Had I known it was that easy to become an Interior Designer I would not have wasted all of that time learning how to become one…………………
Now that things have calmed down in my day job I have a bit of time to ponder. So it is timely that this little ditty came across my screen and got me to thinking. Listen to this first;
Can you see where this is going?……That’s right I am going to milk this story for all it’s worth. Okay had to work that in there.
“What is your point PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER?” You ask.
In case you avoided my previous 300+ posts I will give you a hint. The profession of Interior Design, like the Soy and Almond juice producers who espouse the term “milk” to market their products, are increasingly adopting the title “Architecture”, as in “Interior Architecture”, to describe and market their work.
While “Milk” and “Architecture” differ in may ways…okay there is little comparison (dairy cows could care less, Architects on the other hand care greatly) I maintain that the issue of titles, labels, terms, lexicology and the general semantics of how the profession of Interior Design defines, presents and labels itself is our most important challenge as a profession.
And that folks is no bull.
If you just Googled that question and ended up here I apologize. Unless you want to read through my previous 350 posts on this topic I am afraid this post will not come close to answering your query. Click on the next link. I wish you well in your search.
Continuing my series on what is “Interior Design” and how does one become an “Interior Designer” the links below represent a one month sample of what the popular press (at least as far as Google Alerts is concerned) sees as newsworthy “Interior Design”. I tried to avoid blogs, webzines, 3rd party press releases, and industry/trade press (since only the trade reads their own press). I really wanted to see what the common press/media interpretations of our professional domain are.
Is it a scientific survey? No. But let’s face it….it does not take a rocket surgeon to determine that the common perception of “Interior Design” is not what we, the professionals who deal in code regulated building design environments, would prefer it to be. But by default it defines us.
To be clear this stream of thought is not intended to impugn or lay blame on any one aspect of our varied profession. So stretching that into the multitudes of residential decorators, occupationalist, the self-proclaimed and those DIY’ers innately blessed with a flair for color, I am merely seeking to validate my emerging revelation that we, those who practice code regulated Interior Design services, are not ‘Interior Designers”. No matter how hard we try we cannot unring the bell of the common perception. We cannot re-define the public perception of “Interior Design” in a way that societally, politically, and legally suits us.
It is time to leave “Interior Design” and those who legally own that title. “Interior Design” is a noble and worthy profession and we need to let them be. We need to stop investing our time and energy trying to change what we cannot and to redirect that energy into a discourse regarding our new identity. It is time to realize that we have evolved the profession into a hybrid of Interior Decoration, Interior Design and Interior Architecture…whatever that may be. I have danced around this realization for years now. My future posts will be much more direct.
Anyway here are my reseaarch findings…with some pithy comments interspersed for your entertainment. And for fans of the new NBC soap “This is Us”….well this is us.
This is the most stylish thing you can buy for your home right now, according to a top interior designer;
First, they can enjoy the new program “Inside the Architects Mind.” According to organizers, “attendees will see and hear in-depth presentations of architect-designed homes” by local experts. “They’ll talk about the process, challenges and offer valuable tips on the home building and remodeling process,” backers say. The Saturday event’s schedule includes Danielle Gilbert, NCARB—Ar-Chi-Tecture, 11 a.m.; Steve Goggans, SGA Architects, noon; Bill Huey, Bill Huey & Associates, 1 p.m.; and Chris Rose, AIA, ASID, Christopher Rose Architects, PA, 2 p.m
And at the same Home Show;
A returning staple will be top local interior designers offering free design consultations. “If you’ve never had a professional interior designer help you create the home you’ve always wanted, you literally don’t know what you’re missing,” Barkley says. Showgoers can count on a 20-30 minute design consultation with interior designers, who volunteer their time. Participants are advised to bring fabric or paint swatches, floor plans, pictures of their home, Pinterest boards and other materials. To make an appointment, call 843-577-7652.;
“Should Adam Lippes ever grow tired of fashion (God forbid!), he’d have an excellent career in interior design. Anyone who has been to his New York town house, which he furnished himself with a refined mix of 20th-century antiques and contemporary art, can attest to that. “It’s a passion of mine,” says Lippes, who often weaves an element of interior design into his fashion collections.”;
Consult an interior designer: Even if for only an hour, allow someone in neutral territory to offer bright ideas and help comb through the goods. We always make time and love to work with fun young couples — old too;
Not just a nursery interior designer….a high end nursery designer. Wonder what her definition of “high end” is?;
Later in life, she launched her own interior design firm, Charmian Carr Design, which counted pop star Michael Jackson as a client….The frills are alive with the Sound of Music…..;
Looks like the U.K. has the same dilemma;
And of course there is the free interior design service;
“How did you get into interior design? “I’m not a trained interior designer. I studied stone sculpting in [my home country of] Germany”
In this one we are actually confused as “Architects”;
Okay maybe it is China but this is actually the most relevant Pop Press article I have seen in eons;
Yep this is us…;
Whoda thunk “Good Taste” was a legitimate design concept? Not me……
“Wildlife motifs are poised to become (a) top interior design trend. YOU DON’T SAY!
“Christiansen worked as an insurance agent and decided recently to take the plunge and open her own business.” Never thought of it as “plunge”….;
PPPffffttttt! What the hell? Why not?;
BREAKING NEWS…THIS JUST IN: TAKE THIS SURVEY….PLEEEEAAASE!
OR- What’s in a Name Redux Part 3 (Rev. 2) Release 3.2.
So it’s been awhile since PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER posted. I have been busy making toothpicks out of logs. But honestly not much has been happening on the Interior Design identity and regulation front lately. That is until a couple of things scrolled across my Google Glass recently that prompted me to take pencil to paper…er mouse to pad…
My alma matter Florida State University has decided to change the title of its Interior Design Program to the Department of Interior Architecture & Design Not earth shattering news but this was after a recent title tweak by the Interior Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to the Interior Architecture Undergraduate Program -dropping the term “Design” altogether. These are two highly regarded INTERIOR DESIGN programs. This of course is in addition to numerous other interior design programs that have already adopted the title “Interior Architecture”. I am certain there are more waiting to jump from the Interior Design bandwagon. This, as you know, is not a new phenomenon in academia. Interior Architecture degree programs have existed since the 1960’s in the U.S. and earlier in Europe. I am not ready to call these recent Interior Design conversions a trend…let’s just say it’s a thing. A thing we need to be aware of.
Full disclosure I have not spoken to anyone in either of the above programs regarding their title shift. But I have plenty of opinions on the reasoning behind and of course the implications thereof.
Okay so why the worry PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER? “Afraid you might have to change your domain name or something?”
Good question. I was not even going to make a point of this department title “thing” until my Google Eyes filled with this missive by Dak Kopec, respected educator and co-editor of The Routledge Companion for Architecture Design and Practice, regarding what he see’s as a trend in the field of Architecture;
“What are some current trends in the field?
Some of the current trends include Interior Design moving closer and integrating with Architecture to form the program nomenclature of Interior Architecture, and we have already seen the integration of landscaping to form the specialization of Landscape Architecture. While Landscape Architecture has already folded itself into the larger discipline of Architecture, Interior Architecture is only at the first evolutionary stages. Today, Interior Architecture continues to be a separate disciple with a separate professional accreditation body, however the use of the word “architecture” to general populace means that Interior Architecture is a branch of the greater foundational profession of Architecture. The current trajectory thus indicates that Interior Architecture will eventually become folded into the greater field and discipline of Architecture.” https://www.routledge.com/architecture/posts/9277?utm_source=shared_link&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=SBU3_mbs_3rf_8sl_1arh_ain16_stan16_X_X
To be clear…Dr. Kopec’s assessment of Interior Design as we know it is simply not his opinion posted on some fly by night blog that nobody cares to read except the author. He is a vetted, published and widely disseminated author. His opinion on this topic is not unique and it represents a major school of thought.
So there you have the recent trifecta of actual and perceived semantic shifts that I believe have MAJOR implications for the title and the act of “Interior Design” on the academic and professional levels.
So my point here folks is there are many of us who believe that the term/title “Interior Design” no longer applies. It is a liability. It fails to describe us. Okay I do not disagree. But if we are going to keep our collective head in the proverbial professional sand while this title shift occurs organically, or by happenstance, we may be surprised by what we see when we do pull our heads out.
Makes it a bit of challenge to demand the public’s respect if we do not know what to call ourselves.
My final plea is this; if we are going to go there (IA) we better know where there is. Based on my POV…we don’t have a clue.
Now excuse me while I see if the domain name PROFESSIONALINTERIORARCHITECT.com is taken.
Rev. 2/18/2016 And then there is this…………
“Yet, I would suggest that fashion shares a common malaise with interior design, one that is at once borne out of shame, and an ethos that takes queers for granted given their purported ubiquity. The effects of the stereotype of the gay decorator are still tangible in a profession so burdened by shaming that not only is “interior designer” often preferred over “decorator” but the more “manly,” and by association straight, designation of “interior architect” is advocated by students and professionals alike, both gay and straight. How might we explain such a panic beyond the contemporary moment? In both the extant scholarship and popular culture to date, the “gay decorator” has been both omnipresent and yet oddly invisible, becoming the spectre that haunts the profession.”
Potvin, J. (2016), The Pink Elephant in the Room: What Ever Happened to Queer Theory in the Study of Interior Design 25 Years on?. Journal of Interior Design. doi:10.1111/joid.12068
Me thinks Mr. Potvin hit the ole nail on the head. We are running away from ourselves.
Wow……..the anti-ID regulationists finally played the race card. ASID’s counter statement is well written. Let’s hope it is well read.
All that said, the licensed design professions have struggled to increase racial diversity. We acknowledge this and from my experience there is, and has been, a concerted effort to address this issue. To claim that we are conspiring to limit access to the profession due to race is simply politically correct race baiting in reverse.
Ain’t politics fun?
TapGlance – Photo realistic interior design on your iPad
“No Experience Needed-TapGlance does not require any prior experience with professional CAD (Computer Aided Design) or 3D software.”
……..silly me….thinking I needed an education, years of experience and a license.
The moral of this story….errr…the point of this post is that as long as “INTERIOR DESIGN” is perceived as nothing more than the mindless selection of furniture and finishes and randomly placing those elements in a space, real or imagined, then we will continue to be perceived as nothing more than furniture pickers with a flair for color. In that case we just may find ourselves displaced by an App.
SEE 10/01/14 Update below
In case you missed it the Huffington Post, bastion of the highest journalism standards, posted a commercial rant by an Institute for Justice blogbot that denounced the value of regulating Interior Designers;
Which of course prompted the obligatory defense on several LinkedIn groups…..
Many of which devolved into convoluted descriptions, or arguments, of the differences between interior decorators and interior designers……unfortunately. The IIDA thread is most compelling as IIDA HQ has threatened to issue a response to Gowin’s bloviation of IJ screeching points. So in my search for this response (now 9 days from the date of the offending Huff post- an eon in internet time) I discovered a new video on the IIDA website promoting the importance of regulation for Interior Designers;
Hmmmm….well it’s about time. Well done….but as usual there are a few points that stick out from these testimonials. IIDA continues to spin itself as the advocacy arm for “Commercial” Interior Designers. Does that imply by default that ASID is the advocacy arm for “Residential” interior designers? Not to sure that will fly to well through the halls at 7th Street N.W. in D.C.
And rising ID star Sascha Wagner indirectly, but clearly (at 1:30), ignores the state of California Certified Interior Designer credential. He is correct. Something others are unwilling to acknowledge. A California CID is not a licensed design professional (cue the CID hornets)
While it is short much of the information is current. It does seem to be geared to the choir (other designers) and not the congregation (general public) which in my opinion is really what is needed to counter the Institute for Justice misinformation campaign.
Until that happens we as a profession will be doomed to bear a never ending barrage of anti-regulatory rhetoric and over-reaction by those who see ID regulation as a threat. That includes the entire spectrum from the innately qualified self-proclaimed interior decorators to the turf-protecting American Institute of Architects. And on it goes.
HERE IS IIDA’S RESPONSE http://designmatters.iida.org/2014/09/29/interior-design-vs-interior-decorating/