So this is where I really step in it…er on it..whatever.

Others have discreetly discussed it behind closed doors. There have been some high level back room discussions over many years and some of my fellow academics have written an impassioned and scholarly vetted plea for the need of one organization to represent the professional domain of Interior Design

 For students of Interior Design it is confusing at best. I tell my students that participation in both organizations can only benefit their entree’ into the profession.  I firmly believe that. However, when pressed to explain why they need to subscribe to two seemingly parallel organizations I am forced to put a positive spin on a reality that I do not personally support.

As I see it two organizations representing one profession is just plain STUPID!  There I said it. 

Now if you are still reading this you are either incensed or intrigued. If you are incensed I can not help you and you cannot convince me otherwise. Should you be intrigued by where I am going with this hang in there….this is a really complicated issue that involves a whole lot of well-intentioned people. First I want to acknowledge their efforts and to state that I am but a minor cog in this complex machine. I am not that arrogant to assume anybody but my mother agrees with my position on this topic. Back to my point.  To make a rather complex issue clear I have to break it down like this.

ASID favors residential interior design practitioners. IIDA favors contract or commercial interior designers (both will claim otherwise). This is an inherent dichotomy that forces a professional schism. With that the entire profession suffers due to the lack of a singular focus that is INTERIOR DESIGN. Instead we get Residential Interior Design and Contract Interiors with divergance into interior architecture (yet another story), Home Re-Designers, Feng Shui Consultants, etc.

Well I say it is time to come clean. Are we two (or more) professions or are we one?

Anybody (except my mother….Okay mom you can chime in) care to agree?

4 responses to “ASID & IIDA or ASID vs. IIDA?”

  1. So while we deal with our bi-polar public identity there are lots of other groups forming to claim our domain as their own.

    Here is one that has dibs on the acronym CID….Just in case you were thinking this could all be solved by claiming we are Certified Interior Designers- think again

    It is amusing watching all these folks jockey for what they claim is the best interest of the profession…..until you really think about it.


  2. The two organizations would be happy to tell you of their differences when in reality that very rift is the issue that continues to weaken the interior design profession on the whole. You must understand that both “Organizations” are dependent on their constituancy for existance and therefore would never compromise their position …even for the good of the Profession!
    Each has done a admirable job of continuing education for their members and, in some Regions, actually share those responsibilities.
    The ASID, S.T.E.P. program is outstanding and unsurpassed relative to NCIDQ examination training.
    Where they have fallen short is in Branding the Interior Design Profession to the general public.
    In their defense, both organizations represent such a broad range of practitioners that to market the knowledge base and expertise of one would irritate the other and probably larger, percentage of their constituancy! Thus, they can’t afford to Brand quality and professionalism at the expense of losing membership.
    As long as the term “Interior Designer” encompasses such a broad range of expertise and professionalism (both good and bad) the general public will never have real knowledge of the profession or it’s credibility.


  3. So do I read that you would support a split?
    Residential Interior Design & Commercial Interior Design.


    Certified Interior Design & Interior Design?

    What we (NCIDQ/CIDA/IDEC) have created is a hybrid of interior design. It is a distinct brand. Once we (the certified) accept that we can let the interior designers do their thing and we can go off and promote our brand. No Harm No Foul.

    What am I missing?


  4. Interesting topic, and one that has carried controvery and confusion for many incoming freshman ID students (which follows them throughout their schooling). Getting involved is one thing, but to make big decisions from the onset of your education is another…IIDA or ASID? No pressure there. For me, I just end up getting involved with both so EVERYONE appears happy.


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