A RAY OF HOPE?

Kudos to John Czarnecki, editor of Contract Magazine, for coming out in a public forum to counter anti-interior design regulation rhetoric.  It’s about time our professional trade journals step up to the profession’s plate to take a swat at these misinformed and confounding missives.

http://www.contractdesign.com/contract/design/The-Need-for-a-Respo-11669.shtml

For the most part Mr. Czarnecki got  a base hit….we have a runner on base…Wooo Hoooo!  Okay enough with the sport metaphor.

PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER can only dream of the influence Mr. Czarnecki wields.  WELCOME TO THE FRAY JOHN WELCOME TO THE FRAY.

Mr. Czarnecki’s grasp of the issue and inclusion of opinions from other designers who have also taken the time to inform themselves of the issues at hand is admirable.    His journalistic scolding of Ms. Gowins and her ilk is spot on BUT….(you had to see that coming….) it is a purely defensive act in response to a much louder message that has been haunting our professional advancement for years, much as the previously mentioned rebuttals from ASID & IIDA which IMO are simply too little too late.

It is too bad Mr. Czarnecki was not around in 2007  for the Anti-regulation shot that started the entire Institute for Justice campaign to impugn the profession of Interior Design. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/21/AR2007032101789.html

I also appreciate his subtle inference that we need it get our collective act together if we really want to move this debate from the purely defensive/reactive to a position of real progress. Maybe PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER is reading too much into this sentence;

” The rise in television programs about home decorating may have misled some of the public to believe that, well, anyone can be an interior designer. And that may have led to misconceptions about interior designers that manifest in Gowins’s article. While that’s unfortunate, it’s also an opportunity: The article might galvanize the interior design profession to present its case for legal recognition in a more unified way.”

ASID/IIDA/CIDA/NCIDQ are you paying attention?

Now all that said PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER looks forward to see if Mr. Czarnecki plays good on his pledge to provide more insight as to the state of Interior Design legislation. Moreover will he be able to truly address the crux of the ID regulation issue- right to work- without upsetting the architectural side of his readership base?

Until then we should support him as much as possible-SPREAD THE WORD.

WILL WE EVER GET THIS RIGHT?

SEE 10/14/14 UPDATE BELOW

At first I was concerned by the misinformation posited by the September 17th Huffington Post article “Arbitrary Interior Design Regulations Hurt Entrepreneurs, Consumers”. Much to our chagrin the Huff post has a pretty broad reach. Hats off to the Institute for Justice and their continued ringing of this bell.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hilary-gowins/arbitrary-interiordesign-_b_5830782.html?utm_hp_ref=business&ir=Business
At this point posting comments to this anti-regulatory rhetoric is just pissing in the wind….makes me feel better though. Then there were rumors of an impending rebuttal from ID professional organization ‘A’ -the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). Finally 12 days later came
IIDA’s rebuttal issued via their own blog;
http://designmatters.iida.org/2014/09/29/interior-design-vs-interior-decorating/
Unfortunately IIDA was suckered into the unwinnable debate- what is decoration and what is design. Fortunately their response was issued to its members and not the wider press. Had it been issued as a press release (which it to my knowledge wasn’t) and picked up by the wider press I am not sure any non-designer would have any interest much less be able to grasp the nuances. Hell I know many informed interior designers that can’t explain the difference.
Then ID professional organization ‘1’ the American Society of Interior Designers issue this memorandum to I don’t know who one day later;
http://asid.org/sites/default/files/u34215/ASID-HuffingtonPost-Response-FINALdocx.pdf
While the ASID does a better job dancing around the designer vs. decorator issue there is one closing statement that just does not make any sense to PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER;
“Interior design laws allow designers to sell more products and hire employees as their businesses grow.”
Really…this is why we have been beating our collective heads against the legal/political wall for 30+ years?……So we can sell more product?……
Actually maybe it is a good thing these rebuttals are for a limited audience.

Here is John Czarnecki and Contract Magazine’s take on the issue;

http://www.contractdesign.com/contract/design/The-Need-for-a-Respo-11669.shtml

IIDA STEPS UP ADVOCACY EFFORT

SEE 10/01/14 Update below

In case you missed it the Huffington Post, bastion of the highest journalism standards, posted a commercial rant by an Institute for Justice blogbot that denounced the value of regulating Interior Designers;

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hilary-gowins/arbitrary-interiordesign-_b_5830782.html?utm_hp_ref=business&ir=Business

Which of course prompted the obligatory defense on several LinkedIn groups…..

https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Message-from-IIDA-HQ-Advocacy-103871.S.5920610210409365508?trk=groups_items_see_more-0-b-ttl

https://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=956917&type=member&item=5918065460737232897&trk=groups_most_popular-0-b-ttl&goback=.gmp_956917

https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Should-interior-designers-be-licensed-4361021.S.5918475262357446656?trk=groups_most_popular-0-b-ttl&goback=.gmp_4361021

Many of which devolved into convoluted descriptions, or arguments, of the differences between interior decorators and interior designers……unfortunately.  The IIDA thread is most compelling as IIDA HQ has threatened to issue a response to Gowin’s bloviation of IJ screeching points.  So in my search for this response (now 9 days from the date of the offending Huff post- an eon in internet time) I discovered a new video on the IIDA website promoting the importance of regulation for Interior Designers;

Hmmmm….well it’s about time.  Well done….but as usual there are a few points that stick out from these testimonials.  IIDA continues to spin itself as the advocacy arm for “Commercial” Interior Designers.  Does that imply by default that ASID is the advocacy arm for “Residential” interior designers?  Not to sure that will fly to well through the halls at 7th Street N.W. in D.C.

And rising ID star Sascha Wagner indirectly, but clearly (at 1:30), ignores the state of California Certified Interior Designer credential.  He is correct.  Something others are unwilling to acknowledge.  A California CID is not a licensed design professional (cue the CID hornets)

While it is short much of the information is current.  It does seem to be geared to the choir (other designers) and not the congregation (general public) which in my opinion is really what is needed to counter the Institute for Justice misinformation campaign.

Until that happens we as a profession will be doomed to bear a never ending barrage of anti-regulatory rhetoric and over-reaction by those who see ID regulation as a threat.  That includes the entire spectrum from the innately qualified self-proclaimed interior decorators to the turf-protecting American Institute of Architects.  And on it goes.

HERE IS IIDA’S RESPONSE  http://designmatters.iida.org/2014/09/29/interior-design-vs-interior-decorating/

AND ON AND ON IT GOES….WHEN WILL IT STOP?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hilary-gowins/arbitrary-interiordesign-_b_5830782.html?utm_hp_ref=business&ir=Business

TWO REGULATORY VICTORIES

This past legislative season was somewhat uneventful for Regulated Interior Designers but two events should be acknowledged…small victories but wins none the less.

Massachusetts was able to enact legislation that allows qualified Interior Designers to be the prime design professional on State of Massachusetts interior projects that do not involve load bearing elements.  Previously only architects could be listed as the prime contractor for such work.  The right to work/expansion of opportunities for qualified ID’ers seems to have been the right approach

https://malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H4303/History

PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER will be watching how this opportunity for regulated ID’ers will be interpreted by Massachusetts building and code officials.  While the limits as far as load-bearing work seem clear,

     “Interior Designer”, an individual, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, joint stock company, joint venture or other entity engaged in the practice of interior design, who may serve as the prime consultant for projects that primarily involve construction or other work relating to the nonstructural interior elements of a building or structure and who provides services that do not require a registered architect, landscape architect or engineer; provided, however, that an interior designer shall demonstrate competence by completion of a nationally-recognized certification.
     “Nonstructural”, interior elements or components that are not load-bearing and do not require design computations for a building’s structure, including, but not limited to, ceiling and partition systems and excluding the structural frame supporting a building

the issue of egress and fire ratings is unclear.  This may be a win for ID’ers space planning and specifying furniture but does it allow them to also sign and seal permit documents where local codes require that to occur?  PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER is glad to see that qualified ID’ers can be the prime contracted design professional but who gets to own the permit documents?  Unclear at this point.

And from the country of California it appears that the AIA’s effort to monopolize the permit review process there has been defeated for now….

https://ccidc.org/ab2192-is-dead.html

California CID’s will be able to sign and seal permit drawings and submit them to their local code officials without fear of a Registered Architect being able to review them.

Baby steps…..

 

THE MISINFORMED CONTINUE TO MISINFORM THE PUBLIC REGARDING INTERIOR DESIGN

https://www.facebook.com/instituteforjustice/photos/a.10151222399244815.554360.49059279814/10153007777114815/?type=1&relevant_count=1

This is a Facebook page- if you do not have access to Facebook then I congratulate you.  Please disregard this post.

Just one more reason we (the ID professionals) have got to distance ourselves from this madness.

STATE OF THE INTERIOR DESIGN INDUSTRY 2014

http://www.dexigner.com/news/27569

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I commend ASID for issuing their annual take on the state of the “industry”.   It is helpful for those of us who need to know such things but don’t (so you do get internet in your cave).  Previously I commented on the choice of “industry” vs. “profession” but of course ASID has to cast as broad of a membership net as possible.  You should know by now where I stand on this semantic twist.

But of course there is something else for us to consider here. There is a statement in the Dexigner article that really needs to be drilled down lest it become just another ad hominem, purely rhetorical pitch, with no real purpose other than to placate.  I do not know if it was part and parcel of ASID’s presentation or Dexigner’s spin on the topic but the statement could not be more true- to wit:

“These data, coupled with an increase in the popularity of “DIY design,” suggest that the industry needs to communicate its value more effectively. Interior designers bring to the table vital knowledge about health, well-being, sustainability, ergonomics and acoustics as well as expertise in building codes, standards and regulations. Interior designers also are well-versed in project and materials management.”

Once again the choice of term used to describe the profession as “industry” already convolutes the premise of the statement.  But from PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER’s standpoint who ever said it could not have stated the larger issue with our…..ahem….”industry” more succinctly.

Begs several questions though; Who’s table is it?  Who is invited to the table? and how exactly are we going to communicate all of this?

I know where to get a good table and some comfy chairs- let’s figure this out.

These data, coupled with an increase in the popularity of “DIY design,” suggest that the industry needs to communicate its value more effectively. Interior designers bring to the table vital knowledge about health, well-being, sustainability, ergonomics and acoustics as well as expertise in building codes, standards and regulations. Interior designers also are well-versed in project and materials management.

Read more: http://www.dexigner.com/news/27569

These data, coupled with an increase in the popularity of “DIY design,” suggest that the industry needs to communicate its value more effectively. Interior designers bring to the table vital knowledge about health, well-being, sustainability, ergonomics and acoustics as well as expertise in building codes, standards and regulations. Interior designers also are well-versed in project and materials management.

Read more: http://www.dexigner.com/news/27569