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What an Interior Designer Does and How to Become One


What an Interior Designer Does and How to Become One

Versatility, creative flair, curiosity, open-mindedness
26 September 2021

A creative job that is all about rethinking the public and private spaces of the (near) future.

Interior design is one of the most coveted creative jobs around the world.
Filled with aspirational profiles and success stories, driven by the growth of the entire design universe from fashion & luxury to product design, the interior designer is now at the heart of global reflection on future living and workplaces, as well as lifestyles and workstyles.

What does an Interior Designer do?

An interior designer works with clients to design and create aesthetically pleasing rooms, and has a full understanding of spaces, functionality, style and all that is in between and requires diverse skills – functional, artistic and technological – which complement and complete each other. While a traditional decorator focuses mainly on aesthetics, an interior designer goes above and beyond, with the creative flair and the artistic edge to manage both appearance and functionality.

An interior designer covers all sorts of interior spaces – residential units, restaurants, stores, offices, hotels, public infrastructures – and their decor.

Their job starts with listening to the client and their needs or getting to grips with a brief. An interior designer will first plan, research and coordinate the project, until they create the finished room.

Steps to Becoming an Interior Designer – What to Study

Versatility, creative flair, curiosity, open-mindedness and vision are the key skills that make the difference.
A student who aims to become an interior designer can choose between traditional university courses or highly specialised schools and institutes.

Home to companies that have made Italian excellence famous worldwide, as well as Institutions (e.g. the Triennale) and Foundations linked to great architects who made the history of Italian design (such as Magistretti and Castiglioni), Milan was the perfect place for the Istituto Marangoni Design School. Based in Milan’s design district, in the very heart of the city, the school offers a broad and varied programme of annual design courses and short courses, both face-to-face and online, including Lighting, Textiles and Surfaces & Retail Design.

Interior Designers – from Young Talent to Big Names

Alumni often cite the school’s close link with the industry and its location at the heart of Milan’s Design District as two key factors that led them to choose Istituto Maragoni.
Promoting collaboration between the school’s talent and the best international brands can lead to successful projects, producing excellence and direct value, in terms of active mentorship.

An example of this is Prisma Project, a group of Istituto Marangoni alumni who have combined their backgrounds into a successful international team that has already won major awards and has a bright future ahead.

Hard to say who the future stars will be in such a global and dynamic industry.
 But ambition is an essential part of talent, and would-be interior designers have plenty of inspiring examples to look up to.
It is impossible to predict who will follow in the footsteps of some of the professionals that shared their experience during exclusive talks at Istituto Marangoni like Karim RashidPatricia Urquiola or Marcel WandersIndeed direct dialogue with great masters has always provided important stimulus to young students like the “Enhancing the Future” project that so an icon like Tom Dixon, sharing his visionary yet market-oriented approach.

A Scholarship to Design the “New normal

As Dixon reminded us, in today’s global post-emergency context, interior design is especially called to contribute to rethinking living and working spaces. “Living with a New Normal” is the theme of the new contest launched by Istituto Marangon with Elle Decor, with 50 scholarships up for grabs.

Are you interested in one of the courses?