PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER was reprimanded recently by a LinkedIn group page manager for making unprofessional comments in an off topic debate about the profession of interior architecture; http://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=956917&type=member&item=131084231&commentID=88314209&qid=7cb61ab1-2cde-4f62-9d96-ef7cd961a04f&goback=%2Egmp_956917#commentID_88314209
I was provoked and I lost my typical PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER literary cool- I am sorry. Unsure if I offended only the group manager or the entire profession…well okay the dozen or so professionals that actually follow that forum, I am now hesitant to post my real and honest thoughts on any public forum not of my own making. Not to mention the possibility of garnering a reputation as an obsessive compulsive self-righteous ego maniacal jack-ass with anger management issues and nothing better to do than hog any online discussion pertaining to the profession of “Interior Design”.
I should know better. On to my point.
I was just about to post a comment in reply to a new thread on the Interior Design Educators Council LinkedIn group discussion page http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=969667&trk=anet_ug_hm&goback=%2Egmp_969667 which links to this blogpost; http://www.disd.edu/wordpress/2012/07/31/putting-the-id-in-idec/?goback=%2Egmp_969667%2Egde_969667_member_141039624. I appreciate Ms. Homme’s supportive words about the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) but when I scrolled to the picture of who I assume is Ms. Homme (I do not know her) sitting in her resource library I began to feel my blood pressure rising and my qwerty fingers twitching.
WHY DO ALL OBLIGATORY IMAGES OF INTERIOR DESIGNERS AT WORK INVOLVE FABRIC SWATCHES AND PAINT CHIPS?
The little censor guy in my left ear convinced me to chill down and not comment directly on the thread as it would undoubtedly be misconstrued and potentially offensive to the author. Fortunately the anarchist guy in my right ear was sleeping off a 3 day bath salt huffing bender so I acquiesced to the responsible voice.
That’s where this blog comes in handy.
So I got to thinking. If we want so desperately to free ourselves of the decorator stereotype (not that there is anything wrong with decorators) why do we continue to portray ourselves as such?
And AM I OVERREACTING?
Well of course I am overreacting but the former question remains unanswered.
So in the interest of vitally important research I Google Image searched “Interior Designers at Work”. Go ahead try it. Now Google Image “Architects at Work”. ID’ers are typically female and surrounded by paint chips, paint cans (not sure where that came from), fabric samples and the occasional simplified floor plan. There are no images of interior designers on construction sites wearing hard hats, pointing to some impossibly unresolvable mechanical/electrical/plumbing systems clash with a burly contractor hanging on every gesture and word. We all know that maybe 5% of our work involves finish selections…but I guess images of overworked and overstressed design professionals nodding off in front of their computer because it froze up on the 2 terrabyte rendering file they were trying to correct is not very visually appealling…I digress.
Of course typical images of architects at work show them wearing hard hats and leading interested groups of awed subordinates and clients surrounding large sets of complex blueprints on some monumental construction site.
PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER finds this dichotomous imagery both amusing and frustrating.
What should a professional interior designer at work really look like?
I think it can if we want it to.