Interior Design Education — Difference Between Hands-On Training To Online Learning

Think Interior
6 min readJan 4, 2023

The field of interior design has long been recognized as a creative and dynamic profession that requires a combination of technical skills and artistic vision. To succeed in this field, designers must understand and apply a wide range of design techniques and principles and keep up with the latest materials, technologies, and trends. For these reasons, many aspiring interior designers choose to pursue formal education in the form of a diploma or degree program.

The field of interior design has undergone significant changes in recent years, and how interior design education is delivered has evolved along with it. One of the main differences in modern education is the availability of online learning options, which has changed how students can access interior design training and education.

There are many options available for those interested in an interior design course, ranging from traditional classroom-based programs to online learning. In this article, we will define the options available and help you understand the differences between them and the pros and cons of each approach. We will also guide how to choose the right program for your needs and goals and discuss the importance of continuing education in this field.

Hands-On Training

First, let’s define what we mean by hands-on training. Hands-on training refers to any type of education or training delivered in a physical, face-to-face setting, typically in a classroom or studio setting. This type of training may involve lectures, demonstrations, and practical exercises or projects completed in the presence of an instructor or mentor.

In the early days of interior design education, hands-on training was the norm. Instructors expect students to learn through classroom lectures, studio work, and practical experience. This approach allowed students to learn the technical skills and principles of interior design through hands-on practice and experimentation while also allowing them to develop their creative and problem-solving skills.

Through hands-on training, students receive personalized instruction and feedback from an experienced instructor. In a traditional classroom setting, students can ask questions, seek clarification, and receive immediate feedback on their work. This can be particularly helpful for those new to the field or struggling with specific concepts or techniques. Hands-on training also allows students to learn from their peers, which can be a valuable source of support and inspiration.

Benefits Of Hands-On Training

Now we will talk about the benefits of hands-on training for interior design. Hands-on training allows students to learn through direct experience, which can help them better understand how to work with materials, choose colors and furnishings, and gain a more intuitive understanding of space and layout. Additionally, hands-on training can provide an opportunity to network with other professionals in the field, exchange ideas and creative approaches, and develop a portfolio of your work. Furthermore, having the chance to work on actual projects allows students to see their ideas come to life and refine their skills as they

However, there are also several drawbacks to hands-on training. One of the main limitations is the need for students to be physically present in the classroom, which can be a challenge for those with busy schedules or who live too far away to attend class regularly. In addition, hands-on training programs can be expensive, as they often involve tuition fees, materials fees, and other costs. Finally, the availability of hands-on training programs can be limited, as they are typically offered only at certain times and locations.

Online Learning

Online learning refers to any education or training delivered via the internet, typically through a learning management system or online platform. This type of learning may involve video lectures, readings, quizzes, and assignments that are completed independently by the student.

The history of online learning in the field of interior design is relatively short, as it was only in the late 20th century that the first online programs began to emerge. Before this, interior design education was primarily confined to traditional classroom-based programs, and there were few options for those who wanted to study remotely or at their own pace.

Online learning in interior design began to gain traction in the 1990s when the internet became more widely available and affordable. At first, online programs were primarily used to supplement traditional classroom-based programs, allowing students to access course materials and communicate with their instructors and peers remotely.

Over time, however, the popularity of online learning in interior design has grown, and today there are many fully accredited online programs available. These programs offer students the convenience and flexibility of learning remotely and the opportunity to learn at their own pace and access a wide range of course materials and resources.

Online learning is an essential component of the interior design education landscape today. It is a popular option for those looking for a more flexible and convenient way to study.

Over time, the focus of interior design education has evolved, and today many programs place a greater emphasis on creativity and innovation. However, hands-on training remains an essential component of many interior design programs. People also see it as a valuable way for students to gain practical experience and develop skills.

Benefits Of Online Interior Design Learning

Online learning offers several advantages for those interested in interior design education. One of the vital benefits of online learning is the flexibility it provides. Students can access course materials and complete assignments at their own pace and can do so from anywhere with an internet connection. This can be particularly helpful for those who have busy schedules or live in areas where traditional classroom-based education is unavailable.

In addition, online learning programs are often more affordable than traditional classroom-based programs. Many online programs offer tuition discounts or scholarships, and there are often fewer costs associated with online learning, as students do not need to pay for transportation or materials. Finally, the availability of online learning programs is much greater than traditional programs, as students can choose from a wide range of options offered by institutions worldwide.

However, online learning has some drawbacks too. One of the main limitations is the lack of personal interaction with instructors and peers. While online programs often allow students to ask questions and receive feedback, these interactions are usually less frequent and less personalized than those in a traditional classroom setting. In addition, online learning programs can be less structured than traditional ones, which can be challenging for students requiring more structure or guidance. Finally, online learning programs may not be as effective for students who have difficulty learning independently or who need more hands-on training to master certain concepts or techniques.

The popularity of online learning in the field of interior design has increased in recent years due to the updated student support services offered by these platforms. These services provide students with the necessary assistance and guidance throughout their learning journey, making it easier for them to succeed in their studies. Additionally, the convenience and flexibility of online programs make them an attractive option for many students.

What are the steps to find the best online interior design academy?

When searching for the best online learning platform for interior design, there are a few key factors to consider. First, you should look for a program accredited by a well-reputed organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). Accreditation ensures that the program meets a few quality benchmarks and that the coursework and materials are up-to-date and relevant to the field.

It is also essential to consider the program’s course offerings and curriculum. Look for a program that covers various topics and offers hands-on learning opportunities, such as projects or internships. You should also consider the program’s flexibility and whether it allows you to study at your own pace or on a schedule that works for you.

Finally, be sure to research the program’s faculty and their qualifications. Look for instructors who are experienced professionals in the field and who have a strong track record of teaching and research.

By considering these factors, you can be sure to find an online learning platform that will provide you with the education and skills you need to succeed in your career as an interior designer.


In conclusion, whether to pursue hands-on or online learning in interior design ultimately depends on your learning style, career goals, and schedule. Both approaches have unique advantages and disadvantages, and what is suitable for one person may not work for another.

Experts say it is essential to carefully consider your options and choose the right program. Whether you opt for a traditional classroom-based program or an online learning platform, it is essential to find a program that is accredited, reputable and aligned with your career goals.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to find the best place to study interior design that offers you a great opportunity to get a certificate that is engaging, challenging, and rewarding and that will help you develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence you need to succeed in this dynamic and creative field.



Think Interior

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