Is an interior architect an architect?

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In a nutshell, no.

This is a very good explanation of what an interior architect is/does (taken from an article appearing in The Star on 02/08/12):

"Interior Architecture (IA) has certainly come a long way. The profession was initially known as Interior Decorating before it evolved into Interior Design. Interior Design professionals still provide decorating and design consultation, but their job responsibilities now include more ‘technical’ duties such as technical drawing, building technology & services, materials & building finishes technology, and furniture detailing.

The need to understand architecture-related matters within Interior Design has given birth to the field of Interior Architecture (IA). Interior Architecture involves the planning and detailing of a residential or commercial building’s interiors. This is to maximize effectiveness by emphasizing on space planning and creation. Not only does the space need to look good, it must also be functional. Innovative designs enable us to live and work more comfortably, efficiently, and securely; all within an aesthetically-fulfilling environment.

So what do interior architecture graduates do exactly, once they join the workforce? They plan space allocation, traffic flow, as well as work with engineers on building services, joinery (woodwork), and lighting. This is in addition to the selection of materials, furniture, finishes, fittings and artwork, in order to create attractive and vibrant spaces. They are also trained to consider the modification of a building’s interior structure with assistance from engineers, rather than just refurnishing existing spaces."

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