Interior Design

Ergonometrics and the Importance of Licensed Designers

April 30, 2012

Did you know that there are standard measurements for all furniture? Even the height of ceilings, window sills, stair risers, handrails—these all follow standard measurements. This is what Ergonometrics is all about. And having this knowledge is one of many factors that differentiates interior designers from decorators.

Perch Ergonomic Furniture

Perch Ergonomic Furniture by Simon Dennehy

What is Ergonometrics?

Ergonometrics is a study comprised of two correlated studies: Ergonomics, the study of designing equipment and devices that fit the human body, its movements, and its cognitive abilities (also known as Human Factors Engineering); and Anthropometrythe study of the dimensions and abilities of the human body.

However, Ergonometrics weighs importance on metrics which is the standards of measurement by which efficiency and performance can be assessed.

Interior designers or decorators?

Many people mistake interior decorators for being interior designers and vice versa. And they can’t be blamed; the words decorator and designer are often, but mistakingly, interchanged. So what differentiates designers from decorators? License does. A license gives one authorization and entitlement. This is not about the education as much as it is about the warrant a designer’s license entails.

Decorators are not designers

There are many interior decorators out there who have acquired the same education as licensed designers. But it isn’t really about that.

Interior decorators help homeowners choose colors, patterns, furniture, fabric, lighting, and accessories for their homes. But let us hope that they keep it at just that — for once they interfere in the space planning of structural design, it does not guarantee safety for the clients or a home’s occupants.

To give you an example, imagine a woman carrying a tray while walking down a flight of stairs. The tray blocks her view of the steps down the way. If there happens to be a step slightly shorter than the rest, it is a misstep — and would most likely cause her to stumble and get badly hurt.

If this fallible flight of stairs was designed by a licensed designer, s/he could be sued. But what if it was “designed” by an interior decorator? His/her “design” comes with no warranty.

Designers are decorators and more

In designing interiors, Ergonometrics plays a big role. After determining the function of a space, the designer focuses on who the design is for — the client. The designer takes in consideration the abilities and limitations of a client, and customizes the design according to his/her preferences and needs.

Not only do interior designers decorate, they also


“apply creative and technical solutions that respond to, and coordinate with, the occupants’ life and culture, the building shell and its physical location, the social context of the project, the codes and regulatory requirements, and the principles of environmental sustainability, ergonomics and universality.

The Interior Design process follows a systematic and coordinated methodology including research, analysis and integration of knowledge into the creative process, in order to satisfy the needs and budget of the client.”

– ModSpaceDesign

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