Kudos to Ms. Coryell for taking advantage of her right to promote her business. I don’t agree with her methods but I admire her entrepreneurial spirit.
Kudos to Ms. Coryell for taking advantage of her right to promote her business. I don’t agree with her methods but I admire her entrepreneurial spirit.
Familiarize yourself here and take the survey if it applies;
So if you do not practice Interior Design in California you probably are unaware of their voluntary certification system. It is confusing….even if you do practice in California but why should we care?
As the most populous state in the Union California also has the largest number of Interior Designers of any state, territory, or province…..by far.
As an outlier to the practice and professional advancement via regulation that the other 49 states, 10 provinces, and 5 territories (3 Canadian/2 U.S.) generally follow, California’s defiance to follow the accepted system presents many issues for the broader Interior Design profession to consider.
The first is sheer numbers. While IIDA and ASID have robust participation in California the broader profession suffers from California’s insular approach to the code regulated practice of Interior Design. At a minimum reciprocity is not, and can never be, an option. Also the CCIDC remains steadfast in its control of the regulatory gate via its own exam- the IDEX Examination. Of course California is free to do what it wants with its pursuit of right to practice issues for its Interior Design professionals but its voluntary self-regulated system is such an anomaly to the rest of the profession’s pursuit of state regulated practice that it may as well be another sovereign nation.
The larger profession sure could benefit if California were to move from a self-regulated system to a state regulated/licensed practice system. The inertia and legal precedents would be helpful. BUT….That said there are positive aspects to the concept of voluntary self-regulation that PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER admires. Maybe we can adopt a hybrid system that will make everybody happy……California dreaming…..I digress.
The main motivation behind the inclusion of “Commerical” in the CID credential is the suspect manner in which California’s Building/Code officials review CID stamped/signed permit documents. There is no consistency and unless a CID has a long-standing relationship with building departments and has proven that they know their business the ability to obtain permits statewide is suspect at best. It is believed that by adding the word “Commercial” to the CID credential (not sure in what manner) that building officials would understand that particular designer has proven ability to practice in the code regulated realm.
I commend both IDCC and CCIDC for even considering this seemingly subtle title nuance.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
I have spent a lot of bytes on this blog pointing out the drawbacks of relying on Uncle Sam to validate our professional status via title and practice legislation. Unfortunately we tend to lump our decorator vs. designer identity crisis in with the massive effort to gain regulation that codifies our right to work in code regulated building design environments. This broad objective for legislation causes confusion among our policy makers and raises the ire of those who feel that we are infringing on their rights to practice as interior designers.
While some see the effort to advance the profession using government regulation as the only path to distinguishing the qualified, ( earned credentials from “NCIDQ Certified” to “Licensed” to “State Registered Interior Designer/RID” to “State Certified/CID” to “ASID/IIDA/IDC/ARIDO etc”) from those who are unqualified (“Hmmm my Mom tells me I have a flair for color and I feel like being an Interior Designer today!”), I maintain that it is our responsibility to enforce the distinction.
In other words, it is not Uncle Sam’s (or Mother Canada’s- for our Northern neighbors) job to distinguish Interior Designers from interior decorators. Unfortunately this common perception that interior decoration and Interior Design are interchangeable is the bane of our effort to advance the code regulated aspect of the profession. How much time have you spent trying to explain the difference between interior decoration and Interior Design? Frankly the differences are so subtle that it is virtually impossible to educate the uninformed in an elevator pitch. Hell I have been doing this 35+ years and I have trouble defining the nuances in way that succinctly defines our differences. We need to stop with the academic and abstract explanations and start citing tangible and justifiable examples.
Regrettably, for the vetted design professional, anybody can call themselves an “Interior Designer” and no amount of legislation and regulation will change that. So how do we earn respect as regulated design professionals whose primary focus is the health, safety and well-being of our clients, if others continue to blur the distinction between vetted design professionals and those who decorate and claim to be “professional” or “certified” when they are not?
The answer is that it is up to us to make sure those who claim to be “qualified”, “certified”, “registered”, “professional” and most definitely “credentialed” are in fact what they claim. While it may seem elitist or protectionist to police such claims it is essential if we want to add value to our conflicted and contested profession.
We have to ask ourselves “can the general public understand and respect the difference between someone who claims to be an “Interior Designer” and someone who claims to be a “Certified Interior Designer”…particularly when they are practicing in a state that does not have title legislation in place?
I find the efforts of the Certified Financial Planners to promote their message of qualification to the general public extremely relatable. The CFP board seems to be focused and proactive in this regard. The CFP enforcement of professional standards is admirable. Their national campaign to help the general public understand the nuances between a financial planner and a Certified Financial Planner are quite effective in my humble opinion;
Keep in mind that it is a violation of professional ethics (ASID, IIDA, NCIDQ) to claim you have achieved professional status, or earned professional certification, within those organizations, when you have not. That line is typically very clear and inarguable. Of course there are many other forms of “certification” and many ways to define “professional” but to claim you are a member of the profession it is easy to confirm- or should be.
We need to do more of this self-policing and we need to start calling out the violators wherever and whenever we can. We failed to take ownership of the title “Interior Design” in the courts but it is not illegal to begin a campaign to redefine Interior Design by shifting public perception…..or helping people understand what it is not.
Case in point. We have all witnessed the evolution of on-line design service providers…much to our chagrin. Laurel and Wolf Interior Design seems to be one site that has gained traction in the competitive dotcom decorator posing as designer foray. I appreciate the convenience for those who have the money to spend on interior decorator services and I appreciate the fact that many interior designers and decorators can earn income from this site. We should not denigrate them but we certainly can differentiate by countering their claims.
So is this really “Interior Design“? And are Laurel and Wolf’s “top designers” actually “certified” Interior Designers?
Well in my not so humble opinion NO- it is not “Interior Design”. This site is clearly about “Interior Decoration” and is in fact the epitome of decoration (not that there is anything wrong with that).
Let’s start calling it what it is…a website that promotes residential interior decoration. Again not that there is anything wrong with that.
To the more important question of certification or qualification…… Let’s just say that Laurel and Wolf plays fast and loose with the idea of “Certified” designers. Many of the designer profiles do not have any certification at all and several list unaccredited degree and academic certificates of dubious origin as confirmation of being “certified” Interior Designers. A degree is not the same as being “certified”…that is a big stretch.
Let’s start reporting those individuals who may be bending the truth about their real “certifications”. ASID/IIDA/NCIDQ should all have easily accessible rosters of current/active dues paying members so we can confirm false claims of professional or associate membership where that applies. With that they should also be able to enforce their membership rules.
Other cases in point. Here are a few more examples of individuals, companies and trade practices that need to be continually called out for dubious if not deceptive portrayal of professional code regulated Interior Design services and/or interior decoration presented as Interior Design. Again I appreciate the fact that companies and people need to earn a living but to claim you are doing something you are not is unacceptable and compromises my ability to gain respect for my skills and for accredited Interior Design students to justify their significant tuition investment.
Ethan Allen’s “Free Design Services” Our design knowledge should not be free. Don’t even get me started on trade only pricing practices. Ethan Allen is free to run their business however they see fit. However, we are also free to use their questionable ethics as an example of who we are not and what we refuse to do.
“Designer” Showhouses…they are decorator showhouses…period. Let’s start calling them what they are.
Kwikie design diploma or certificate courses promising successful careers as certified “Interior Designers”. They aren’t and they don’t! We have to have the collective fortitude to defend the term and title of interior design particularly when an on-line decorator certificate mill makes the following claim;
‘This online interior design course is a comprehensive program that will teach you everything you need to know to become a professional interior designer.’
Again it isn’t and it will not. If nothing else we can help unsuspecting decorator wannabe’s understand that they are being mislead. If we do not set their record straight, these decorator mills will simply continue to produce interior decorators who are empowered to misrepresent the profession of “Interior Design”.
Finally our professional membership organizations must do a better job of holding their professional members to the highest standards. Again I fully respect a designer/decorator’s right to make a living and their freedom to self promote..but if you are going to sell pillows please understand that your message has broader implications for our effort to combat certain stereotypes. I am sure this will tick a few folks off….I accept that…cue the criticisms.
We have to stop being concerned who we are upsetting….if they are clearly in the wrong then let’s diplomatically help them understand the errors of their ways. We have to stop trying to be everything to everybody. We have to accept being offensive so we can stop being defensive.
Or maybe…..just maybe I need to heed the advice of drag star and renown interior designer Ru Paul and stop taking this stuff so seriously;
AD: Would you say that drag influences your interior design sense?
RuPaul: Absolutely! Yes! Drag is all about reminding people to not take life too seriously. Our goal, our mission, is to say: This body you’re in is temporary. Have fun with it. Dress it up. Use all the colors in the rainbow. It’s there to enhance your experience. You are God, for lack of a better term, experiencing humanity. Have fun with it. Don’t hurt anybody else. Don’t take it too seriously.
Currently Florida House Bill 7047 and Senate Bill 802 which seek to eliminate all legislation and practice rights regarding Florida Registered Interior Design, and the practice thereof, are working their way through committees in Tallahassee. All indications are that the anti-regulationists, with the governor’s backing, have the upper hand in seeing this bill through and on to the governor’s desk for signature.
If you found this site on a general search I hope you are here to see how you can help the Interior Design profession defend its hard-earned right to practice to the fullest extent of our knowledge and abilities. Here are some sites that are focused on rallying designers;
If you are a member of ASID or IIDA I encourage you to get involved via the advocacy arms of those organizations.
There is a swell of interest and support for deregulation of occupational and professional legislation. Unfortunately the practice of code regulated Interior Design often gets lumped in with those occupations which arguably present a good case for government over-reach. I am not here to argue the politics of this issue or the merit of whether sports agents or auctioneers should be licensed. But it is helpful to understand the various forces at play here. On one hand you have the Libertarians who see any and all regulation as a hindrance to free and open markets. While theirs is a very broad stance against regulation in general Interior Design licensure and legislation seems to be a favorite target, or prime example, of the problems and limitations caused by onerous regulations. Here are 2 recent examples that illuminate their position;
and this Huffington Post Op-Ed from 2015 that is a classic example of how the anti-regulationists present the profession of Interior Design;
HOWEVER ON THE OTHER HAND is there is a less pronounced, but far more focused force behind the deregulation of Interior Design…the American Institute of Architects.
There is much to discuss with this particular opponent to our legislative goals. Suffice it to say that if we did not have to deal with the AIA’s direct or indirect support of deregulating Interior Design legislation our path to licensure would be far less contentious. If you work with an AIA member you may want to ask them why they support the deregulation and ultimately the deprofessionalization of Interior Design.
I would be curious to know their answer. I suspect the majority of AIA’ers are unaware that their professional organization supports such efforts.
The nuances between qualified/certified Interior Designers who practice in code regulated building design projects, shoulder to shoulder with other licensed design professionals, and the thousands of others, from the classically trained to the self-proclaimed, who perform work that does not require a building permit, are virtually impossible to understand. It is that very fine and ill defined line that the anti-regulationists, and the AIA, use to confuse lawmakers and lead them to believe that we have no business performing code regulated design work that directly impacts the Health, Safety and Welfare of the public. We (the code regulated ID’ers) have to do a much better job of defining the difference between residential designer/decorators (not that there is anything wrong with that) and certified ID’ers who are educated, trained and vetted by examination to design within code regulated building environments.
MAKE NO BONES ABOUT IT…FLORIDA HOUSE BILL 7074, IF PASSED, WILL SEVERELY LIMIT ALL CERTIFIED INTERIOR DESIGNERS RIGHT TO WORK TO THE FULLEST OF OUR KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITY. SINCE FLORIDA IS SUCH A KEY STATE IN THIS REGARD THOSE OF YOU IN OTHER STATES WITH ID LEGISLATION, BE THAT TITLE OR PRACTICE ACT, NEED TO PAY ATTENTION- YOU MAY BE NEXT.
Seems straightforward enough. I can imagine lots of high school students or 2nd career seekers asking this question.
Of course there are lots of legitimate resources available to those who are curious, books (those things in “libraries” and “book stores”), guidance counselors, friends of friends, etc. But PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER is fairly certain that the world wide intrawebanet is your #1 go-to resource for this query.
So if you Google that question you will be bombarded with 3.6 million options. HOW THE HELL CAN THERE BE 3 MILLION WAYS TO BECOME AN “INTERIOR DESIGNER”? I digress.
For reference the general query “How do you become an Architect” results in 15+ million hits…but who’s counting?
Visiting and reading all of those sites just overwhelmed me. I made it through 2.2 million but had to take a bathroom break. So being the hardcore scholarly researcher that I am I went to YouTube to watch a video on how to become an Interior Designer. Let’s face it, that is most likely how all prospective Interior Designers seek out answers to this question. So my next level of investigation was to see which videos had the most hits. Because is that not the true test of a video’s legitimacy? Sorting by viewer count this is the winner with 176,811 views in just under 4 years;
Just to break it down that is nearly 44,000 views per each of 4 years this video has been online. Kudos to Ms. Robeson. If you care about such things she has created quite a on-line presence with her decorating posing as design DIY videos. My point here is not to impugn Ms. Robeson. Her entrepenuerial skills are quite admirable.
It is clear that Ms. Robeson caters to the innately qualified who wish to claim the title ‘Interior Designer” without consideration for such pesky things like….oh…an education, or an apprenticeship, earning credentials via an examination (of any type) or committing to ethical practice by membership in any one of our many professional organizations. But that is her right. She can do that and she does it well. But 44,000 views per year? Back to my point.
For those of us who claim the title “Interior Designer” by earning a degree, working as an apprentice, studying our butts off for any number of professional competency examinations and paying copious amounts of dues monies to our professional organizations I wonder how our effort to define that path to the title “Interior Designer” compares. How do our “How To” videos rate on the viewership scale? After all do we not want our pathway to status as an “Interior Designer” to be equally recognized?
That is somewhat of rhetorical question because the domain of “Interior Designer” is so broad-much to our chagrin. Just because we say it is one thing, that does not mean that the public perception of “Interior Design” matches our particular definition http://www.ncidqexam.org/about-interior-design/definition-of-interior-design/. Try as we might to make “Interior Design” match the above definition PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER maintains (see previous 300+ posts) that we have lost that battle. But let’s not get too off topic here. The focus here is how those who seek a career in Interior Design actually find their way through the labyrinth of potential pathways.
So if go to YouTube and type in “How do I become an Interior Designer?” you will note that not one video represents what we professional interior designers might consider legitimate or professional. Most are independent DIY’s or for profit schills..ooops sorry I meant “schools”, all trying to persuade the inquisitive to their website. Actually one of the most informative and relevant videos that tries to answer the basic query was created by an Interior Design student;
Kudos to Ms. Paterson. She has 26,000 + hits in one year. Wow.
Makes me wonder why, with all of our resources, that the profession as represented by ASID, IIDA, IDEC, CIDA, NCIDQ, IDC, CCIDC, IDEX, cannot create a video resource that will help direct the inquisitive down the path to professional status as a “Interior Designer?”.
You know one that matches the Interior Design we proclaim to practice.
Maybe we could pool our marketing budgets and hire Ms. Paterson.
P.S. 8/5/16- Hmmmm. Here is an answer from Ireland for what it’s worth; http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/homes-and-property/how-to-become-an-interior-designer-1.2745009
P.S. 11/18/16 Here is how to do it in 4 SIMPLE STEPS….http://careerswiki.com/how-to-become-an-interior-designer/#prettyPhoto
P.S. 11/30/16 Can’t argue with these tips…http://freshome.com/2014/10/13/10-things-you-should-know-about-becoming-an-interior-designer/
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.
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.
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?
There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that humans (at least in the U.S.) spend 85%-90% of their time indoors¹ While this is old news to many and numerous environmental/behavioral scientists, design scholars, IAQ advocates and professional organizations have referenced this fact, I was reminded of the importance of the “design” of interior space after reading this missive from the American Institute of Architects;
While we could spend decades arguing and investing intellectual capital trying to prove which profession is best suited to design interior space, at the expense of actually improving the quality of those interior spaces, PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER wishes that we all could learn to play nicely in the indoor sandbox.
I know that there are numerous examples of multi-disciplinary collaborations in which Architects have relied on Interior Designers to help craft healthy and safe interior environments that enhance the client’s edifice (let’s not loose sight of who really “owns” the inside of our buildings) and their quality of life. I also know there are qualified Interior Designers that have engaged Architects and Landscape Architects to help them create a holistic building design solution. Sure there are exceptions to those rules in which a sole practicing architect has created a successful edifice in which he/she designed the landscape, the shell and the inside spaces including F.F.&E, lighting, finishes, hardware, accessories, artwork, etc. However, this occurs primarily in the residential realm which truth be known is actually dominated by builders and developers not trained as architects or designers. We should all be concerned that whoever creates our interior spaces is trained and qualified to do so and while architects may often be the lead on such efforts they know that this is simple due diligence in assembling their team of experts.
This should be the crux of the above AIA disinformation campaign.
In addition any architect worth their training knows that the design of new edifices is a holistic process that equally considers the exterior with the interior and the relationship between the two realities. It should not be an inside-out or outside-in proposition. This paradigm certainly changes if the exterior is existing and the design effort address only the interior spaces and functions. Kind of throws the inside-out/outside-in model out the window (most likely specified by an “exterior architect”) doesn’t it? Yes, yes I am well aware of the contextual issues inherent in the restoration or re-purposing of an existing building and those are important. But again any qualified designer knows this.
Can we just stop the territorial (literally) pissing (figuratively) matches and accept that the complexities inherent in the creation of safe and healthy interior spaces require the expertise of many qualified design professionals?
Wishful thinking I know.
NOTE 1: In case you have been living in a cave (which BTW is “indoors”) or your head has been in the sand (which if beach based…you may want to keep in place) here is some proof: