Changing from Industrial Design to Interior Design

I’ve worked as a product designer for the past 10 years, but am looking to change professions. If I want to get into doing Interior Design, how can I go about it? Do I need to go back to school, and if so, what type of program?

I don’t really have the time for a full-time BFA program (need to feed my kid), so if I could do an associates degree or something that might work better. I’d like to think I know enough about design that I shouldn’t have to start over from scratch.

Find a school that offers a Masters in Interior Design. Few schools offer it, with I think Pratt in New York City being one of them. But you probably could do an associates, but you’d have to then work countless numbers of hours in an interior design firm first in order to get licensed. Let me show you a link that explains it better and then you can decide which route applies to you better. :slight_smile: You might not have to go for another 4 year degree at all. Good luck!

I’m not sure if my experience can be of any use… I majored in ID, but during my senior year I became interested in retail design. I only took two interior design classes and caught on with a great retail design firm when I graduated. Four or five senior level or director level retail designers I know came from Industrial Design backgrounds (possibly just ID majors, but maybe no real-life experience…not sure)

I don’t know if you are leaning toward residential, retail, commercial or hospitality…

Retail has by far the most ID connections with engineering fixtures, worthing with fabricators here and in china, studying trends, problem solving traffic flows and customer interaction with fixtures, ergonomics, etc, etc…

Residential, hospitality and commercial are much more about specifying furniture and fabric and carpet styles with a lot of space planning. Not nearly as much custom “design”

I would guess someone with that much product background could get into Retail pretty easily (assuming you can do interior perspectives…) Most people in my office and this field in general don’t bother with a lot of those accreditations and certificates…they tend to be more for hospitality, health care, commercial, etc…

Hope some of this helps,



I was just going through everything related to Interior Design in the website, and came across this. I am also facing a similar kind of situation. I am 23 & currently doing my Masters in Product Design from India, which I will complete in June, and have done BFA in applied arts. And I want to switch to Interior Design NOW. My interest developed after doing a small project related to exhibit design. I don’t know whether I should I apply to some institute for another MS degree in ID or just apply directly to firms. Since I have no idea how to proceed & even my portfolio is not related to Interior Design , please suggest me something.

As switching over form one field to another needs some knowledge , I looked into the new programs of 1-2 year offered by Royal College of Arts, Pratt as well as Nottingham Trent University, also keeping in mind that later on to join a course in another field will be difficult once I join any company.

So should I go for another masters or apply for jobs directly in the companies.

Thanks !