Spatial Design: The Crucial Middle Ground Between Architecture & Interior Design


For too long, South Africans perceived the design and décor field to consist of two main career options - Interior Design and Architecture. This has left a prominent gap in the market for the middle ground of Spatial Design.



Although traditional design fields like architecture and interior design cater for space and people, Spatial Design crosses the boundaries of these traditional design domains. Spatial Designers solve complex design challenges by focusing on human emotion, sustainability and even exploring new ways for people to live, work, play, relax, learn, and experience space.

In other parts of the world, Spatial Design has become a sought-after discipline, with a vast array of job opportunities. Those with the right qualification can go on to crafting the interior of a swanky hotel as an Interior Stylist, create an interactive exhibition space as an Interior Space Planner to even rejig the functional layout of a major supermarket chain as an Interior Visual Merchandiser. The possibilities are endless.

Marga de Vos, the coordinator at STADIO School of Architecture and Spatial Design, explains that although Spatial Design is a relatively new field in South Africa, it is an immensely significant one.

“Spatial Designers serve as a valuable connective tissue between traditional built environment disciplines such as Architecture, Interior and Furniture Design and the requirements and desires of the communities they serve. The demand for skilled Spatial Design practitioners is growing exponentially in South Africa, where there is a pressing need to address a multitude of social housing challenges, including creating more inclusive spaces,” she says.

A much-needed middle ground

Until now, there has been no dedicated qualification on offer in South Africa to develop the necessary skills and knowledge needed to excel in this dynamic field.

The Higher Certificate in Spatial Design offered by STADIO School of Architecture and Spatial Design, backed by the African Institute of Interior Design Professions (IID), is challenging this status quo. The new contact learning programme offered at STADIO’s Belville campus also serves as a fantastic alternative for those that struggle to meet the current entry requirements for courses like Architecture and Interior Design or simply want a broader career scope.

“The qualification provides graduates with a competitive edge in a rapidly evolving industry as it blends theoretical and practical elements and marries related fields. This helps prepare graduates to enter the job market being able to tackle complex design challenges, and become experts in the design, planning, and management of habitable spaces more broadly,” says De Vos.

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