Okay PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER can be a bit of a neggo…always dwelling on the problems with our conflicted professional identity. Unfortunately nobody else is willing to publically criticize the flaws in our professional domain. I hope I have not bummed you out.  I am not by nature a total Negative Nellie (maybe a Realistic Rick) so let’s get back on track with solving the problems and issues that keep us from realizing our full potential as a valued profession. We have broached the idea of calling ourselves “Accredited Interior Designers” or “Architectural Interior Designers” or some such official credential that distinguishes us from mere Interior Designers. Now we have to define what we do and how we do it.

PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER is concerned that the effort to legislate “Interior Design”, amongst many other professional trends and societal influences, is forging an occupational schism within the profession. That is that “commercial” interior design is different than “residential” interior design and that only “Registered” Interior Designers are qualified to design non-residential space.   PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER proposes that we do away with the old categorization of Interior Design work….Commercial vs. Residential, Health Care vs. Hospitality (have you seen some of the latest elder care facilities-they are hotels) Retail vs. Institutional, etc….We all, by default, have categorized our work within these limitations….it is all we know. Think outside the proverbial box for a minute….

 PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER maintains that our brand of Interior Design should know no categorization….Well designed interior space is well designed interior space- PERIOD!  We design interior space to respond to the function of the occupants regardless of the physical envelope…that is why our knowledge and skill set are so valuable and coveted.

With props to Architect magazine for the genesis of this new categorization we should consider the following labeling system for our professional services; We design interior spaces to support the following human behaviors;

Again a qualified/certified/accredited professional interior designer should be able to design for all of the above functions. Certainly if one prefers to specialize in just one of the above human activities they are welcome to do so. But hopefully you get the gist….people can “live” almost anywhere and in fact helping people to “live” is what we do…we should be able to accommodate that function in any architectural envelope. Just think how this might expand our professional boundaries.  

So this new tack maybe a challenge to implement…we have 50+/- years of distinguishing between commercial and residential, or hospitality and retail, it is going to take awhile (but if Architect trademarks them we’re SOL) but in order to sell our brand we have to be able to explain what we do in a way that clearly sets us apart.

Food for thought…right out of the box.


  1. You may have noticed “hospice” in the HEAL function and “funeral homes” in the BOND area.

    Although the resident in a “hospice” does not heal per se’ his/her family certainly benefits from the availability of professional medical care in a residential environment that is designed to facilitate that aspect of the life cycle. If done properly I believe the environment can assist the family to heal from the trauma of losing a loved one. I was going to categorize it as BOND but I believe that is what occurs at the post mortem ceremony…be it in a church or a funeral home.
    This is fascinating stuff with a lot of potential for our profession…..at least in my neggo mind


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