Tag: Institute for Justice



WTF? This has nothing to do with interior decoration or interior design for that matter. And it has everything to do with our ability and our right to provide choices for the consumer as to who they want to design and take liability for their non-residential interior design project. This is not about limiting choices and the AIA is a much larger and more potent cartel than we will ever be…..(note to the AIA – THE IJ TARGET IS NOW ON YOUR BACKS!)

Clark I was with you when you went after us on title protection and title ownership but your horse isn’t even on the track anymore. Time to put her back in the stable.

ID Deregulation in Florida One Step Closer to Reality




I am not sure what the next step is but it does not look good.


P.S. I stand corrected. Evidently there is some concern by lawmakers……..

The panel also clashed over a measure deregulating several professions, including some where the industries involved asked for the panel to leave licensing and other measures in place.

Several students and licensed interior designers emotionally urged the committee not to deregulate their work, saying it could cut off their ability to work on commercial projects.

Johanna Mele, six months away from becoming a licensed interior designer, said she had $100,000 in student loans after getting her education.

“You guys are telling me that there’s a possibility that this is going to mean nothing,” she said, near tears.

But Ed Nagorsky, director of legislative affairs for the National Kitchen and Bath Association, said designers were really trying to maintain a “closed shop,” and that the measure would not endanger health or significantly alter what designers can do.

“If you deregulate interior design, what the licensed interior designers are permitted to do today, all licensed interior designers will be able to do tomorrow,” he said.

Allen Douglas, legislative affairs director for the National Federation of Independent Business in Florida, called the law “the most blatant example of regulation and legislation to limit competition that we had ever seen.”

The bill passed on the same 15-8, party-line vote, but even some Republicans called for a second look at keeping interior designers in the bill. House Minority Leader Ron Saunders, D-Key West, said a floor amendment would attempt to remove designers from the bill.”


Gotta love Ed Nagorsky.  Wonder if IIDA and ASID spoke up.

P.P.S. I stand corrected;


The Daily Half Baked Dish

I wonder how that Institute for Justice Kool-Aid tastes? Maybe Mr. Friedersdorf can enlighten me;


Even if there are no obvious and publically available legal precedents proving that the practice of interior design by unlicensed individuals is a threat to society logic tells me that if you claim that the health, safety and welfare of your client is not your primary concern, even above aesthetics, then you are in fact a threat to the common good.  Why would you take that position and be proud of it? Why on earth would you not do everything in your power to prove that you are in fact qualified to assume, and successfully carry out that moral obligation? This ultimately defines the difference between interior decoration and professional interior design services.  A dichotomy the Institute for Justice, The Interior Design Protection Council, The National Kitchen and Bath Association and numerous other organizations perceive as a threat to their professional domain- yet are totally unwilling to recognize that particular kernel of truth.

If you choose not to honor your moral and ethical responsibility to our society by ignoring your clients right to a safe and healthy interior environment that will psychologically and physiologically improve their quality of life then that is your CHOICE.  So take your sour grapes and get out of our way. We have a profession to advance.

I just don’t get why we (the ones who bust our asses to earn such qualifications) just sit by and allow this skewed logic to paint our efforts as meaningless.   We continue to get sand kicked in our faces by the 80 pound weaklings yet we remain flummoxed by the veracity of their campaign of misinformation. AAAaaarrrrgggghhhh!

P.S. Facts and figures don’t seem to dissuade the anti-regulation effort maybe shame and logic will. I’m just sayin’


OK watch this video of a 1959 Chevy crashing head on into a 2009 Chevy.


OK what does this have to do with the profession of Interior Design- you ask?…..and you should. Keep in mind the post crash analysis shows that the driver of the ’59 would have died almost instantly- the driver of the ’09 would have suffered minor leg injuries (due mainly to the inertia of the heavy iron ’59)

As mentioned in my previous post there are those whose mission in life is to de-professionalize interior design.  They insist that ours is a profession beholden to artistic flair and that customers are fully capable of selecting a “designer” to suit their needs. In other words licensing and credentials earned via education experience and examination mean nothing.  Natural creative talent and natural selection of marketplace competition are all that are needed to call oneself an “interior designer”.  Their view of the profession is much like it was in the 1960’s and 1970’s when the practice of interior design began to distinguish itself from interior decoration.  They will do whatever they can to make sure the professional domain remains wide open to all comers and posers, qualified or not. 

The anti-regulation proponents claim that the protection of the health safety and welfare of the public is a moot basis for ID regulation and the government has no need to make sure the public is suitably protected by our work.  Well when I watched  this video it struck me (pun intended) as a good metaphor for the anti-regulation effort. If they could have it their way the government would not have imposed regulations for auto-makers to make vehicles safer, the insurance industry would not have made efforts to make a safety a concern and the general public would still be driving around in 4 ton steel coffins. The desire to raise the bar of professional status via the protection of public’s health, safety and/or welfare and official validation thereof is a natural urge for any logical individual or like minded professional domain. To say it isn’t a necessary component of a “profession” is a public disservice at best and negligence of our obligation to each other at worst.

Facts and figures have no effect in deterring the efforts of the anti-regulation movement maybe shame will.


PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER urges all current and prospective students to read this blatant opinion posing as a “white paper”.  Find it here- http://www.idpcinfo.org/THREE_E_s.pdf  No really, read it. Granted there aren’t any pictures but the words aren’t too big.

So after the latest post on the IDPC Blog http://idpcinfo.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/reversing-the-indoctrination-of-interior-design-students/ PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER thought it might be helpful to provide another side of the issue-since there are several. However, in order for you, the supposed uninformed student, to fully understand the issues of professions, professionalization and the role of the 3 ‘E’s in that paradigm you must first read the following resources; (conveniently ignored in the IDPC’s opinion piece) Ready?

1. The System of Professions: An Essay on the Division of Expert Labor by Anthony Abbott. Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press. (1988)

2. Professional Powers: A Study of the Institutionalization of Formal Knowledge by Elliott Friedson. Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press (1986).

3. Work and integrity: The crisis and promise of professionalism in America by William Sullivan.  (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass (2005)

And for a more specific take on the interior design profession;

4.  Interior design’s social compact: Key to the quest for professional status by Anderson, B.G., Honey, P.L., & Dudek, M.T. (2007). “”. Journal of Interior Design 33(2) v-xiii. http://krex.k-state.edu/dspace/bitstream/2097/1337/1/DudekJID2007.pdf

5. Defining our profession: The time to clearly and definitively identify the interior design profession is now by R. Wright.  Interiors & Sources.  13(6), 52-53 (2006) http://www.interiorsandsources.com/ArticleDetails/tabid/3339/ArticleID/3770/Default.aspx

Okay did you read all of that? Good. Now that you have some real perspective on the issues of what a profession is, how one becomes a professional, the pro’s and con’s (yes there are negatives) of professions, the fact that interior design as a profession has not evolved in a magic vacuum controlled by an evil cartel AND what your role in the profession is- here are my thoughts-for what they are worth. 

Interior designers are not unique in their effort to raise the standards of their chosen career. There are many parallel examples by which we can compare our efforts. Students should not be led to believe that our struggle is unique.  In fact it is pretty normal-just ask a nurse or your hair stylist.

When a segment of an occupation (interior decorating- in this case) decides to advance the status of their occupation to a “profession” there are vetted and expected steps that are required of that newly formed “profession”.  Educating its members for baseline competency and ongoing learning being a key component. NCIDQ happens to be the most widely accepted forum within the allied building design professions for this process. Despite what the IDPC says about the influence of NCIDQ it is the capstone professional credential in the field of Interior Design. There are many competitors that wish to become that default testing agency. In other words choose the education component of your career path wisely.

Also when a segment of an occupation chooses to advance the societal respect and benefit of that occupation through education, training and testing there will be those who are physically, mentally and/or financially unable to participate. Yet there are others who simply choose not to.  They do not care to advance their chosen occupation-they like it just the way it was.  Some accept this fate.  Others become the disenfranchised of that professional effort. Unfortunately when the proponents of interior design licensing began to pursue governmental regulation of the term and the practice of, “interior design” many of the disenfranchised became alarmed. So much so that they have formed a formidable group dedicated to stopping the professional development effort of interior design. Their mission is to reverse what progress has been made to advance interior design toward a legitimate “profession”.  Students need to think long and hard about this dilemma.  Frankly PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER does not blame them.  When we began the effort to license “interior design” we were hell bent on imposing our restrictions and our limitations on who could call themselves “interior designers” and who could practice “interior design.”

However despite our 35 years of legislative efforts to affect it, interior design has not changed. But we have.  This is a key distinction. More on this point later. Back to informing students………….

Unfortunately we have evolved (or devolved depending on your POV) into several camps.  One camp is trying mightily to push the profession of interior design to be on par with architects and engineers with all concerns for Health Safety and Welfare and the requisite liabilities and competing responsibilities that come with it. This camp suspects that it is no longer part of the old school traditional interior design camp but it is unsure what to call itself….Certified Interior Designers, Interior Architects, Interior Environmental Engineers, state registered interior designers……  They also are split into sub-camps the residential camp and the commercial camp.  This camp believes that a license will solve their professional identity crisis despite the public relations debacle that the effort leaves in its wake. 

Then the there is the traditional interior designer/interior decorator camp that firmly believes that interior design should remain a mostly artistic endeavor that requires nothing but innate abilities, a sense of creativity and good self promotion skills. Baseline competency in this camp is proven simply by having an appealing portfolio and a few good references. Continuing education is strictly optional and generally amounts to mutual gratification and self serving marketing pep rallies. In this camp it is more important to do the best looking thing than to actually do the right thing. These campers maintain that they are “interior designers”- Uncle Sam be damned. Professionalism in this camp is simply a term that is self-proclaimed.

Then there is PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER’s camp. It is a shrine to education where knowledge and skills are earned, continually exercised and treasured. This is a camp where creativity is honed and balanced with a sense of social and ecological responsibility. This camp believes that health safety and welfare are moral obligations and not our defining contribution to society.  More importantly this camp values the power of design to affect positive change in a way that that enhances quality of life -which should be sufficient validation for professional status.  These campers (okay there is only one) believe that once it’s message is heard and understood by the global society that government regulation and protection, if necessary, will become a mere formality.  We appreciate the importance of licensure in the professional paradigm but we also understand how crucial it is to understand who we are and what we do before we ask Uncle Sam to oversee our little domain.  We daydream a lot in this camp.

If you are a student in PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNERS camp you understand. If you are confused by the rhetoric and sand-flinging of the pro-legislation and anti-legislation camps feel free to join ours.

So this is how I, an interior design educator (not an angry disenfranchised decorator), justify the “indoctrination of interior design students” process and its real value to a civilized and constantly evolving global society.

Our 15 minutes is about up……..

Apparently the institute for Justice’s challenge of the Florida Interior Design Practice Act will come down to a 15 minute oral argument;

Appeal of Florida’s unconstitutional interior design law update
Oral arguments are scheduled for the morning of Nov. 2 in Montgomery, AL.  Each side will have 15 minutes to present their case. We are confident the Institute for Justice will prevail and the rest of this law will rightly be struck down, (http://www.idpcinfo.org/)
Why I have to hear about this from the Institute for Justice is beyond me. That this is not on the forefront of every NCIDQ, ASID, IIDA, CIDA, IDEC homepage and is not being discussed in detail in the many trade magazines that feed off our profession is further beyond my limited mental capacity to comprehend. What the hell is going on here? We either don’t know, we don’t give a damn OR we are afraid of the consequences! Unfortunately PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER thinks it’s a healthy dose of all of the above. 
The very tenet of our professional validation, licensure, is under threat. And in PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER’s feeble mind the Florida practice act could in fact be rendered unconstitutional. KAPUT! NULL! VOID! WORTHLESS! 35+ years of effort to validate and advance our professional domain will become moot. WORTHLESS! WASTED! JUNK!
Now if you think I am overreacting please read all of the legal briefs and listen to all of the legal wranglings that have been submitted in this case.
Somebody is taking this issue seriously but unless you are on the Florida BOAID, you are named in the legal action or you support the Institute for Justice (I do not!) very few people are aware that our professional status is one the line in Florida.
If you can prove that I am overreacting and you can guarantee that the profession will in no way be impugned by this challenge then please advise. I will make your case the feature of my next post.
PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER is not a supporter of ID regulation in its current form. BUT I DO NOT WANT TO SEE ALL OF THIS VALUABLE EFFORT GO TO WASTE! Good grief people our professional identity crisis is difficult enough. Do we really want it to get worse?

For Every ID Regulation Action;

There is an equal and diametrically opposed reaction;

Tennessee Interior Designers are set to push title legislation, which by the way is “voluntary” (no surprise given the state motto).


So the local architects are not too happy- as usual. This is beginning to be oh so predictable.


It appears that the ID legislation effort has completed its evolution to steer clear of merely defending “interior design” to a more focused attack on permitting privileges. While PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER believes this approach has more merit than the obtuse semantic battles caused by the protection of the term “interior designer” we are still going to have to get our professional identity slapped silly by the anti-regulation effort. Furthermore this focus on limited permitting rights opens up a larger can of professional liability worms that PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER believes that the entire professional domain does not fully understand, and if they do, they may not fully support the effort. It seems like an awful lot of effort to eeek out a very small scope of business that will benefit only those that care to practice commercial interior design independent of, and at the alienation of, our allied design professions. 


Until that happens I will not give up.