Okay so here we are some 37 years after the effort to regulate interior design began and the resistance to that effort seems to be getting stronger..or at least more effective. So what gives with all these people who are all bent out of shape because we want the government to sort out the decorators from the qualified interior designers? Seems like a reasonable effort. Why is it so difficult for this profession to obtain government regulation? After all, architects must be licensed in all states. Good grief barbers and hair stylists are licensed in all states….how hard can it be? Who are these people and why do they care so much that we do not get practice legislation? So are we winning or losing this effort? How can we tell? What is the return on our 37 years of financial and intellectual capital? Well that is why I am here. I do not have the answers but I sure as hell am going to ask the questions.
We currently can claim 21 states with title protection and only 3 states with practice acts. California has some wacky volunteer title act that does not even count in my mind and Colorado has a permitting statute which actually has some interesting aspects that deserves more discussion- more on the later. Let me repeat…..37+ years and we only have 3 states that can claim some form of practice legislation….3 states. So if our goal is to become licensed to practice in all 50 states at the rate we are going I figure it will take…let’s see…um…3 states….37 years…….that is 47 states by 3 x 37 = 255 years. Therefore I predict the profession of Interior Design will be licensed in all 50 states by the year 2265. I CAN’T WAIT! Can you?
So I may be the only professional Interior Designer that believes the effort to license the practice of Interior Design is a failure. I don’t care but I will not have my only death bed regret be that I did not try to correct the situation. Not that I am sick…and no this is not my suicide manifesto…..don’t worry.
So if you are still reading this maybe you concur. If not please convince me otherwise because this is taking a lot of time. If you agree than is it not imperative that we start asking questions post haste?
WHAT IS THE GOAL? Is it merely to distinguish the decorators from qualified interior designers or is it to truly regulate the practice of interior design. They are two completely different goals and for those who claim that title acts are merely the first step on the way to practice licensure I say good luck. I hope you can wait until 2265. If you truly want Uncle Sam to help distinguish the posers from the professionals then protecting the Health Safety and Welfare of the public is not your goal…is it? More on this later.
WHO IS THE RESISTANCE? I bet you would be surprised. The initial resistance was angry decorators. Those decorators who practiced as interior designers but then found the bar for access to the profession suddenly raised out of their reasonable reach. Hence the many grandfather clauses that acted to water down the original intent of the legislative effort. Fast forward 37 years and the angry decorators are still here and they are still angry. But that is to be expected and quite frankly I do not blame them. What is more concerning is that the National Kitchen and Bath Association and the American Institute of Architects also have jumped on the anti-regulation bandwagon. I will discuss the position of each of these former design allies in more depth later.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO ADVANCE THE PROFESSION? I have some some suggestions if you care to listen (read). Who am I to assume that the profession should heed my suggestions? Quite frankly I am nobody…but I have to try. More Later.
WHO IS GOING TO DO IT? Well if I am the only one that feels this way then it is all up to me. Good Luck with that- right?
DOES IT REALLY MATTER? In the bigger scheme of things- maybe not. But again I have invested 23 + years of my life in this profession and I am not going to leave this world without fighting for the respect that WE deserve.
As I say “more on these questions later”. After all we have lots of time- about 255 years of it