Pretty bold title.  As an interior designer, who is somewhat curious about the future of my profession, I was intrigued.  If you are also interested in the future of your chosen profession – here is the publicly accessible article.


PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER concurs- interior design regulation should be seen as an effort to expand opportunities…the subtitle is clear.


However an equally important component of ID regulation is to validate our right to practice in code regulated design/construction environments and be considered peers with, or independent of, allied licensed design professionals.  In my opinion this aspect of the “Future of Interior Design” is less clear in the article.


Unfortunately there are numerous points made in this article that simply do not make sense, do not add up, and a few that are flat wrong.


1.) “Interior designers specify more than $46
billion in product annually, far exceeding
specifications by any of their counterparts.

Who are our “counterparts”? -and if the $46 Billion includes residential furnishings specified by interior decorators and Kitchen and Bath specifiers, which I believe it must, then we are not talking about professional/certified interior designers are we?  If that figure includes only “product” specified by “professional” interior designers then why the hell do we not have more influence in all levels of society?  (not a rhetorical question). Also-from the ASID 2012 State of the Industry Report-“Interior designers purchase and/or specify some $49 billion of products and services each year.”…if $46 billion is the 2013 number then “our industry” took a 6% hit in one year (Hmmmm)…but then who knows how much “more than” and “some” really mean….what’s $3,000,000,000.00 amongst counterparts?

2.) “…… As such, designers
are seeking legislation to establish license and
certification standards that recognize the education
and experience they bring to the profession.

This is not why we seek legislation/regulation.

3.) “…… In fact, ASID played an
essential role in significant legislative victories
in the past year. Notably, six states enacted
interior design legislation into law in 2013 —
California, Connecticut, Nevada, Texas, Florida
and Illinois.”

“Essential”…don’t think so.  California’s private certification effort really can’t be counted as “legislation” and ASID has barely held on to a perfunctory CCIDC board member seat – But now that you took us there I have to ask- is ASID now tacitly supporting the private self-certification process adopted by California…you know the one that stands in direct opposition to ID regulatory efforts in every other state and district in the country?  Just wondering.

4.) “Nearly half of all practicing designers have completed
a four-or five-year college degree and about
40 percent of the degrees are in interior design.
By contrast, almost everyone who is entering the
interior design field today has a bachelor’s degree,
and many are pursuing graduate degrees.

So let’s see……doing the math…..+/- 40% of “almost” 50%….is….ummmm……okay……less then one-quarter of the college degrees held by “all practicing designers” are in “interior design”.  Is this a good thing? (Rhetorical question for effect ya’ll).  “Almost everyone” …..are these facts or guesses? I am confused.

5.) “Thirty years ago the regulatory environment
was limited, leaving a wide space where interior
designers could work.”

30 years ago ASID was the instigator of legislation/regulation that tried to own the title “interior design” thereby legislating un-certified/unqualified interior designers out of business.  Guess it depends how you define “wide space”.

6.) “The bottom line is that credentials
expand an interior designer’s portfolio,
opening up opportunities and the potential for
new business.”

Well yes and no. If the credential has legal and political gravitas such as M.D. or R.A. or P.E. then yes.  If RID or CID or even ASID……then no.  Read my previous 220 posts.

7.) “………The organization
aims to broaden the language of New York’s
interior design legislation to allow the state’s
certified designers to submit drawings for projects
that don’t affect the building structure or
its mechanical, electrical or plumbing systems
to the local planning authorities for approval.

Okay this is picky but qualified/licensed/certified interior designers should be able to submit documents that address more than furniture and non-structural partitions-in most cases this might not even require a permit.  Now that we have shifted the paradigm to compete at this level we are going to have to be clear about the scope of our responsibility.  Not easy to put into one paragraph I will grant the author that.

So the map of 2013 banner ID legislation does not include Mississippi which IMO was the most significant regulatory accomplishment in 2013 but who’s counting….Okay I am.  Don’t suppose a map of defeats/tabled legislation and ineffective sign & seal privileges for the year would help keep things in context?…Nah.

I will admit that it is incredibly difficult to write a 2 page article that clearly describes the legislative and regulatory nuances of interior design legislation.  I am actually glad that ASID made the effort and I debated raising this issue lest I be looked upon as a non-engaged whiner with nothing better to do than bitch and moan.   But if you are going to frame it as the “Future of Interior Design”, even if you are only pitching to your dues paying members,  I would hope that the message BY THE ORGANIZATION THAT REPRESENTS THE PROFESSION is laser sharp, facts and figures used are accurate and relevant, and that readers can walk away informed- with a succinct and consistent message to pass on.

This is how you actually affect the future of interior design.

………Must stay positive….it’s all good….everything is just fine….the future is so bright I just gotta wear shades.

Risky Business movie image Tom Cruise

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