Interior Architecture & Design Seems To Be Trending

I can’t let this go.

I have lost track of the number of Interior Design programs that have joined the herd of change to “Interior Architecture & Design” (IA&D) or simply “Interior Architecture” (IA). The latest example to cross my monitor is the U of Arkansas Interior Design program, which is housed within the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. In this case, and as I have stated before, this title shift almost makes sense. After all the program is housed in an Architecture College. But what continues to go unspoken is the fact that Interior Architecture is not a legitimate professional title unless one is a Registered Architect (RA). This generally requires that an Architecture degree granting program is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board which is not the case in this latest example. Nor is it the case in the majority of ID programs that have acquiesced to the pressure to move away from Interior Design.

While it is possible for an IA&D graduate to become a Registered Architect in order to legally use the title “Architect” in their professional title or business practice….it certainly isn’t easy. Let’s just say that State Regulatory Boards take anyone practicing “Architecture” without a license seriously.

In case you missed it I recently received the following comment from one of my 3 followers;

Hi Michael!

I love your blog. Every time I get an email about a post, I get excited to read your advanced and witty remarks on the subject of Interior Design and what it really means.

I am one of those students who attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Interior Architecture program. The title of it seemed “prestigious”, “distinguished”, or “esteemed”, you know?

When it came time to create our portfolios for our ‘Professional Development’ course during one of our last semesters, we weren’t allowed to use the term “Interior Architect”.

We were all shook.

I appreciate that last sentence. It speaks volumes and those who care about such things really should think about it.

Unfortunately the powers that be within the profession either do not see any harm in the title confusion or they are unwilling to address it.

So here is how it is going to go folks. At some point the majority of Interior Design programs in the USA will change their names to IA&D or IA simply to keep up with the Fay Jones’s of the world. Then the collective profession is going to have a reckoning… go all in on IA and own it….or claw back whatever professional turf is left in the title “Interior Design”

Good luck with that. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

One response to “Interior Architecture & Design Seems To Be Trending”

  1. I have said for years…there is no American Society of Interior Architects, no International Interior Architect Association, no Wisconsin Registered Interior Architect, and definitely not an AIA Interior Architect member category.

    Liked by 1 person

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