The Difference between an architect and a designer


You are prepared to build your dream house and invest in every small detail, from the roof, to kitchen appliances to door knobs. Who should you hire for the job? A Designer, an architect, or both? People often know that a lot of designers have training and knowledge about architecture. And, of course, vice-versa, architects need to know how to choose the correct design based on the client’s needs.

But what are the characteristics and what does each of them really do?


  • Architects can design any kind of structure, starting from houses to hotels, shopping centers, hospitals and any other kind of buildings you can imagine.
  • When you choose an architect to design your house, he or she will draw you plans based on your wishes and his experience. It’s not just a 2D rendering of the floor layout, but a detailed map using various computer programs and other tools.
  • They supervise the whole process and work closely with the construction team to make sure everything is done according to his design.
  • The key elements of any structure are: form, safety and function. Beauty and functionality go hand in hand, so it’s the architect’s job to achieve both.
  • Architects have very strong logic and mathematical skills that are needed to create precise, reliable and sturdy constructions.


  • Interior designers are trained to plan spaces for all types of buildings: offices, restaurants, flats, schools etc.
  • After a conversation with client, the designer prepares drawings/renderings of the layout, that possibly will suit the person’s needs and is going to be functional.
  • Once the client gives his approval, the designer brings his ideas to life with the help of his assistants. Construction companies comes into the picture, if the space requires remodeling or structural altering.
  • Designers create spaces using different fabrics, furniture, paints, elements like lamps, paintings, rugs and other accessories.
  • They follow safety rules, while creating functional environments, having in mind the security risks and the type of people who are going to be using the building. (For example, a school would be designed very differently than an opera house).
  • Architecture, construction, design, sustainability – these are the fields that every interior designer goes through while in training. That’s why the beauty of the finished project is not their most important concern, although many people think it is.  If you want or need to change the look of a certain space, then that means, that you are looking for a stylist, not a designer.

Because both professions are trained in a lot of the same subjects, you must understand the core difference between them, when you’re looking to hire someone to do a job for you. Architects mainly do exterior work, while designers do interior work. They both are creative and uniquely minded people, and a mix of their skills makes the perfect combination for a beautiful and functional house. When you are building a house on an empty field, you will need to hire both, but if you have a space already, you might just need help from a designer.