What Type of Malaysian Students Should Study Interior Design/Interior Architecture?

FIrst City University College Final Year Interior Design Students' Projects

Who Should Study Interior Design/Interior Architecture in Malaysia?

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Interior architecture is a combination of the study and practice of interior design with architecture. Interior Architecture explores how the interiors of buildings such as offices, homes, condominiums, hospitals, hotels or restaurants are inhabited, used and experienced by their target audience. An interior designer in Malaysia can undertake projects that include arranging the basic layout of spaces within a building as well as projects that require an understanding of technical issues such as acoustics, lighting, temperature, etc.

Therefore, it takes incredible imagination for an interior designer to look beyond the dull and dreary scene that’s in front of them and visualise a space transformed. The creative interior designer can imagine a logical layout, harmonious colours, and stylish look even in the most uninspiring rooms. If you have a passion for design and bringing out the beauty of a space, then choosing interior design is the perfect career for you to express your creative juices and artistic ability. But how do you know that you are suitable to become an interior designer? What characteristics are needed in order to study interior design in Malaysia?

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Who Should Study Interior Design?

I met EduSpiral a few years ago after completing my Diploma at LKW. I wanted to continue my degree at a better university & EduSpiral showed the number of awards won by First City UC for interior design which convinced me. Jun Hao, Graduated with Interior Architecture & Design at First City University College
I met EduSpiral a few years ago after completing my Diploma at LKW. I wanted to continue my degree at a better university & EduSpiral showed the number of awards won by First City UC for interior design which convinced me.
Jun Hao, Graduated with Interior Architecture & Design at First City University College

Do your friends turn to you when redecorating their homes or shopping for new furniture? If so, studying Interior Design might sound like a great option. Many students after SPM or IGCSE/O-Levels constantly ask how they would know that interior design is a course that would fit them? Here are some points to consider whether you are fit to study interior design at a private university in Malaysia:

  • Creative
  • Artistic – able to draw
  • Good at coordinating colours
  • Good at using spaces in your room
  • Being able to decorate your room very well
  • Like to view different types of designs for spaces in hotels, restaurants, homes, etc
  • Interest in furniture designs

What are the Skills that Students Need to become an Interior Designer?

Interior designers help corporate and organizational clients breathe new life into their spaces. They assist realtors in staging homes and apartments for sale. They also work with homeowners to find storage and style solutions that meet their needs. Designers need more than natural style and taste to run a profitable business. Successful interior designers set themselves apart with specialized education and skills such as:

1. Creativity and Attention to Detail

Design is an artistic career choice. Unlike many artists, you won’t necessarily develop your own style. Instead, you’ll adapt your vision to your clients’ needs and preferences. You will need creativity to solve problems less creative people can’t! For example, you might need to find solutions that work with small spaces, unusual color palettes, and even complicated renovations.

2. Visual Characteristics

Many interior designers are visual thinkers. They can visualise what the potential design can become in outdated, dysfunctional, and empty spaces. They see the big picture of what the space can eventually become. To be a successful interior designer in Malaysia, students need to develop their spatial awareness and observational skills.

3. Communication Skills

Many of your clients may not be able to visualise what type of design a space could turn into and that is why they need your skills. Therefore, you will need to be a good listener to understand their needs and wants. Interior Designers need good communication skills to help their clients to see what you see. You will need to get your clients to approve your proposals.

In addition, you may work together with architects, contractors, and engineers. Effectively listening to and communicating with them is essential to meeting clients’ expectations.

4. Knowledge of the Current Design Trends and Styles

Whether your clients are looking for a modern look or a Chinese traditional aesthetic, you must be able to meet their needs. That means keeping up with design trends and classic styling elements. As an interior designer, you will need to “speak the language.” That means being fluent in furniture art, sustainability, and design history.

5. knowledge of the Basics of Colour

Color has transformative powers. It can make or break a space. Great interior designers know how to use it. Knowledge of the colour wheel, hues, and complementary shades can help you find crowd-pleasing palettes for all kinds of clients. Developing a mastery of colour theory is not as easy as it sounds, but it can help you set yourself apart from competing interior designers in your area.

6. Understanding of Spatial Balance

The way a room is set up can create harmony and change visitors’ moods. As an interior designer, you must balance lighting, furniture layout, and finishings to set the tone for your clients’ spaces.

7. Budgeting Skills

Many clients will come to you with an idea and a budget. Often cases, the cost of the former will far exceed the latter. Interior Designers have to find creative solutions to financial and design limitations. Budgeting skills will help you give them a realistic idea of what their money can buy and help them to achieve their dream space. This includes accounting for furnishings, labour, and even hidden costs when delivering a proposal.

8. Time Management Skills

Your clients will have a deadline of when they want the project to be completed. When you negotiate a project you not only have to present a budget, but also a realistic timeline. Interior Designers need organizational and planning skills to give yourself and your clients a reasonable deadline for completion. The deadline should also take into consideration possible interuptions.

What is the Job of an Interior Designer in Malaysia?

I met up with EduSpiral and he to me to a few universities for a tour. We also discussed about the courses in detail to help me decide which university would be best for me for interior design. Kenneth, Interior Design at Taylor's University
I met up with EduSpiral and he to me to a few universities for a tour. We also discussed about the courses in detail to help me decide which university would be best for me for interior design.
Kenneth, Interior Design at Taylor’s University

Although an interior designer may create the layout of a space, they may not build the space without having their designs stamped for approval by an architect, which is why many interior designers also complete school to become architects as well.

An interior designer may wish to specialize in a particular type of interior design in order to develop technical knowledge specific to that area. Types of interior design include residential design, commercial design, hospitality design, healthcare design, universal design, exhibition design, spatial branding, etc.

The interior designer is responsible for the interior design, decoration, and functionality of a client’s space, whether the space is commercial, industrial, or residential.

Many people do not know that interior design does not deal purely with design factors but that interior designers need to possess good organizational skills. The Interior designer is like a project manager as he or she will work closely with architects and clients to determine the structure of a space, the needs of the occupants, and the style that best suits both. There is an emphasis on planning, functional design, and effective use of space.

An interior designer can undertake projects that include arranging the basic layout of spaces within a building as well as projects that require an understanding of technical issues such as acoustics, lighting, temperature, etc.

Although an interior designer may create the layout of a space, they may not build the space without having their designs stamped for approval by an architect, which is why many interior designers also complete school to become architects as well.

An interior designer may wish to specialize in a particular type of interior design in order to develop technical knowledge specific to that area.

Types of interior design include residential design, commercial design, hospitality design, healthcare design, universal design, exhibition design, spatial branding, etc.

The position is a combination of engineer and artist, and it takes a unique type of mind to handle both of those concepts well.

Interior designers have to be good with more than color, fabric, and furniture; interior designers should have a strong knowledge of the different types of materials and their functionality, possess budgeting skills, able to communicate well, and coordinate the ordering, installation, and maintenance of all objects that define a space.

Interior designers in Malaysia need to gain a broad knowledge such as electrical capacity, safety, and construction. This broader range of required knowledge is what makes them different from interior decorators.

Interior designers have to be able to work with contractors and clients alike, planning and implementing all aesthetic and functional decisions, from faucet handles to miles of carpeting —and all this usually must be done within a fixed budget. Interior designers are hired for their expertise in a variety of styles and approaches, not merely their design concepts.

Therefore, they have to be able to balance their own tastes and their clients’ tastes—and be willing to put their clients’ tastes first. This requirement can be frustrating at first for many who enter the profession.

Interior designers are often asked to begin their planning before construction of a space is finished; this means that they must be good at scheduling and comfortable reading blueprints.

This element of the job comes as a surprise to many new interior designers, who expect to have less of an administrative and technical role and more of a role in influencing the overall feel and appearance of a space.

Those who thrive in the industry say this ability to balance the practical with the aesthetic is crucial to being a successful interior designer. Interior design is hard work, but those who do it well find the work very satisfying.

One does not need to pay a lot of money to go for a diploma or degree in Interior Design.

A reputable institution in Selangor offers a diploma in interior design as well as a 3+0 British degree in Interior Design, the first in Malaysia to do so.

What is the Education Pathway into an Accredited Interior Architecture & Design Degree in Malaysia?

Students after SPM or IGCSE/O-Levels interested in interior architecture can consider going for the 2.5-year Diploma in Interior Architecture or Interior Design with 3 credits. Upon completion of the diploma, students can enter into Year 2 of the Interior Architecture degree for another 2 years.

If you are still unsure of what to study, then you can go for the 1-year Foundation in Arts or Foundation in Design with 5 credits and then enter into the 3.5-year Interior Architecture degree at top private universities in Malaysia. To be successful in your career in Interior Architecture or Interior Design, students must choose a top university in Malaysia so that they can gain the necessary design skills and specific knowledge.

What are the Entry Requirements into an Interior Architecture & Design Degree?

I was planning to study at a "famous" university but EduSpiral provided facts & evidence that First City UC had won many awards compared to my "famous" university. Zi En, Interior Design at First City University College
I was planning to study at a “famous” university but EduSpiral provided facts & evidence that First City UC had won many awards compared to my “famous” university.
Zi En, Interior Design at First City University College
  • Foundation in Arts/ Science/Natural & Built Environment/ Equivalent
    Minimum CGPA 2.0
  • STPM (Arts/Science stream)
    Minimum CGPA of 2.0 for 2 subjects
  • ​A-Level
    Minimum Grade ‘D’ in 2 subjects
  • ​UEC (Commerce/Science stream)
    Minimum 5 Credits (Grade B)
  • ​SAM/SACEi
    Minimum average of 60% in 5 subjects
  • Canadian Pre-U (CPU)
    Minimum average of 65% in 6 subjects
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
    Minimum 26/42 points from 6 subjects
  • Local Matriculation
    Minimum CGPA 2.0
  • Diploma/ Advance Diploma/ Degree/ equivalent
    • Minimum CGPA 2.0
    • Subject to School discretion and credit transfer after reviewing transcript, syllabus description & portfolio.
    • Max. 30% credit transfer
  • Other qualification deemed equivalent to STPM/A-Level by MQA
    Students will be considered on a case by case basis.

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