Category: Interior Design Protection Council


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…………………………………………………………………………………………

  1. 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…………..
  2. 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.
  3.  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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?




PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER will miss Miss Morrow and her Institute for Justice funded campaign to deregulate the profession of Interior Design….NOT.


Utah Senate Bill 0117  which allows state certified Commercial Interior Designers to submit signed and sealed drawings (within limited scope) in order to obtain building permits in that state was approved today.  Yay!

This is the first substantial piece of ID legislation to be approved in several years.

Kudos to IDEAL Utah and their lobbyist Amy Coombs for creating the proper strategic alliances and educating/swaying/cajoling Utah policymakers.   This was the result of a monumental investment of time, effort and perseverance.

With that a precedent has been established.  Utah SB0117 codifies the title “Commercial Interior Designer”.  PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER finds the savvy semantics interesting.  As far as I know Oregon was the first state ID coalition to draft ID legislation using that particular title nuance.  It makes sense to help distinguish our work  in the regulated ID realm…but.

Are we ready to dissect the profession in this manner?  Will we evolve into Commercial Interior Designers and Residential Interior Designers or just Commercial Interior Designers and Interior Designers (my vote)?  Will we need to create Schools of Commercial Interior Design?  Will CIDA need to become CCIDA?  Will the NCIDQ Examination need to become the NCCIDQ Examination? Will this minimize the appeal of the title “Interior Architect”?

Do I ask too many questions?

Leading Interior Design Company Declares 11% Increase in Cash Dividend


(What Would Ethan Allen Do?)

Offer free interior design service of course.


PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER saw this article on Ethan Allen’s success (the furniture chain, not the statesman) I had to comment;

Ethan Allen Declares 11% Increase in Cash Dividend

DANBURY, Conn. — 

Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. (“Ethan Allen” or the “Company”) (NYSE:ETH) announced today that its Board of Directors has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.10 per share, an increase in the annual rate of 11.1%, which will be payable to shareholders of record as of October 10, 2013 and will be paid on October 25, 2013.

Farooq Kathwari, Chairman and CEO commented, “We are pleased with our continued progress and the Board’s decision to increase the dividend.”

Okay I have no problem with Ethan Allen’s success and actually applaud it. But when I read the following boilerplate P.R. bio on the company my ire was raised;

About Ethan Allen

It seems that membership in your organization is all one needs to become an Ethan Allen Interior Design Affiliate

Wow what an honor….members of your organization can contractually obligate themselves to give away free design service in return for a tiny portion of EA’s increasing profits.  Oh and also note that your sister organization ASID somehow is missing from the list of illustrious organizations.  You may want to have your credential removed from that list.  Just tryin’ to keep it professional- ya know.


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?

Why Claire Danes considered an interior design career

Would Claire Danes Be an Interior Designer Right Now if ‘Homeland’ Hadn’t Come Along?–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.


I’m back.

Okay follow this missive from the CCIDC regarding California Senate Bill 308 and its language that the CCIDC says is detrimental to the profession:

Okay now read this web post by the Interior Design Coalition of California claiming that there is no need for concern:

I find the IDCC claim regarding the supposed AIA backed amendment to SB-308 that-

As part of this process, an amendment was considered and is being interpreted as an attempt to deregulate the interior design profession. Upon closer review with legal counsel, we have found this NOT to be the case”

troubling not only in that it contradicts the CCIDC claim that the current CID model will be

DISASTROUS for Certified Interior Designers and any non certified designers including those doing kitchens and baths!”

it also does not tell us why their legal counsel reached this decision.  Are we to go on faith here?

Well I came back to call BULLS**T! Somebody is not telling the whole story here and for either organization to claim otherwise is extremely troubling.  The pissing match in California is growing old it’s time to;


No I do not have a dog in this hunt per se but we all suffer the consequences of the fallout from your pissy fits.


P.S. California SB-308 will be brought before committee this morning at 9:00 AM  (PST)….Listen to the great debate here;

P.S. The hearing was rescheduled for July 2nd, listen to it here;


PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER has highlighted the efforts of the Institute for Justice, The Reason Institute and the CATO Institute to use Interior Design regulation as the prime example why government regulation is bad for the economy. Now the Goldwater Institute has issued this “Policy Report” in which the regulation of interior design is cited as one of the prime examples of why the government needs to reduce, or reform, “occupational licensing laws to increase jobs and lower costs”

Since you probably have better things to do with your time than read this claptrap I will pull out a few of Dr. Schlomach’s more pertinent assertions;

Do you have a love of fabric, furniture, and a talent for decorating? In a few states, unless you have a license, it’s tough luck if you want to start a decorating business. Most states actually have laws that limit the use of the title “interior designer.”

That is patently untrue…but damn it sure helps make a point.

“Scary stories, what-ifs, mights, and maybes hardly constitute a basis for sound public policy. Nevertheless, they are the foundation on which most licensing laws rest.

The International Interior Design Association’s advocacy webpage begins, “Interior Design laws help establish and maintain professional standards that protect the health, safety, and welfare of the general public.”

No explanation or examples, other than the assertion noted that links interior design to public health and safety, can be found on the website. The Reason Foundation, which is opposed to licensing, produced a video specifically about interior designers’ efforts to get licensed. The best a licensing advocate from Texas could muster was a general statement about the danger of people slipping on a floor, with no specific examples.

Economists are generally skeptical of arguments defending occupational licensing. Such defenses are typically advocated by members of the profession and not by the general public.”

Again there is proof that interior design does play a large role in the safety of occupants of interior spaces (how can it NOT?) but it is usually muddied by the confluence of building codes, life safety codes and guess what -occupational licensing. What about that entire chapter in the International Building Code pertaining to interior finishes….? Rhetorical question I digress.

Let me reiterate we are the whipping post of many, if not all, influential legal and political think tanks and unfortunately many policymakers are easily influenced by high fallutin’ think tank types.

If I did not know better I would just shrug this misinformed neocon poli-babble as just that. But I can’t and neither should you- why you ask? Well Okay I asked but go with me here…… Should the political winds in November blow to the right these policy reports, position papers and opinions cloaked as research in which regulation is seen as strangling the economy could* become the evidence for widespread deregulation within the Fed and the states. And guess what interior design regulation, both current and proposed, will be the one that many reformers will target. Why? Please don’t make me answer that.

*Think what you will of all of this anti-regulation rhetoric posing as research. I can assure you that many policy makers are also thinking “what they will” of these diatribes and unfortunately this is the only side of the story they are hearing.