So this article from the Louisiana State University Reveille came across my screen yesterday;
First I commend the LSU ID students and faculty for taking on this issue. Since I somewhat follow this topic I took a moment to understand what the students were actually considering. Well duh!
They want respect. Plain and simple and ‘Interior Design” does not provide that.
I get it. BUT…………………………………………………………………………………………
- Yes there are many “Interior Design” programs that have adopted the title “Interior Architecture” in response to the same issues you are struggling with. But that does NOT make it right nor will it eliminate your problem. Stay with me here…………..
- Unfortunately the academic side of the profession of interior design has let the ‘interior architecture” cat out of it’s bag. It is going to be difficult if not impossible to lure it back in so that we can present a meaningful, unified and independent “interior design” profession that can in fact earn its place among our peer licensed building design professions. As an academic and an “interior designer” this deeply concerns me. I am glad that you share my concerns.
- I am not so sure that “the terms “interior design” and “interior architecture” are interchangeable” as Professor Campbell states. At a higher level I agree the nuances are arguable and is much like the line between interior decoration and interior design…mohair fuzzy. But when one is on the ground actually practicing the design of code regulated interior spaces the nuances become MUCH more complicated and they have serious later career implications. As students it is easy to be short-sighted. You just want to get a job in a career that you can be proud of….20 years down the road is way off your radar. It shouldn’t be.
- I call B.S. on the justification that “Interior Architecture” is a more common descriptor for our peers in Europe. Interior design students need to understand context in order to properly develop a design solution so these points should be clear; North is up and this is not Europe. Prove me wrong.
- Be wary of any tacit or direct allegiance with “Architecture” lest you loose your independence and become simply a subset of “architecture” (AKA subservient). A lot of effort has been expended to create a unique and independent career path that, while it has its identity issues, still has far more potential in providing meaningful career options for students. Turning your back on the effort has some very heavy long term implications. Proceed with your eyes wide open.
Now my most important point for all U.S. based interior design students, who are not enrolled in a NAAB accredited program in which you are earning a degree that will allow you to take the ARE so that you can pursue state registration as a licensed architect- you will not be able to use the title “Interior Architect”. Despite what your diploma may state you will still be relegated to practice as an interior designer. Again I welcome anybody to prove me wrong on that point.
Ultimately students, you can actually call yourselves, and academic programs can label themselves, whatever they want. We can debate the ethics of all of this title nonsense till the sun sets in the East. It isn’t……ethical. But when you are in actual practice within a code regulated and professionally licensed design environment titles matter. Legally.
My final 2 cents to the LSU students and any other current or emerging interior design students is that changing your program name is not the solution. Your time and enthusiasm would be better spent asking these larger questions of your current academic and professional organization leaders;
How can the “interior design” profession capture the societal respect and recognition that architecture and engineering conveys?
If interior designers are also interior architects, as many argue, then what is the profession doing to address that very thorny title dilemma?
Why is “interior design” constantly thought of as a lesser occupation than architecture and engineering?
What are you doing to resolve the title confusion so that we can be proud of our chosen career path and practice to the fullest extent of our knowledge and skills?
These are not rhetorical questions. Have somebody tell you. That is why they are getting paid the big bucks.
P.S. Full disclosure…I just do not want to pay to change my domain name to PROFESSIONALINTERIORARCHITECTANDDESIGNER.COM so stop with the interior architecture talk will ya?