, such as homes, hospitals, or hotels; specific rooms, such as bathrooms or kitchens; or a specific style. Some designers work for home-furnishings stores, providing design services to help customers choose materials and furnishings.
Some interior designers produce designs, plans, and drawings for construction and installation. These may include construction and demolition plans, electrical layouts, and plans needed for building permits. Interior designers may draft the preliminary design into documents that could be as simple as sketches, or as inclusive as construction documents with schedules and attachments.
Corporate designers create interior designs for professional workplaces from small office settings to large-scale corporations within high-rise buildings. They focus on creating spaces that are efficient, functional, and safe for employees. They may incorporate design elements that reflect a company's brand in their designs.
Healthcare designers use the evidence-based design process in designing and renovating healthcare centers, clinics, doctors' offices, hospitals, and residential care facilities. They specialize in making design decisions based on credible research to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients, residents, and the facility.
Kitchen and bath designers specialize in kitchens and bathrooms and have expert knowledge of the variety of cabinets, fixtures, appliances, plumbing, and electrical solutions for these rooms.
Sustainable designers use strategies to improve energy and water efficiencies and indoor air quality, and they specify environmentally preferable products, such as bamboo and cork for floors. They may obtain certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) from the U.S. Green Building Council. Such certification indicates expertise in designing buildings and spaces with sustainable practices in mind.
Universal designers renovate spaces in order to make them more accessible. Often, these designs are used to renovate spaces for elderly people and people with special needs; however, universal designs can benefit anyone. For example, an entranceway without steps may be necessary for someone in a wheelchair, but it is also helpful for someone pushing a baby stroller.
Mechanical engineers create and develop mechanical systems for all of humankind. Concerned with the principles of force, energy and motion, mechanical engineers use their knowledge of design, manufacture, and operational processes to advance the world around us — enhancing safety, economic vitality and enjoyment throughout the world.
Not only do mechanical engineers help design everything from athletic equipment, medical devices and personal computers to air conditioners, automobile engines and electric power plants, they also design the machines that produce these innovations. Virtually every aspect of life is touched by mechanical engineering. Spanning multiple industries, the career opportunities for mechanical engineers are diverse and found worldwide throughout thousands of companies ranging from large multinational to small local ﬁrms.
The engineering field requires an understanding of core concepts including mechanics, kinematics, thermodynamics, materials science, and structural analysis. Mechanical engineers use these core principles along with tools like computer-aided engineering and product lifecycle management to design and analyze manufacturing plants, industrial equipment and machinery, heating and cooling systems, transport systems, aircraft, watercraft, robotics, medical devices and more.
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