Okay PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER takes some heat for not falling in line with the ID licensing effort. Some are confused, even indignant, that I am neither blindly for, or totally against, government regulation of interior design. Truth is I am somewhere in the middle. I try my hardest not to look at it as right vs. wrong (or right vs. left as some would have it) but rather I try to see what is productive and in the best interest of the CIDA/NCIDQ certified profession. Of course I am also obliged to note that which might be counter-productive and negatively affect the profession. Trust me there is plenty to go around.
Some say the effort to license “interior design” is a resounding success. I say nay. You may see the glass getting fuller, I see the leak at the bottom.
Some say that licensing interior designers is the best way to advance our status and respect within society. I say nay. Unfortunately it is the only way. Consequently since it is the default model for professional advancement it affects all of us, those who strongly support it, those who oppose it and those who are just trying to make a living. Unfortunately the effort has been anything but transparent and is actually a mystery to many. That’s where PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER comes in.
And finally some pro-regulation proponents relish the opportunity to go head to head with the AIA to carve out a little piece of their licensing/permitting pie. Not me. We need them and more importantly they need us. And we thought the angry decorators were a pain.
The only aspect I agree with is that nobody said it would be easy. That wiley nobody sure nailed it- it isn’t!
Which brings me to my point.
There are a whole lot of well-intentioned people investing unfathomable amounts of time, resources and money into the ID regulation effort- I respect their effort and passion. But when I hear the President of the Institute for Justice proclaim on network T.V. that licensing interior designers is unconstitutional (and akin to yoga instructors and eyebrow threaders) I begin to wonder- is escalating the ID licensing effort the best way to combat the anti-regulation effort and consequently our societal status? In the 4 years I have been researching this professional struggle I have yet to see an equal counter by the pro-regulation effort. And don’t tell me a few Youtube vignettes on HS&W is tit-for-tat public relations. It isn’t. We are losing the battle in the court of public opinion.
So we continue to stumble two steps forward, one step back and another shuffle sideways on our collective path to professional legitimization.
Certainly the 11th circuit court decision upholding the Florida practice act (what’s left of it) does provide a slight legal foothold for the pro-regulation effort. But when I step back and look at this effort from far enough away so that I can see all battle fronts, the envious decorators, the disenfranchised old school designers, the office systems dealers and the hungry architects I just have to shake my head in amazement. AM I THE ONLY ONE THAT SEES THIS?
Just think if we were to re-invest all of that angst and effort into defining our value to society first and foremost how much easier the step toward licensing might be. Self regulate first. Create a unified professional society second. Promote the hell out of our unique value to society by measurable and irrefutable outcomes. And then pursue government regulation.
Some call me a dreamer.
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