What’s in a Name Part Deux Redeux

Or is it just deux deux?
Interior Design Regulation and Professional Respect

PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER welcomes the new focus of Interior Design regulation (see previous post). BUT- while the objective is clearer and the collaboration between IIDA & ASID is welcome, there are still numerous issues with the legislation/licensure model of professional validation. I will be exploring those in future threads (I know, I know, how much can one person ponder this topic?). 

Not to continue beating a dead cat for the tenth time but one issue the new ASID/IIDA commitment does not address is identity.  That is how can we better define our roles and responsibilities so that society in general, and our policymakers specifically, will grant us legal recognition as licensed professionals? Who are we and what do we do that needs to be licensed and regulated?  Very few of us can answer that in a consistent, succinct and readily tangible manner.  As we witnessed in Florida the understanding of who we are and what we do continues to be our professional Achilles heel. PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER was impressed with the last minute efforts of Florida Registered Interior Designers to defend their status as licensed professionals but to say that was the reason for the Florida Senate’s role in voting down the deregulation effort is a stretch. Did it help? Yes. But the politics behind Florida HB5005 was real reason for its termination and like religious dogma politics is a confusing and contentious issue. Put two people in a room and they most likely will have differences of opinion (unless of course they are the Koch Brothers- but that is another story).

For the first 35 years of the ID licensure effort the focus was on changing the definition of “interior design” to be what we want it to be. Well that did not work out to well for us did it? I have written ad infinitum regarding the epic struggle for the term “interior design”. I recently found a similar opinion piece by Brad Powell of officeinsight.com. If you are an interior design professional identity wonk this is good stuff….


I respect Mr. Powell and his discourse is well considered and includes some compelling suggestions. BUT- is changing the definition of interior design a battle we want to fight? Once again I say that despite the 35+ years of effort- interior design has not changed- we have.  We are a hybrid of interior designers and architects- some would say that we are closer to interior architects than anything. I don’t disagree I just don’t want to go there…yet. So let’s stop re-defining and start fresh. Let’s let the interior designers have interior design- it’s time to move on. Stay tuned.

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