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Better Partnerships, Better Spaces: 5 Benefits of Architect-Designer Partnerships

Architects and interior designers have complementary areas of expertise, specialized knowledge, and very different ways of looking at projects — all of which make them ideal partners. Involving design professionals with these distinct yet inextricably intertwined roles at the beginning of a project can help avoid costly mistakes and lead to safer spaces, developed with the complex needs of the end-user in mind.


Yet, opportunities for effective cross-collaboration remain limited due to a lack of understanding of interior designers’ full capabilities. With verified knowledge that goes well beyond furnishings and finishes, NCIDQ Certified interior designers serve as powerful collaborators — and partnering with them comes with a long list of benefits, including the five listed below.


1. Efficiency

Bringing an interior designer in on a project helps avoid having to re-do work later. Designers are trained to look beyond the shell of a structure and identify ways to enhance occupants’ quality of life, as well as potential hazards. For example, on a healthcare project, interior designers work to identify the services rendered, understand the people and processes involved, and analyze flow of providers, support staff, and patients, as well as the flow of materials handled by environmental services (EVS), materials, handling, nutrition/dietary, and maintenance, to ensure appropriate adjacencies, functions, pathways, and related equipment clearances are accounted for at the outset. Such deliberate and thoughtful planning can result in more efficient operations, reduced errors in care, and improved patient experiences.

2. Bandwidth

Safe, code-compliant, sustainable, accessible, inclusive, functional, — the list of “musts” for modern buildings is longer than ever, so it’s understandable that it would take more than one professional to make it all happen. A recent survey found that over 65% of architects feel overworked and overloaded, nearly 97% experience burnout, and that overtime is the leading cause of these feelings. Collaborating and sharing responsibilities with NCIDQ Certified interior designers can help balance workloads, lead to more efficient workflows, and ease the burden often placed on architects.


3. Checks and Balances

Perspective is one of the biggest differences between architects and interior designers. When these professionals can view each other’s work through their own unique lens, they often identify areas for refinement or enhancement and can brainstorm solutions for potential issues collaboratively. Evaluating client feedback as a team ensures a smoother process. Basically, the well-known proverb rings true in the architecture and design worlds: Two (specially trained) heads are better than one!


4. Technical Expertise

Designers (particularly, those who have achieved NCIDQ Certification) can provide technical insight into everything from accessibility and universal design to environmental regulations and potential air quality concerns. Having access to a professional with in-depth knowledge of code and regulatory requirements and the ability to improve the user experience in public spaces can avoid holdups — and costly mistakes. 


5. Safer, Better Spaces

Of course, building is believing. Many firms and clients employ NCIDQ Certified interior designers and have already seen how effective architect-designer collaborations lead to spaces that are greener, more functional and inclusive, better attuned to the complex needs of end-users (mental, physical and emotional) and exceptionally innovative. Even several government and military projects require an integrated design approach, with documented involvement from an interior design professional. It seems obvious that a collaborative approach would be preferable: Regardless of the industry or the project, allowing professionals in two highly trained roles to leverage the full extent of their expertise leads to a better end result.

About CIDQ

As the premier certifying organization for interior design professionals, the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ) develops and administers the NCIDQ Exam, a rigorous, comprehensive, and consistently updated three-part exam covering core competencies required for professional practice. NCIDQ Certification has been regarded as the global standard for interior design professionals for 50 years. 

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