JOIN ME FOR ANOTHER PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER INSTALLMENT OF:
WHO AM I AND WHAT IS IT THAT I DO?
There have been some interesting movements recently by professional and regulatory entities to clarify the “profession” of Interior Design and how it is, or should be, perceived by the general public.
First and most significant is this missive from the current president of IIDA, Felice Silverman;
“IIDA exists to provide relevant and meaningful support to Commercial Interior Design professionals and their clients. IIDA promotes the value of Interior Design to business decision makers and to the general public. IIDA stands at the intersection of passion and strategy where Designers create the exceptional environments that encompass every aspect of the human experience.
IIDA is the preeminent association for the Commercial Interior Design profession.” (from IIDA membership email)
Note the use of “commercial” interior design in the title. This semantic shift, while not surprising, is further evidence that ASID and IIDA are not planning on a merge any time soon…within this millenium…..as long as humanity exists….till the end of time. This is clearly IIDA’s solution to the age-old identity crisis that the terms “interior design” and “interior designer” have struggled with. Don’t do “commercial” interior design?- Then join ASID or IDS. Seems easy enough.
Unfortunately there are far deeper implications for such a semantic cleaving of the professional domain.
Second and on a state level is this excerpt from a letter to all Tennessee ID schools from the Tennessee Board of Architectural & Engineering Examiners:
December 26, 2013
Dear Interior Design Program Administrators/Educators:
Re: Use of term “interior architecture”
At its planning session arid meeting on October 9-11, 2013, the Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners discussed the issue of use ot the term “Interior architecture” by interior design programs. Although the vast majority of programs accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) employ the term “interior design,” a growing number of interior design programs are describing themselves as “interior architecture” programs.
Following discussion of this issue, the Board voted to oppose use of the term “interior architecture” by interior design programs, and instructed that a letter be sent to Tennessee colleges and universities with architecture and interior design programs advising them of the Board’s position. “Interior architecture” is not legally recognized as a profession in Tennessee, and a national exam does not exist for this profession. In the context of the design and construction of buildings intended for human occupancy, the appellation “architect” should be reserved for licensed architects in order to avoid misleading the general public.
While a state level issue the precedent set here by the TBAEE is interesting. It will be interesting to see if other regulatory boards issue a similar edict to their academic programs.