This past legislative season was somewhat uneventful for Regulated Interior Designers but two events should be acknowledged…small victories but wins none the less.

Massachusetts was able to enact legislation that allows qualified Interior Designers to be the prime design professional on State of Massachusetts interior projects that do not involve load bearing elements.  Previously only architects could be listed as the prime contractor for such work.  The right to work/expansion of opportunities for qualified ID’ers seems to have been the right approach

PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER will be watching how this opportunity for regulated ID’ers will be interpreted by Massachusetts building and code officials.  While the limits as far as load-bearing work seem clear,

     “Interior Designer”, an individual, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, joint stock company, joint venture or other entity engaged in the practice of interior design, who may serve as the prime consultant for projects that primarily involve construction or other work relating to the nonstructural interior elements of a building or structure and who provides services that do not require a registered architect, landscape architect or engineer; provided, however, that an interior designer shall demonstrate competence by completion of a nationally-recognized certification.
     “Nonstructural”, interior elements or components that are not load-bearing and do not require design computations for a building’s structure, including, but not limited to, ceiling and partition systems and excluding the structural frame supporting a building

the issue of egress and fire ratings is unclear.  This may be a win for ID’ers space planning and specifying furniture but does it allow them to also sign and seal permit documents where local codes require that to occur?  PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER is glad to see that qualified ID’ers can be the prime contracted design professional but who gets to own the permit documents?  Unclear at this point.

And from the country of California it appears that the AIA’s effort to monopolize the permit review process there has been defeated for now….

California CID’s will be able to sign and seal permit drawings and submit them to their local code officials without fear of a Registered Architect being able to review them.

Baby steps…..



  1. Philip Adams, NCIDQ, ASID, CID, LEED AP. Avatar
    Philip Adams, NCIDQ, ASID, CID, LEED AP.

    I wonder why there has not been a concerted effort to unite the Building Officials in recognizing interior designers as design professionals?

    Ultimately they are responsible for accepting or rejecting architectural plans for permit and if there is the need to keep looking closely at parts of the process like differentiating between structural and egress components then it will take forever to get a consensus.

    We know the AIA’s position and have been diligently tying to persuade the legislature but what about these people on the front line? They are politically aware but also pragmatists. They have to be to do their jobs effectively. And you can’y say they will be biased towards the architects, have you seen how the architects treat them?

    Perhaps we should make new friends in building official land everywhere….


  2. I think when the paradigm of using legislation as a form professional validation (“I’m certified and you’re not”) completes its conversion to a right to work effort we, as a profession, can then focus on a 2 pronged advocacy effort- practice legislation and building regulations. Unfortunately there are just too many “interior designers” who do not want this to happen…..toss in the architects and the NKBA and you have a formidable resistance…..
    And on it goes.
    Thanks for the comment


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