ID REGULATION: WHICH WAY TO THE FRONT?

I appreciate Robert Nieminen’s support of the ongoing effort to regulate the profession of Interior Design . I agree with all of his points regarding the unification of the profession and the efforts by the anti-regulation contingent to stop any and all ID legislation.  As far as Utah’s new ID practice law we can claim it as a battle won but I am concerned by his broad brush definition of “Interior Design Laws of North America” as represented by this map (source unknown-attribute to Interiors & Sources) Sorry the resolution is limited.

I_0316_robblog2

(Attributed to Interiors & Sources?)

PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER would like to see such graphic depictions of our efforts to regulate the profession truly represent those laws that allow qualified Interior Designers to practice to the fullest extent of their abilities.  That includes the ability to sign and seal documents to legally obtain building permits as necessary to fully own one’s design work.  While it looks more impressive to apply a color to all states with some form of Interior Design law or act in place, when you actually consider our right to work as peers with or independent of other licensed design professionals in each of these states the battle field is far less impressive.  And let’s not forget our allies in Canada who have their own similar battles.

LegislativeMap

Color in Utah green-yeah! But read the Utah bill and consider that it does sanction the title “Commercial Interior Design” and the ID scope is limited. A victory none the less.

We have to stop depicting any and all ID legislation as legislation that is good for the entire profession (it isn’t) one, and two, we have stop looking at ID Regulation as nothing but a means to distinguish us from the unqualified decorator wannabe’s. That is a battle that was lost years ago.  Sure it makes us feel good to see all of those states colored in….but is it a true assessment of the battle?

So if we are going to look at this as a “war” we need to be working from the same battlefield map with a cohesive strategy to win our right to work at a minimum.  Otherwise what is the point?

Time for Interior Design to Split

For those of you who still visit this site, or receive notifications, you will note that PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER has been quiet for the past year.  Several reasons;  First, I have not had time.  Second, not much has been happening on the Interior Design identity front-good or bad.  Third, I am tired of posting the same old diatribes.  Fourth, since I do not tweet or promote my thoughts via  wider social media I find this forum….blogging…rather limited in reach.

If nothing else it helps me to frame my thoughts about this much maligned and misunderstood profession.  If it has any influence above and beyond that then great.

I continue to serve the profession via two of the three ‘E’s (education/experience/examination) and for the time being, find that my time is better invested in that regard.  So unless something earth shattering comes across my Interior Design Identity Radar (IDIR) this will be my last post for a while.

Remember the concept of Mitosis?  “During mitosis one cell divides once to form two identical cells. The major purpose of mitosis is for growth and to replace worn out cells” (http://www.yourgenome.org/ ).

We have spent the past 45+ years trying to make Interior Design into what we think it should be.  It has been so much to so many.  From the innately qualified interior decorators to the licensed professionals who practice at the highest levels of the code regulated building design professions we have all claimed “Interior Design” to be our very own by title and performance.  Some of us have tried to regulate the title. Some of us have abandoned the title altogether (shout out to my IA brethren/sistren) while others have railed against any effort to own the title and redefine it to make it their own.

How has that worked out for any of us?

The world (at least here in the U.S.) still considers Interior Design to be an unessential occupation, a flight of fancy requiring little more than an artistic flair and eye for color. Of course there are exceptions…but you cannot prove my overall assessment to be unfounded.  45+ years…..

Suffice it to say we have done a poor job of defining our value to society. 45+ years.

Interior Design is tired…and may well be “worn out”.  Growth has been limited but the potential is unlimited.  I have used many metaphors to describe our conflicted identity, from familial to militaristic to camping to athletics.  I grow weary trying to conjure another. So let’s try genetic science.

While much of the world endeavors to adapt to an exponentially increasing level of technological advancement, subsequent specialization, and daily disruptions to the status quo we have…well we still cling to our comfy pillow. Why can’t society just accept us for who we are?  Rhetorical question.  Pillow getting a bit flat after 45+ years?

Well here is my FINAL plea for the profession of Interior Design to go biological and split.  It is time Interior Design to become just plain “Interior Design” to include everyone who decorates and designs interior spaces that are not regulated by code, ordinance, standard, law, or any other legal oversight and those who choose to practice “code regulated Interior Design”¹.  The distinction is clear.  Not everyone understands the fine line between interior decoration and interior design.  But most people understand and respect those whose work affects their health, safety and/or improves their overall welfare vis-a-vis regulations and laws.

This is our cleave;  Not “designers can decorate but decorators cannot design”. Not “I am a state certified interior designer and you’re not”.  Not “I went to design school and you did not”.  But simply I am an Interior Designer and you are a code regulated Interior Designer¹.  If we make this our message, or mantra, we can use this simple distinction to easily and effectively self-regulate the professional domain.

NOTE 1: Recent ID legislation (Utah, Oregon, Washington) has contained the title “Commercial Interior Designer” as a means to help policy makers grasp the nuances between those who practice code regulated Interior Design and those who do not.  PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER agrees with this semantic ploy but urges us all to fully consider the implications of that distinction. Some regulated Interior Design is quasi-residential in nature…..and many larger communities regulate residential construction in some fashion.   Ultimately PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER really does not care what we call our new form of Interior Design. We just need to adopt a model title and our professional organizations need to adopt their preference and self-regulate based on this split.  There is a way.  Who has the will?

P.S. Code Regulated Interior Design Update.

Pennsylvania just introduced a bill incorporating “Code Regulated Interior Design” in its language.  http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/CSM/2015/0/20088_11187.pdf

Now if they can just loose the “Interior Design” nomenclature altogether, other than to define it as something we are not, we’ll be on to something.

 

 

 

CALIFORNIA DREAMING

PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER has posted many times regarding the issue of California and its private self-regulated, voluntary Interior Design certification program.  While California is the largest interior design market in the nation it remains an anomaly in the big picture of the domestic U.S. Interior Design profession’s efforts to establish nationwide practice licensure status.

I have just finished reading and trying to understand the latest effort to better align the CCIDC efforts to do what it believes is in the best interest’s of California’s Certified Interior Design community with the IDCC’s goal of opening the door to some sort of mutually beneficial effort. Not sure I fully understand IDCC’s approach but it is clear that CCIDC is not interested.

You can read that exchange here; https://ccidc.org/SunsetReviewNews/idcc-ccidc-letters.html

Although I am simply an outside observer here and one might say I do not have a dog in this hunt-well you would be wrong.  We all have an interest in how California,the other 49 states and 10 Canadian Provinces present a unified and strong professional front.

Sadly being able to play nicely in our one big sandbox is just a dream.

Webpbg-sand27-sandbox

CALIFORNIA ARCHITECTS LOBBY FOR END AROUND CERTIFIED INTERIOR DESIGNERS

UPDATE 6/26

UPDATE 6/30 SEE BELOW

Seems the California Council of the AIA (or a related chapter) is trying to corner the market on the permit review process in California under the guise of assisting over worked/over burdened  and under staffed building permit departments.  California Assembly Bill 2192, ( http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB2192  )which is currently in committee, proposes a limited pilot program that will allow permit documents to be reviewed for approval by other architects…….That is, where local codes require that permit drawings be stamped and sealed by an architect that another architect, on behalf of  the local jurisdiction,  can review and approve those documents to be permitted…..It is unclear to me how a set of non-seismic/non-structural permit drawings signed and sealed by a Certified Interior Designer will be considered under such a scheme….but I can imagine that since the fox will have the key to the hen-house door that the cost of entry might go way up.

Yes this is only a limited proposal and the bill may never move out of committee but to an anti-government/less government mindset this appears to be a brilliant proposal.  Many building/permit departments already employ architects as plan reviewers and building officials.  If successful the quasi-privatization of local building departments could become a trend…..a stretch maybe but hey this is California….anything can happen and if it catches on Katie bar the hen-house door.

BUT……………..besides the potential issues of bias and favoritism..not that that would ever happen amongst fellow professionals….it just seems that the AIA is using this to idea to monopolize the building permit process which cannot be positive for California’s already sketchy CID permitting process.

http://www.interiorsandsources.com/interior-design-news/interior-design-news-detail/articleid/17657/title/asid-helps-to-defeat-california-assembly-bill-2192.aspx

AND FROM THE CALIFORNIA  AIA-

AB 2192 (Melendez), the AIACC-sponsored legislation to create a pilot program for three local jurisdictions to implement an alternative plan review process for residential design, has been dropped and is now dead. While the author’s office and the AIACC were confident we would be able to move this bill out of the Legislature and to the Governor for his consideration, the good question the author asked was why move the bill if no local jurisdiction has been found that is willing to implement the alternative review process?

Our bill would have implemented a pilot project in three local jurisdictions that would have allowed residential plans prepared by architects to be reviewed by another architect, and that “peer review” would have been in lieu of plan review by the local jurisdiction. Thus, a building permit would have been issued upon the submittal of “peer reviewed” plans.

Many groups opposed this bill, including the California Building Officials, California Architects Board (oppose unless amended), and several interior design groups.

We, and the author’s office, were unable to find any local building department interested in becoming a part of this pilot project, causing the author to question the need to move the bill.

Initially, the bill would have given all local building departments the authority to implement this alternative plan review program, at its discretion, but we had to amend it to a pilot program for three jurisdictions in order to get the bill out of the State Assembly, which we did on a 72-4 vote. Unfortunately, with that amendment, we needed to find local jurisdictions in a short amount of time who were willing to be a part of this program, and we were not able to do that.

AIACC staff will work with the AIA Members on the AIACC Advocacy Advisory Committee to consider whether we should work with local jurisdictions in an effort to try this again next year.  http://www.aiacc.org/2014/06/25/legislative-update-june-2014/

INTERIOR DESIGNER vs. INTERIOR DESIGNER- WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

membership-780x350image from http://idc-oregon.org/

Can Interior Designers ever distinguish themselves from Interior Designers in order to advance the profession via government regulation?

Okay read that question again….does it make sense to you?  Well from where I am sitting it makes no sense but yet that is what numerous well intended interior designers are trying to do by pursuing government regulation. These interior designers freely invest copious amounts of time and energy into the grassroots effort to achieve recognition by their state legislatures.  They have my respect simply because they want to improve the status of the profession.

However, since the term “interior designer” is not a protected title anybody with a pulse can call themselves an ” interior designer” and many people do- qualified or not, professional or not, educated or not, breathing or not.  Unfortunately it is typically the unqualified, innately talented self-proclaimed interior designer that society equates with the term “interior designer”. Why should they support regulation of a profession (if they even consider it one) that requires no particular training, education or skill?  Answer is they don’t.

You cannot expect the general public, vis-a-vis our policy and law makers, to understand the difference between an interior designer and an interior designer…..no way- no how.  (Case in point: http://www.designntrend.com/articles/10266/20140118/kourtney-kardashian-shows-amazing-interior-design-skills-alice-wonderland-themed.htm)

index

If you do not see, or agree that there is, a semantic barricade then there is nothing else here for you to see….move along.  If however, you recognize that there is a conflict here please read on.  Let’s figure out a way around this impediment to our professional advancement.

So what we have is an intractable bi-polar divide within the profession.  Each side has clearly stated their platforms for ID regulation and against ID regulation.  You and I may be able to sort out the truth from the lies but how can we expect our policymakers to sort through the flack to see our side of the profession?  Unfortunately as I have posted 300+ times before they can’t.

Those in favor of ID regulation say “Licensing provides a level of accountability that is otherwise non-existent.   It is for consumer protection.”

Those who oppose ID regulation say “There is no consumer outcry demanding interior design legislation”

Those in favor say “Licensing interior designers will allow the qualified to work to the fullest potential of their training and education”

The opposition says “occupational licensing reduces employment growth, contributes to unemployment and increases costs to consumers,”

The pro legislation side claims we are educated, trained and tested  to sign and seal construction drawings to procure building permits.

While the anti-regulation contingent claims that architects already do this and there is no need.  Unfortunately the AIA agrees….I digress.

One interior designer says this and another interior designer claims this……How can we clarify this for society and our policy makers? Since the advent of the Locke v. Shore ruling in 2010  http://ij.org/locke-v-shore   the profession has attempted a mighty policy tack to distinguish our regulation attempts by using the title “Certified Interior Designer” or “Registered Interior Designer”.  I have asked this before? Why do we need legislation to do this?

We have to decide if we are pursuing regulation to distinguish ourselves from the innately qualified thereby limiting that competition or if we pursuing regulation as a right to practice issue.  Two very different end games requiring two very different game plans. Let’s figure that out first huh.

Yet the effort to distinguish the profession by use of overly subtle title nuances continues.  Seems like a lot of effort for little to no gain. How can we change this?

The Oregon interior design coalition http://idc-oregon.org/  for instance has proposed legislation in that state that distinguishes “Commercial Interior Design” from “Interior Design” https://professionalinteriordesigner.com/2012/01/27/oregon-commercial-interior-designers-push-for-practice-license/
Seems like a reasonable way to distinguish those that practice in code regulated environments vs. residential interior decorators/designers but there is no legitimate profession called “commercial interior design”.  Again the Oregon IDC has my support for their effort to advance the profession but I cannot support such semantic cleaving simply to avoid confusion.

So how can we present a professional domain that is Interior Design- but isn’t?

Well we can start by regulating ourselves. If we co-opt the term “Registered Interior Designer” BEFORE we pursue any legislation to regulate the term we do not have distinguish ourselves from “interior designers”.  If they have not earned the right to “Register” themselves in the free market…then they should not have any issues with those who have so proven their baseline competence to become “Registered”and ultimately “licensed” thereby rendering their anti regulation competition concerns moot.  In other words we need to create a professional identity that is clearly not interior design and is not performed by “interior designers”.  Whoa you may have to think about that one again.

Register first then pursue legislation to protect the term and the practice.

Which will take less time…trying to distinguish ourselves politically and legally via Uncle Sam or distinguishing ourselves in the public domain first then pursuing legislation based on that self-regulated title and practice?

My money is on the latter.  Hope I am around long enough to confirm it.

P.S. Okay if you are scratching your head I can’t blame you.  Again if you do not agree that this is an extremely nuanced and convoluted (by our own doing) issue then you probably are laughing this diatribe off…..at least you are laughing.  Others of you are probably thinking “isn’t legislating the title ‘Registered’ Interior Designer the easiest and most direct way to distinguish ourselves from our interior design brethren and consequently redefine the profession of “interior design” to be what we want it to be- isn’t that what we are doing? It seems to be working.”  Well no..it’s not working.  Hence this blog.

Architects are all licensed….why can’t we follow their lead?

Okay here’s another way to look at it.  Prior to the regulation of the occupation we know as “Architecture” as practiced by “Architects” they (architects) had…ohhh…about 500 years of proving their value to society. They became a learned profession in which the title “Architect” garnered immediate respect and those who practiced “architecture” without the prerequisite education, apprenticeship and examination became rarer as the profession developed, one and two, they were quickly outed and reprimanded by the professional domain of “architects” either legally, professionally or in dark alleys.  Ultimately over time architects came to legally own the title of architect, at least within the built environment.  The general public came to understand this and generally accepted it. 

We do not have that luxury. The general public has no idea what we do or why we deserve legal recognition.  Because we do not legally own the term “interior design” and in my humble opinion we never will….we cannot make it what we want it to be simply by creating title regulation.  However, who’s to say that in 500 years we may not have worn down the innately qualified self proclaimed interior designers into resignation…..”all right all right you can have it….we’ll just call ourselves interior decorators and let you have the title to be you own...” Sorry….that aint gonna happen- not even in 500 years.   

So we have to concede that interior designers will never be able to own the term interior design and make it their own, legally politically or professionally. 

Time to consider a new paradigm.   The one I suggest above may not be the best solution but if you agree that there is a problem then I have accomplished something.  If you don’t see this I hope you can comment and let me know. THANKS FOR READING

4 MORE YEARS….4 MORE YEARS!

http://www.asid.org/content/asid-announces-passing-california-senate-bill-308

Looks like the CID’ers in California get four more years to practice…..and four more years to convince state building officials that they are in fact qualified to sign and seal CD’s for limited scope code regulated interior work. 

And that the CID credential is more than just a title.

Nobody cares about signing and sealing work that does not absolve an independent interior designer from hiring another licensed design professional simply to obtain permission to see their work to fruition. 

The requirement for transparency and open meetings was brought on by ASID. So it will be interesting to see how CCIDC and ASID play in the sandbox. 

PROUD TO DISPLAY THE NEW NCIDQ CREDENTIAL

Introducing New Benefit For Active Certificate Holders

On July 15, 2013 the appellation “NCIDQ” and a unique mark will be available for use as an additional benefit for active certificate holders. After completing the terms and conditions on their MyNCIDQ online account, active NCIDQ Certificate holders will have the option to sign their names “First Name Last Name, NCIDQ” and/or use a unique NCIDQ logo in their professional materials, which may be downloaded from the same online account.  Active NCIDQ Certificate holders are those individuals who are current with their annual renewal payment, and in addition to the benefits already funded by the annual renewal fees, helps support NCIDQ Examination development and operations to maintain the validity and integrity of the series of tests.

Kim Ciesynski, NCIDQ Examination Board President, praises the move, saying “This new option for all certificate holders is a great opportunity for interior designers/interior architects to promote the NCIDQ credential they have worked so hard to earn, and to market themselves as successfully passing the rigorous standards tested by the NCIDQ Examination. The NCIDQ Examination is developed according to credible industry standards and we take great care to maintain its validity.  Therefore, we are very proud of our certificate holders and so pleased that they will now be able to demonstrate that they incorporate the highest standards of health, safety and human welfare in their daily practice. Certificate holders have spent years educating themselves, earning work experience and studying for the NCIDQ Examination.  They deserve the ability to showcase their hard-won and unique achievement.”

The Council for Interior Design Qualification, Inc., the corporate structure that provides resources to develop the NCIDQ Examination, is confident in the skills of those professionals who hold the NCIDQ Certificate, and is thrilled to promote those interior designers/interior architects who are the best examples of what the NCIDQ Examination stands for: health, safety and welfare within the spaces we use daily.

P.S. July 16: When I checked my Google Search results this morning I was expecting to see at least one press worthy item on the new credential. Instead Clare Danes mutters in Vogue that she thought about becoming an interior designer and the blogosphere ignites with joy;

Claire Danes, Interior Designer? http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/179483-claire-danes-interior-designer/

Why Claire Danes considered an interior design career http://wonderwall.msn.com/tv/why-claire-danes-considered-an-interior-design-career-25701.gallery

Would Claire Danes Be an Interior Designer Right Now if ‘Homeland’ Hadn’t Come Along? http://tv.yahoo.com/blogs/emmys/would-claire-danes-be-an-interior-designer-right-now-if–homeland–hadn-t-come-along–002810920.html

The NCIDQ credential is a much needed change for the profession but evidently we have a long, long way to go.