In follow up to the email you received on Monday, August 1st from ASID President Michael Thomas, I would like to provide further information about the new Associate membership category, its concept and implementation. Effective January 1st, 2012, ASID will begin accepting applications for the Associate category of membership. This category is for individuals who can demonstrate six years of full time interior design experience and possess a minimum of an associate’s college degree in a subject other than interior design. The Associate category will be in addition to the existing Allied and Professional practitioner membership categories. As long time members may remember, prior to 2004 ASID Allied membership was available to those who could demonstrate 6 years of interior design experience without any requirement for collegiate education.
Those applying for Associate status must demonstrate their work experience by submitting ASID Work Experience Forms that document six years of full time interior design work experience. The forms must be completed by representatives from at least two of the following four categories:
a. Existing interior designer member of ASID
b. Existing Industry Partner representative member of ASID
c. Current or Past Employer
d. Current or Past Clients
Associate members will be required to adhere to the same CEU requirements as Professional and Allied members: .6 CEUs every two years. Additionally, they must take a prescribed course of online CEUs across the first 12 months of their membership. ASID strongly believes in the value of interior design education and that it is the most direct path to becoming an interior designer. The Society does much to support our over 300 student chapters and member educators and will continue to do so. However, ASID also recognizes that people may have multiple careers across a lifetime, and it may not be possible for everyone to pursue a second post-secondary degree. ASID believes that the entire profession is strengthened by having those who practice interior design continually exposed to ongoing education via a single organization. The organization that best serves that role across the profession is ASID.
The Society’s board believes ASID should represent the full scope of the profession as it is practiced. Practitioners of interior design today reflect a diversity of professional pathways, be it broadly based experience, formal education, examination or some combination of the three. Good design is being produced by interior designers from all of these professional pathways, and consumers of design services will (and do) make their selection decision based on the requirements of their particular job, state law and the relationship forged with an individual(s). The new Associate membership category simply reflects the reality of the marketplace.
As is consistent with our existing legislative policy, ASID will not seek to prohibit anyone from calling themselves an interior designer. However, ASID will continue to pursue and support legislation that permits state-qualified interior designers who demonstrate the ability to provide additional interior design related services to practice to the full extent of their capabilities and use the title “registered,” “certified” or “licensed” interior designer.
The board understood that adopting a more inclusive organizational approach would be met with both approval and some regret from those in our membership. Your fellow interior designers serving on the board believe that there is strength in increased unity among all those who practice interior design, regardless of their path into practice. To that end, ASID remains the single best resource to help you grow your business, build your network and expand your knowledge. No other association has the same breadth of practice, depth of resources or connection to the pulse of the profession. We look forward to continuing our work together to build both the public’s appreciation of design and knowledge of the importance of working with an ASID interior designer.
Michael Alin, Hon. FASID