Last edited 12 Oct 2018


In terms of the built environment, the term ‘interior’ refers to the internal space of a building or structure. This is more commonly referred to as ‘enclosure’ - any part of a building that physically separates the external from the interior environment.

For more information, see Principles of enclosure.

Building interiors are planned and designed by interior designers. Interior design is sometimes perceived to be a matter of interior decoration, but in fact, it is a complex subject that often involves working alongside other professionals, such as architects and engineers, as part of a larger project.

An important part of designing interiors is space planning. This is used to determine how a space (or spaces) should be laid out and used. It may be undertaken as part of the building design process, or as a stand-alone exercise looking at how best to plan an existing space, or a space that is being developed (for example, a tenant determining how to fit out their part of a new development). It can be used for very simple spaces such as hotel bedrooms, through to very complex industrial buildings. Good space planning can improve the wellbeing and productivity of the occupants of a space.

A lighting designer has responsibility for planning and designing a lighting concept for an interior that is both functional and appealing, with due consideration given to the health and wellbeing of the intended occupants.

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