Designer v. Draftsman v. Architect – How do you choose?

You’ve heard the terminology.

It seems these days everybody attaches ‘designer’ to their title.. interior __, industrial__, building__, architectural__.  But what do they actually do?

More importantly which one is right for your needs?

The purpose of this article is to define the difference between these occupations to enable you to make an informed choice for your building or construction need.

Interior Decorator

The role of a decorator is to improve the look and feel of a space based on clients needs.  A decorator focuses on the non-structural and aesthetic elements of a room.  From colour palettes to textile finishes, furniture sourcing and floor plan layout, a decorator will help you get the best out of your existing space.  Decorators do not require a professional qualification.

Interior Designer

Responsible for the design of a interior space including everything from walls to floors, they plan and create the spatial layout.  Interior Designers can work with architects and tradesmen advising on and being involved in the structural design of a project.  They are also involved in specifying finishes and materials such as paint colours, textile products, window treatments and joinery design.  A good designer should hold at least a Cert IV or Diploma (preferred) in Interior Design.

Draftsman

Draftsmen are trained to produce building documentation and are generally TAFE qualified.  Generally draftsmen work under the supervision of an architect.  Some produce drawings for builders however unlicensed draftsmen are not permitted by law to produce plans directly to a customer.

Building Designer

Once known as draftsmen, the role in the industry has evolved to reflect their skill set.  These days the role of a building designer extends to the functional and energy efficient needs of buildings.  Building Designers are Tafe or Tertiary qualified.  They must be licensed as a Building Designer (Qld) and a condition of the BSA license is that they must have professional indemnity insurance.

Architect

The biggest difference between a designer and architect is that the architect is usually involved across the entire project scope from planning, design and supervision of the construction.  Their documents are required to communicate everything about the structure and property to the builder, trades and client.  This includes floor plans, elevations, sections.  Architects have a formal tertiary qualification or degree.  Anyone associated with this title must be legally registered with their local state regulatory board and must have professional indemnity insurance as a condition of registration.

In Summary it’s clear that Building Designers and Architects are qualified to do the same work and for most it comes down to finances.  Whilst the outcome produced will be the same, so too should the quality.  But like anything you should always interview and compare multiple specialists, inspect their work and/or talk to former clients.

We’ve simplified this information in the tables below.

 

Based on your task requirement:

YOU NEED..

Interior Decorator

Interior Designer

Building Designer /Draftsman

Architect

Colour Palette

✔️

✔️

Concept Sketches

✔️

✔️

✔️

✔️

3D Models

✔️

✔️

✔️

Floor Plans

✔️

✔️

✔️

Development/Building Approval documents

✔️

✔️

 

Based on your project need:

YOU ARE..

Interior Decorator

Interior Designer

Building Designer /Draftsman

Architect

Buying New Furniture

✔️

✔️

Decorating ie. new blinds, looking for artwork, want a tidy up or consistent theme

✔️

✔️

Renovating (non-structural) ie. painting, resheeting, ripping up carpet, changing windows

✔️

✔️

Renovating (structural) ie. knocking down walls, extending, decking, roofing

✔️

✔️

✔️

New Build / Major Construction

✔️

✔️

✔️

 

Have you had an experience with any of these trades?  Would you recommend one over the other?

We’d love to hear your story – please comment below.

Share:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *