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Designing your future

We have options and we have opportunities. Today’s world is a competitive market of many clueless youngsters. Some people however are lucky enough to find their passion and hence starts the story of a genius. There was a time when the world thought prodigies were rare, but times have changed. We have experts in fields who would have been mediocre had they chosen some other field they had little interest in. Hence, it isn’t about doing well anymore. It is about finding what you are good at, and doing it.

WHAT IT’s ALL ABOUT?

Interior designing is more than just glamor. The word ‘design’ is almost synonymously used with ‘beauty ‘ and ‘decoration’. While interior decoration specializes on making things beautiful, interior designing is more scientific. An interior designer is obviously creative but an art without direction can sometimes be a mind without any purpose. You need intelligent designers with enough knowledge to utilize their creativity and channel it into creating something beautiful and useful.

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?

“Quality is built, not born.” Rishi Saraf, Proprietor of Urban Design has a contradicting notion. He believes that creativity and the power of imagination is something that you either have or not, but if you do, you surely have the possibility to be a great interior designer. Creativity gets the first position in the ‘you-can-be-an-interior-designer’ list.

Moreover, the irrepressible designs that run wildly in the mind take time to be practically presented within the given deadlines and only if you have the patience to work accordingly, it is achievable.

Similarly, you meet many kinds of people who might be tough or easy to deal with, but you can’t allow yourself to choose just the latter. So, being polite and dealing with confidence are the qualities you must have. Megha Rimal, who partners with Smriti Thapa to run Designo Interiors agrees, “It is because of patience and our soft-spoken nature that we have reached up to this level.”

Interior Designing isn’t a one-man army profession. Throw away your over-confidence if you believe you can do it all alone, for it is about teamwork. Having said that, do spare the leadership quality in you; after all you will be the one to lead your own working troop.

Last but not the least, if you think you can dedicate most of your time towards this work then go for it. Frustration and pressure will come along, yet try to keep the passion alive towards this profession and make it work; our market needs designers with innovative ideas to make places feel better.

WALKING THAT MILE

For interior designing, Bachelor and diploma are two different levels that are available in Nepal. Though same matters are studied in bachelor and diploma the difference is the time. In Bachelors students get proper time and detail study whereas in diploma the learning period is very short. Maybe because of this reason, Deepa Prajapati, Delight Interior, is also thinking about studying further as she views that her Diploma level isn’t enough where as Rabin Rai, one of the three proprietors of Rup Interiors, expresses his satisfaction from his Bachelors degree.

While you might be tempted to study this subject, but as you start the course, you might also find it technically hard to study. Sabina Tandukar, Teacher at IEC also mentions that rigorous study is necessary in this subject too. Students must read lots of books from design principles to history to technology to professional practice. In midst of the sessions, thoughts of walking out may strike minds of many or some may take it lightly. So, it is necessary for everyone to take time and be mentally prepared before choosing the subject. And of course, be prepared to spend some expenses in the name of stationaries whether you study abroad or in Nepal.

As for teachers it is always a good thing to teach Interior designing at College and Institutions. As they say the process of teaching and learning never stops, it is indeed a way to be updated with modern technologies, new imagination and also share their own ideas. Sangita Shakya, Architecture teacher and Nilima Kansakar, Basic Designing teacher, both at IEC opine the same.

YIPEE! I AM AN INTERIOR DESIGNER! WHAT NOW?

So, what do you do when you are a designer? This is a question everyone means to ask. There are more professionals in the city than the designated positions for jobs which means we have more educated and unemployed youths in the city than ever. But it is a world of skilled people. Interior designing is skill in its truest sense. So while other options of jobs are reducing, interior designers are more than ever in demand because the city is growing and so is the perception of people. Thanks to the buildings and other modern constructions that are being carried out around the city. The apartment buildings for instance are increasing in number every day. Each room, be it kitchen or living room or bedroom requires designers for effective aesthetic beauty and functionality. So, there is a job right there between the bricks and tar. Add department stores, business houses and stores these days, which hire interior designers almost every time they need to re-design, and you have more jobs than graduates! But let us not get ahead of ourselves; as interior designers we need to be good, and by that we mean really good.

THE PRAGMATIC WORLD – Don’t just visualize ! Get real !

“You can run wildly in your world of fantasy, but if you fail to present the design built in your imagination in a realistic form then it won’t have any meaning”, exclaims Rishi Saraf. He further adds, “In this field of work, where many people are standing right behind you to grab your chance, it is always more important to have enough practical knowledge in order to get satisfaction from clients and that is only possible if you get into fields and site visits.”

We are no fools to assume that any education we take from an institution will not be applicable or fruitful in our lives. But, what this designing profession calls for most is wide knowledge in practicalities. No doubt, the basics and advance knowledge learnt while studying will act as a base but let us face the truth- they wouldn’t be helpful unless you practice or try it for real. So, leaving your idleness behind, visiting sites every now and then and even picking up some tools to do something will be the best for you. Labors will be there to do the jobs but you will be the one to command your troop. So, think how will you be able to order them to make a chair if you don’t know the practicalities behind building a chair?

Nevertheless, no one can oppose to the fact that education surely keeps you updated with modern techniques and equipments. If you don’t have enough knowledge about contemporary technologies you still need to hire people to do so, no matter what.

LIFE OF A PROFESSIONAL – So, what does it bring along ?

Being a professional interior designer is fun and profiting, but the things that come along with ‘counting of cashes’, be prepared for it, for it will no longer be a childhood fantasy or simply a hobby of a housewife. Seriousness is the first thing that automatically overtakes the ‘carefree’ nature as soon as you start working. You become exposed to the building/interior/construction business, meet clients and learn new things every now and then for which you need to be solemn. Unlike those times when all you needed to worry about was just assignments and grades, now you need to maintain professionalism at any cost.

‘Clients‘ and ‘deadlines‘, in other words, ‘difficulties‘ and ‘pressure‘ are another hardship you need to face. While hardship might not be the suitable word for those who are experts in satisfying clients and meeting deadlines, but for the ones who cannot work under pressure it is indeed ‘the word’. Similarly, dealing with labors is as hard as dealing with clients. Therefore, respect and appreciation towards employees’ work, patience and flexibility while making drafts are the key abilities that can make things easier in this field.

Likewise, this profession brings along varying timework; there is no fixed time for social life. Anytime and any day might become workday. So, stepping out of your comfort zone might be of some help here.

THE HURDLES—OOPS !

We know there is a huge market for designers but the major hurdle is that of possessing the right skill. Designing involves intensive work. You are not given an assignment because you scored more in your exams. The only criterion is that you have to by all means be extremely good at what you do. You could be hired from the first year of your college or you could wait for years after you graduate.

Secondly, it is important to constantly hone your skills. It is a field that is extremely prone to changes with time, and if as interior designers, you don’t change according to the societal dynamics, there is no way you can be successful. It is not a one-time work but a series of exercises and learning involved through the years.

Finally, you need to constantly love the profession. At any point, if the work feels too tedious or difficult for you to handle, it might be difficult to continue, for this profession is all about passion and outstandingly dynamic work in the changing society.

SCOOPING THE SCOPE

“When people start filling up empty spaces, they end up buying many expensive items that don’t go well together. Had they hired an interior designer, they would not have just made the room livelier but at the same time, a lot of money would have been saved”, says Sangita Shakya. This statement in itself explains how important designing the interiors has become. Yet in Nepal, 100 per cent respect towards interior designers and realization towards the value of their work are still far-fetched dreams. It is factual that there still are many people, who disregard designers’ work and even hesitate to pay for their effort, but that is just the part of the struggle; you need to turn your back towards this side and lean more on your hard work to overcome such situations.

Besides, isn’t scope something you create for yourself?