Hopefully PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER has convinced you that we need to surrender the term “interior designer” to the innately qualified. If you are not convinced please read this and watch the video;
And we wonder why architects hold us in such low regard…..So the term “interior designer” continues to be used interchangeably with “interior decorator” and in my humble opinion no matter how hard we try that will never change. Like calling a tissue Kleenex, regardless of who made it, interior design will always be inexorably linked to interior decoration and all of its drama, divas and stereotypes. Interior design was cleaved from the bosom of interior decoration- we are forever genetically linked- hard as we try to monkey with the gene pool.
I firmly believe that this identity confusion remains the motivation behind the licensing of interior design (other than those who truly wish to sign and seal permit docs). Wielding a license somehow provides us with a sense of validation. In the absence of an accurate and common public identity that honors our efforts to raise the standards of our profession a license is all we have- unfortunately. As the licensing and regulation effort evolves it is becoming common that each state with ID regulation must refer to those so qualified as either a “registered interior designer” (RID) or a “certified interior designer” (CID). Some states require that the state be acknowledged in the title such as in Wisconsin where designers are required to call themselves Wisconsin Registered Interior Designer (WRID) unlike neighboring Minnesota where the Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design, AKA the Minnesota Board of AELSLAGID for those of you into brevity, requires it’s dues paying members to be simply a Certified Interior Designer or (CID). Evidently the Minnesota Board of AELSLAGID (excuse my brevity) has not yet been contacted by the lawyers for the Certified Interior Decorators International, Inc. (C.I.D. and the term “Certified Interior Decorator” are a registered trademark filed in Washington, D.C. with the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Certified Interior Decorators International, Inc.). This was the case with certified Interior Designers in New Jersey where the CID threated legal action against the CID’s in New Jersey who now must call themselves New Jersey Certified Interior Designers or NJCID’s. Got that? Let me cut to the chase.
Due to the lack of a focused and publicized professional identity we the educated, trained, and certified interior design professionals have no clear identity. Consequently we are burying ourselves in a miasma of different state mandated (CID, RID, State CID’s, State RID’s), half-baked professional credentials (ASID & IIDA) and competing exam credential (NCIDQ® Certificate Number 000000 or IDEX California or CQRID). Not to mention all of the other allied organizations and acronyms that a designer can choose from to communicate their professional status.
It is B.U.L.L.S.H.I.T. and I am tired of it.
After 35+ years of effort to license the title and/or act of interior design we are still no different than any other interior decorator hobbyist or innately talented interior designer and wielding a license does not help. If you can accept that fine (if so you certainly are not reading this blog but go with me here…) if not then we must demand better of our professional organizations.
So here is a thought that will allow ASID and IIDA to continue their disparate representation of the interior design profession vis-a-vis their dues paying members. Since the regulation of interior design affects all of us regardless of our affiliations, I suggest that they relinquish their advocacy of government regulation by creating an independent credentialing, advocacy and licensing entity that would represent only those professionals who wish to pursue voluntary licensure allowing them to practice in codes based (read “commercial”- see my previous post) construction environments as equals to other licensed design professionals (read “architects”). Whether this independent entity/organization also oversees testing and/or accreditation deserves further study. In my opinion the parts are in place. We just need to make better use of them. If we can muster the fortitude to create such an entity I think coming up with a common name/acronym and brand identity will be the easy part. Such an independent entity would not be beholden to any particular organization, except possibly NCIDQ, and would be better able to provide unified, consistent and much needed leadership for grassroots regulation efforts.
Suffice it to say that ASID and IIDA now realize the benefit of a united front in this regard. It is time to take it to the next level.
P.S. In case you doubt whether we, as a profession, can muster an effective P.R. campaign to promote our true worth to society I worked up the following;
ASID has 30,000 members, IIDA has 13,000 members. 43,000 dues paying members let’s assume 20% students= 34,000 members of which there are a variety of dues amounts from +/- $450.00 for Pros to +/- $265.00 for educators let’s say average $325.00 annual dues from 34,000 members= $11 mill. annually. That assumes that Industry Members are chipping in $325.00 +/- for each of their memberships- Of course there are costs to run these organizations- salaries and O.H. and rent etc. but I gotta believe there could be a well funded P.R. campaing in there somewhere. $11mill. every year……..somebody needs to ask “where’s the beef?”
P.P.S. Speaking of “branding”- http://www.asid.org/custom/thebrandstory/index.asp