Category Archives: Draft 1000w


Periodical: Japan Architecture+ Urbanism

Thesis: With the limited land space in Japan and cities, reaching their capacities, Japanese architecture should focus on innovating designs that can create an environment that would allow the people to benefit from its agricultural and urban function.

After being isolated from the world during the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1868, Japan’s isolation ended. Since then, Japanese architecture and culture was paused in time. The opening of the country forced Japan into a westernization movement. This movement made architecture one of the focuses on Japan. At this point in time, Japan’s sole purpose was to focus on creating newer cities where people could manifest a western lifestyle. Even though the architecture was made to increase the aesthetic of Japan, the new cities were built on land where population was greater in numbers than any other location in the country. Since the end of the of the westernization movement in the early 1900’s, Japanese cities have grown exponentially. Many cities like Tokyo, Yokohama, and Osaka have developed such that much of the land has been converted into urbanized areas that rely on innovative architecture. With over 127 million people living in the country, people have exhausted the land usage and have no choice but to rely on high-rise buildings. Many modern Japanese architects and landscape architects focus their careers on trying to create sustainable cities, but are still limited by the maximum space they can work with. As limited land space in Japan, reaching their capacities, Japanese architecture should focus on innovating designs that can create an environment that would allow the people to benefit from its agricultural and urban function.

Land in Japan is based on mountainous and volcanic structure, which leaves no alternative for people to build in an environment where easy access is possible. Some of the land has been developed to increase the accommodation of agriculture that allows people to harvest food and crops to provide to the cities. Japan’s agriculture fields extend farther due to the fertile possibility of the land. As a result, the focus on agriculture is prioritize compared to the significance of construction. About 20% of the land is suitable for agriculture and 68% belongs to forestry (Barnes). Many of the mountainsides and the plains are used for farming and terraces for cultivating farmland. The division between agriculture and urban is enforced by government officials to prevent contamination and pollution of the crop fields by cities. This restriction limits what is built and forces the majority of the population in one area.

While the land is developed as farmland, and forestry is protected, the increase of population continues to eradicate many areas around the land. Some lands are razed to accommodate the population and increase the housing for the people. The population in land accounts for 12% in all of Japan. Many cities have become overpopulated, leading to people to live in high-rise complexes. Minimal spacious rooms are designed to accommodate single families that reside in many urban cities. Families in Japan containing three or four members dwell in rooms where the size is compared to those of a single living space in the United States. With many people living in urban areas, the cities tend to depend on the transportation of food and the export of material. As a result, the environment is inflicted with issues caused by the urban living. The infliction towards the surrounding affects how much of the environment can be changed.

As innovative development in cities cease, buildings are stacked or miniaturized to accommodate as much people as possible. High-rise structures in many cities tend to house major commercial spaces, restricting where people can live. Commercial spaces tend to be prioritized over residential. This diminishes the possible locations of residences. High-rise buildings should be designed to allow people to interact and use their surrounding environment. Architecture should involve the agriculture usage as a means of vitalizing the lifestyle of the people. Buildings should adequately place above ground to allow for natural ventilation and sun to reach the crops being grown below. Ideally, the building should be lifted off the ground and placed on columns where the structural support is being helped by the other building. This creates a continuous connection between buildings. In 1966, renowned Japanese architect Kenzo Tange proposed a concept that would allow the Japanese people to live in high-rise buildings by extending the buildings from a core system that would allow future development of the site (figure A).


Figure A
Figure A

This project was developed to renew the Tsukiji District in Japan that would optimize the usage of houses. By using the concept of the Tsukiji Project, architecture and agriculture can be combined into one system. By using the core system, one can free the landscape to allow the accommodation of crop fields and agricultural usage. As the architecture and structure are raised from the ground, the building does not conflict with surrounding nature, thus allowing the environment to flourish and produce clean, organic and natural atmosphere. The structure allows the people to live in areas where the ground is uneven and construction is not allowed. As a result, the land tends to be cleaner and healthier for people to live in. The use of roads is minimized and the surrounding begins to intertwine as a whole community.

Another Japanese architecture proposed a parallel project that allows individual dwellings to hang from a single megastructure. Kiyonori Kikutake designed the Marine City that utilizes a core system (figure B). While the Marine City resembles the Tsukiji Project, Kikukate’s proposal dedicates two zones of the main core to two housing system. Each system is composed of eight compacted above ground, relieving the landscape of major construction. The use of individual house allows the dwellers to live in their own property while still sharing the main structure. The individualization of the each unit creates a personal space for each family in which allows the member to occupy their own spaces.


Figure B
Figure B

A modern concept can be seen in Singapore. The Interlace designed by Ore Scheeren and OMA allows the connection between dwellers and the landscape (Figure c).This complex takes advantage of every single square footage by stacking the individual units on top of each other, creating a sense of spatial interaction (Arch Daily). The dwelling units double the capability of residence without interfering with the surrounding environment. Due to the small confliction between the building and the surroundings, the complex actualizes the potential increase of the land by amplifying the greenery on the surfaces of the units (Figure D). By following the same example illustrated by Scheeren, cities should be able to accommodate large families with their space needs in their homes. As the architectural dwelling increases, cities are able to expand spaces, yet, relieving the stress in nature. By increasing the land to better the people, architecture inflicts less damage to the surrounding after construction. The landscape creates special areas where people can utilize the land to raise crops.

Figure C
Figure C
Figure D
Figure D

Due to many oppositions in construction and budget, projects like this are likely to be built because of the major impact it has towards the city before construction. Before a city can manifest in redevelopment, cities locations must be razed to accommodate the new development. At times, this causes the city to backlash in the development. The movement of current dwellers in an old residence affects how the city function and many residences are not able to afford the changes in lifestyle. In some cases, the project itself becomes unsatisfactory within the city limits. Some cities become unaware that housing becomes part of local taxation and thus conflicts with living expenses, thus the area becomes gentrified. This diminish the possibility of how many dwellings can actually be built. The structural possibility is at a disadvantage as the size of the core system would be dramatically impossible. The size of the core system would be so large that it would take more than the given land. On the other hand, the raising of crops benefits the dwellers; it lowers the profits of some other consumers. In some areas the growth of crops and food are a source of finance, as such, the cities depend on the commercial use. With the relocation of agriculture fields into personal use, agriculture field can become unusable and neglected.

By using architectural design, it is possible to merge agricultural and urban land. Many architects like Kenzo Tange, Ore Scheeren have innovated the way people and nature interact with one another. Their work manifests the ideals of this unison. While the prevention of pollution is controllable, many Japanese cities have become urbanized to a point that have created many of the major environmental issues seen in Japan. Incorporating hybrid buildings where people are able to grow their own crops would increase the sustainability of the cities in Japan. This increases the availability of land, people uses in their daily life. By relying in cities where sustainability is part of a mechanical system, cities become unsuitable by nature. Thus, by allowing nature to be part of the daily life of the people and its surrounding, cities flourish in better habitats, cleaner cities, and suitable lifestyles. The increase of ruralization in cities helps the rate of ecological and expansion of land for people. This creates better self-sustain cities that would flourish for centuries.


Works Cited

Barnes, Gina L. Origins of the Japanese Islands: The New “Big Picture”. Durham, England, n.d.

Japan, Web. Environmental Issues, Japan. n.d. 25 10 2015.

Johnston, Bruce F. Agricultural Development and Economic Transformation: A Comparative Study of the Japanese Experience. n.d.

Sawada, Shujiro. Agriculture and Economic Growth: Japan’s Experience. Princeton University Press, 1969.

Schalk, Meike. The Architecture of Metabolism. MDPI, Basel, 2014.

Yoshiyasu, Ida, et al. Geography Education in Japan. Springer, 2015.

“The Interlace / OMA” 06 May 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed 13 Dec 2015. <>

There is No Need for New Buildings.

There is no real need to build new buildings

Periodical Name: BLUEPRINT

  • Introduction
    • With so many unused and abandoned buildings, why are we still building new ones? Today there is an abundance of buildings including factories, houses, incomplete construction sites, stores and ghost towns available to be readapted. Adaptive reuse is better for the environment, is an answer to poor living conditions, is an interesting design challenge for architects, and preserves the historical significance of existing structures.
  • Environmental Benefits
    • Demolition & Construction Waste
      • Injures cities images and memories (Cerkez 94)
      • “Demolition waste is a major part of industrial waste. In general, demolition waste is heterogeneous and consists to a large extent of building materials but includes even small amounts of hazardous substances.” (Trankler 21)
      • “Current waste generation from the construction and demolition industry (C&D industry) in Norway is about 1.25 million tonnes per year.” (Bergsdal 27)
      • “A 2001 study of Norwegian waste treatment facilities reported that approximately 44% of C&D waste was sent to sorting, and of this 33% was materials recycled, 22% was energy recovered, and 34% was landfilled. The numbers do not include rocks, gravel, soil and the like. Furthermore, the results revealed that the treatment method for about 40% of C&D waste in Norway was unspecified. Some waste was sent directly to recycling companies, and therefore not registered in the statistics, and some waste was also disposed of illegally (Statistics Norway 2002).” (Bergsdal 28)
    • Shipping new materials
      • Depending on what is available locally, many materials need to be transported to the site. There is really no way to avoid this in general, but renovating rather than completely demolishing and creating a new building creates less need for new material.
        • “In 2013, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation accounted for about 27% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, making it the second largest contributor of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions after the Electricity sector.” (“Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.”)
    • Renovation Construction is much more difficult than new construction.
      • Take into consideration the cost of transporting the demolition and construction waste to a recycling facility.
      • The longer period of demo and construction time creates a longer period for laborers to be in work.
      • This longer period also creates more emissions into the atmosphere due to equipment used during demolition and construction.
    • Rich Clients who don’t care about sustainability
      • Sustainability is the “new”, “cool” thing in architecture. Even though sustainable techniques have been around for almost two decades.
        • The client’s building will be judged based on how sustainable it is.
          • If it does not use sustainable techniques, the client will be ridiculed for ignoring the need for sustainable strategies in architecture and ignoring the need for taking care of our planet.
        • Sustainable technologies are considered advanced technologies in architecture.
  • Economic Benefits
    • Less time under construction.
      • When demolition and construction are needed, a project will be under construction for a longer period of time.
        • labor costs. Approximately $35,000 salary per worker (47-2061 Construction Laborers)
      • There are certain historic rehabilitation tax credits offered to those who preserve the history of their site. This helps to offset the cost of renovation.
  • Low income housing
    • About 200,000 rental housing units are destroyed annually. Renting is one of the most viable options for low income people (Joint Center for Housing Studies).
    • “Unable to afford the higher rents for newer suburban units, many lowest-income renters remain stuck in older, lower-quality apartments close to the urban core with limited access to well-paying jobs and other advancement opportunities. Without more production of affordable rentals in the suburbs and expanded community development efforts in center cities, the economic prospects of the nation’s most disadvantaged are certain to worsen.” (Joint Center for Housing Studies)
    • developers continue to focus on the high end housing market segment, ignoring the many renters who are unable to pay (Joint Center for Housing Studies)
    • Albeit challenging, adaptive reuse is an option for the shortage of low-income housing.
    • Adaptive reuse projects, because they are often sited in older neighborhoods or even historic districts, can situate residents much closer to centers of employment. (Schalmo 9)
    • Adaptive reuse projects usually are able to receive “low income housing tax credit” and/or “historic rehabilitation tax credit” to offset the cost of developing low income housing. (Schalmo 10)
  • History Preservation/Respecting site
    • “When a building of historic merit is preserved or restored for adaptive reuse, its cultural energy is also recycled. Old buildings preserve the local culture and identity and create a sense of belonging. In a way, we recycle embodied human resource energy along with material energy. We bring alive the past to be a part of the future, creating valuable connections through time.” (Cerkez 94)
    • “Effective vernacular design requires consideration of the cultural and historical character of the places where buildings and other constructions occur…The distinctive identity of a place is affirmed by designing in relation to a place’s social and historical elements.” (Kellert, 165). The very nature of adaptive reuse lends itself to creating an environment that has a sense of place and history. Unlike new design, reuse projects don’t have to try and fit in- they are already part of the community.  
  • Architectural design challenge
    • Using abandoned or existing buildings creates interesting, compelling design challenges for architects.
      • This constraint allows designers to create new innovations and solve problems while also respecting the history of the site.
      • Architects give these buildings new life, new meaning, and new function while respecting what went on before their project. Recycling the “cultural energy” of what was there before.
      • This allows design to blend into the language of its surroundings, while still doing something new.
      • This kind of work would not merely be renovation, the entire purpose of the building would be redefined to become whatever our society needs most.
    • Branded Buildings (such as CVS or McDonalds) do not have to be created completely new.
      • An example: A CVS that was a converted old movie theater. It kept the integrity of the old movie theater while also still having its brand. Located in the Palisades, Washington, D.C.

        CVS|Pharmacy, Palisades, Washington, D.C.
        CVS|Pharmacy, Palisades, Washington, D.C.
      • Demolishing a branded building such as a McDonald’s
        • Renovating would allow the business to stay open while renovations are being completed.
        • Less time under construction, rather than taking the time for demolition and the construction of an entire building.
      • Branding can be created while also respecting the history of a building.
        • Take the CVS occupying an old theater as an example.
        • Or take a larger example of the Bastard Store, designed by Studiometrico in Milan. The shopfront, offices, warehouse, and skate bowl are located within a 1950’s cinema. It stays true to as much of the cinema as was possible, but also reflects the brand’s gnarly attitude towards snowboarding. The juxtaposition of the prior program and the current program is an idea that can be appreciated and is much more complex than if they had torn down the cinema and built a new, sleek snowboarding headquarters.

          Bastard Store, Studiometrico, Milan, Italy, 2011 Photo Cred: Giuliano Berarducci
          Bastard Store, Studiometrico, Milan, Italy, 2011
          Photo Cred: Giuliano Berarducci
  • Conclusion
    • Sustainability is becoming more of a requirement than an option.
    • There is no need for new buildings because we can effectively reuse the buildings that we already have.
    • Adaptive reuse projects are a better solution than new building because of… [summarize main points]
  • Architectural Examples:
    • 1. Residential
      • Grainger Place, 2000
      • The Landmark Group
      • Low income housing converted from an old school
      • won awards for historical preservation development
    • 2. Museum
      Photo: Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre Architect: Herzog & de Moren
      Photo: Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre
      Architect: Herzog & de Moren
      • Caixia Forum, Madrid, 2007
      • Herzog & de Moren
      • combined an old abandoned electrical station with new construction
    • 3. Commercial
      • Bastard Store, Studiometrico, 2011
        • 1950’s Cinema large enough for the store
        • They retained as much of the character of the old building as possible.


Baer, William C. “Empty Housing Space: An Overlooked Resource.” Policy Studies Journal 8.2 (1979): 220-27. Web.

Bergsdal, Håvard, Rolf André Bohne, and Helge Brattebø. “Projection of Construction and Demolition Waste in Norway.” Journal of Industrial Ecology 11.3 (2007): 27-39. Web.

Bullen, Peter A. “Adaptive Reuse and Sustainability of Commercial Buildings.” Facilities 25.1/2 (2007): 20-31. Web.

Power, A. “Housing and Sustainability: Demolition or Refurbishment?”Proceedings of the ICE – Urban Design and Planning 163.4 (2010): 205-16. Web.

“47-2061 Construction Laborers.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 25 Mar. 2015. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.

Joint Center for Housing Studies. “America’s Rental Housing: Homes for a Diverse Nation.” (Publication of the Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University). HARVARD JOINT CENTER FOR HOUSING STUDIES, 8 Mar. 2006. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.

Kellert, S. R. 2005. Chapter 4: Biophilic design in Building for Life: Designing and Understanding the Human-Nature Connection.Washington, DC: Island Press. pp. 123-177.

Power, Anne. “Does Demolition or Refurbishment of Old and Inefficient Homes Help to Increase Our Environmental, Social and Economic Viability?” Energy Policy 36.12 (2008): 4487-501. Web.

SCHALMO, Barbara Elwood. “COVERING THE COST OF HISTORIC PRESERVATION IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Exploring the Adequacy of the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit to Cover the Increased Development Cost of Adaptive Reuse

“Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Transportation Sector Emissions. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.

Projects for Affordable Housing.” University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, May 2008. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.

Tränkler, Josef O.v., Isa Walker, and Max Dohmann. “Environmental Impact of Demolition Waste — An Overview on 10 Years of Research and Experience.” Waste Management 16.1-3 (1996): 21-26. Web.

Better Way for Urbanization


With the visibly growth of population and acceleration of urbanization, people’s need are increased. Architects are devoting on seeking innovative styles and forms for architecture. However, due to the unconsciousness of the importance of humanitarian architecture, and the lack of conservation policy, designers tend to ignore the cultural meaning of the existing buildings and demolish them when a new program is launched. Such actions caused loss on both culture and humanity. To avoid such losses, reinvention should be considered as a main method for urbanization rather than demolition or simply expand the city area and build something new. In this paper, examples will be provided to support this argument.

From many perspective, New York city is one of the most modernized and developed cities on earth. If you ever looked into the urban design of New York, it is easy to tell that all the efficient infrastructures around New York have provided numerous fine connections from district to district. The advised city plan has brought, or still bringing New York better level of economy. However, failure on urban development still happened in this city. There is one example of a project that was abolished later on due the cursoriness to people: the reconstruction did not make to serve people from different social classes, on the contrary, caused people to lose their habitats.  The project is called Bronx expressways which was managed by Robert Moses, the “master builder” of mid-20th century.In this project, Robert Moses accused to his idea of “car culture”. To accelerate the growth of the city, Robert was in favour on building highways instead of subways. To fulfill this task, he planned to demolish a large amount of neighbourhood and supporting facilities, the loss of home causing the residences aggressively antagonistic to the project. The worse thing was that he did not take the conditions of people from different social classes into consideration. Robert Moses neglected that a large amount of citizens could not even afford a car, instead, most of the people actually take subways as their main transportation. his ignorant of people’s habit on transportation caused a huge segregation between the middle and upper class residents to north of Bronx, leaving the rest portion of lower class residents suffering in the south part. Although this project may have benefited the upper class economics, it never worked because of the neglection of the minorities.

In order to avoid such conflicts that could happen in the demolition, some architects decided to deliberately ignore the existing cultural and humanistic elements and establish the “utopian” of their minds. However, culture and humanity are the intelligence and experiences that people gained over time. One can hardly innovate merely by getting rid of them. One famous example is Noisy-le-Grand,  a post-modernism architecture complex which locates in the east suburb of Paris. The complex was designed by Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill during World War II. With the concept of “utopian”, this “city” has the capacity for people from different social classes, it has 610 apartments and looks like a forest of concrete. He expected that his project would become a landmark and would work as the reference for other cities. However, he did not get his wish. The were several failures that happened in this project. Two of the major ones are about the negligence of humanity. First of all, the designer did not seek for any connection between the project and the old city. Bofill focused only on the new form of neighbourhood without paying attention to the needs of residences. Although the buildings are “well done”, the supporting facilities are inadequate. The residences still need to somehow go back to Paris to fulfill their daily needs. Afterall, even though the project is established away from the existing city, it is not as independent as it supposed to be, instead, it made people’s life harder. The other failure is the lack of communication in among people. Instead of having a sense of harmony in the neighbourhood, the large density of apartments makes the space look compressed and stressful, people are “trapped” in the fancy concrete boxes, the public spaces barely work, the whole place is a backwater. Can’t stand with the inconvenience and the lifeless atmosphere of the “city”, most residences moved out. Nowadays, only few elderly who feel rejected by the society still live in this deserted space. The similarity between these people and this neighbourhood shows flashes of tragedy. As Bofill admitted in an interview after the failure:”architecture does not change everything.” Negligence of culture of humanity is the major reason why the “city” waned.


Photo credit to:Laurent Kronental

On the other hand, there is still some great examples that had successfully incorporated the building into its surrounding atmosphere. Shanghai, as an international modern city, was still determined to maintain its old cultural district. At the same time, they demanded to integrate such districts into the city pace by adding the commercial elements. Tian-Zi-Fang, a famous old neighborhood formed by “Nongtang” (a type of traditional alley in Shanghai), was reinvented successfully. The native residences were all kept, but the first floor was redesigned in to stylistic café and creative groceries. Thousands of visitors are attracted to the area every day, produce the income for maintaining the district. Moreover, the reinvention of the neighbourhood also provides a better life quality for the residence because they were funded to decorate the old house. Such example shows us one possible way to solve the problems that could happen during the city development. For different sites, we can adjust the method, and finally take a humanitarian approach toward the growth of the city. Buildings should be something that people appreciate,  a right way of reinvention can really revive an old city and bring better way of living to people who live there.


Photo credit to:

To Sum up, if we can reinvent old buildings, furthermore figure out the way to fit them into modern urban- planning, the charming connection between the “old” and the “new” will be created.  The heritage of the culture will be kept and it enables the later generations tracking the development process of the city. Moreover, by respecting the culture and humanity, people will feel respected by the government and thus supporting the future urbanism. Negligence of culture and humanity will only retard the development of the city.



Helena L. Jubany. “The Social Responsibility of Architects”, Social Responsibility in Practice. June 29, 2011.

Stewart Brand. Emergence, desire lines and predicting behavior, “All buildings are predictions. All predictions are wrong”. How Buildings Learn, 1994, p. 160-178.

Vikas Shah. Thought Economics, The Role of Architecture in Humanity’s Story, June 2012.

Xusheng Zhang.  Four Modes to Change the old neighbor, June 2010.

Chi-Wei Yang, GuiYangLouShi web, Reinvention of old new building:  great examples, April 2014.

Siliang Fu, STLBEACON, Major Chinese cities face urbanization and demolition, June, 2012.

Architects vs. Interior Designers

Thesis Statement: Interior design should fall under the jurisdiction of the architect and not an interior designer, as they are more qualified in both education and professional experience.

Periodical: ArchDaily

There has always been a conflict between the interior design and architecture professions in how they intersect with one another. Architects continually believe that the interior design of a building falls under their jurisdiction, as they are more qualified in both education and professional experience.

A Bachelor of Architecture Degree from an accredited university takes more time and effort than an Interior Design BFA Degree. Although, “interior design has changed dramatically since the beginning of the 20th century, when it was merely interior decoration,” (Guerin) it doesn’t hold up to the same standards as if one was to pursue a bachelor’s degree in architecture. Interior design is now considered to be, “a discipline of professionals qualified to identify, research and creatively solve problems of the interior environment . . . and protect the health, safety and welfare of the public,” (Guerin, Thompson). However, architecture education has already been focused around research, creative design solutions, and the health and welfare of the public since the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) first introduced a national standard in architectural education in 1912 (NAAB History).

Recommended Academic Plan for the Bachelor of Architecture (BARC
FIT Academic Plan 2

If one were to take a look at an interior design education today, such as one at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and compare it to an accredited school of architecture education, such as the one at The Pennsylvania State University, they would believe the two different disciplines have a relatively similar education background. They both take studio courses, courses in hand drawing and computer skills, environmental system courses, art history courses, a professional practice course and both complete theses. The main difference someone would see is that an architecture student attends school for five years while an interior design student only     attends for four years. Just because the two degrees look fairly similar on paper, doesn’t mean in practicality they are. After an interview with a third year interior design student attending FIT and her friends, and comparing it to my own and fellow classmates’ experiences as third year architecture majors there were major differences. They get handed a pre-designed building already and are told to design the interior spaces of that building, architecture students are told to design whole building and the spatial qualities of the different programs; so here this shows that architecture students have more practice with design strategies than an interior designer does, and they understand how the building itself is suppose to feel as they are the ones from the beginning that have a certain feel/picture in mind for the spaces. However, in our architectural education there is not an emphasis on materials for interior spaces, there is definitely an emphasis on building facades and different treatments regarding that, but in reality architecture students really don’t have a basic concept of interior materials like fabrics, and tiles. In the end though, future architects have more design skills based off the amount of time through school they spend on studio, and how they are able to integrate structural engineering, HVAC, plumbing, and sustainable strategies into a design of a building, thus designing the interior spaces of projects should fall into their realms of the design process.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 3.55.37 PM

After education is complete, and interior design students and architecture students move into the real world, there is still this separation between the two even though they tend to work side by side. Each profession requires its professionals to have a license. According to the National Council for Interior Design Qualification, interior designers need to obtain at least two years of fulltime or part-time work experience, receive a formal interior design education, and pass three parts in the time given to become licensed (NCIDQ Examination). In regards to becoming a licensed architect, one needs to attend a five year NAAB accredited degree program, pass seven exams, and acquire a total of 3,740 hours of interning before becoming fully licensed (“The Basics”). “All 54 U.S. jurisdictions require the completion of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE),” (“The Basics”), while not every state requires an interior designer to become licensed.


As one can see there are more credentials needed to become a licensed architect than there are to become a licensed interior designer. In fact, someone who went to school and obtained a B. Arch degree can apply and take the exam to become a licensed interior designer (NCIDQ Examination). In a professional licensing sense, an architect definitely seems more qualified to be a decision maker; the architect has gone through more schooling, more required internship hours and can even become a licensed interior designer if they wanted to. The fact that after schooling an architect can become a licensed interior designer but an interior designer can’t become a licensed architect shows that interior designers and architects are on two different levels, with the architect being above.

There are some people that believe the architect’s argument that the design of the interior spaces falls under their jurisdiction is invalid. That with today’s more, “increased complexity in the design of interior environments… demand[s] a more focused expertise and skill set,” (Weigand). It is argued that in architectural education with, “its inherent breadth, has failed to provide the focused experience at the interior scale needed to support an evolving high level interior design practice,” (White). Although it may be true, architects don’t learn a whole lot on the interior scale, but architectural education does support and encourage research on interior spaces and the different experiences someone can have while being brought through the building.

Architects are taught from the beginning that both the shell (exterior of the building) and the interior of the building operate as a whole. Architects tell stories through their buildings, and evoke emotions as people move about the interior spaces they create. Through the conceptual and technical training that a person with a B. Arch degree does both in and out of school to achieve a licensure in architecture, compared someone with an Interior Design BFA degree does to achieve their license, don’t compare on an even scale. Ultimately, the design of the interior spaces falls into the hands of the project architect.

Featured Image Info:

Designer: Spector Group Designs




“The Basics.” NCARB. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.

Guerin, Denise A., Ph.D., and Jo Ann Asher Thompson, Ph.D. “Interior Design                                                Education in the 21st Century: An Educational Transformation.” Journal of Interior Design 30.1 (2004): 1-12. Print.

Guerin, Denise A., Ph.D. “Issues Facing Interior Design Education in the Twenty – First Century.” Journal of Interior Design Education and Research 17.2 (1992): 9-16. Print.

“Interior Design BFA Degree Program.” Fashion Institute of Technology. Fashion Institute of Technology, n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.

“NAAB History.” NAAB Website: About The NAAB – NAAB History. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.

“NCIDQ Examination | Application Information.” NCIDQ Examination. Pronto Legal Notices, 2015. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.

Weigand, John. “Interior Design and Architecture.” Design Intelligence (2013): n. pag. Design and Architecture – DesignIntelligence. Greenway Communications, 20 Mar. 2013. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.

White, Allison Carll, Ph.D. “What’s in a Name? Interior Design And/or Interior       Architecture: The Discussion Continues.” Journal of Interior Design 35.1 (2009): 10-17. Print.