Tag: interior decoration

ASID Counters Claims of Racial Bias In the Interior Design Profession

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?

Hey Farooq…..Maybe it’s Time to Change Your Business Model


Maybe, just maybe, if you considered Interior Design as valuable service and not a free hook to lure in the occasional big sale your staff might earn a bit more respect and increase their sales, and your profit, via ethical business practices.

But what do I know?


UPDATED 4/22/2014

There are several irrefutable facts, based on my opinion, regarding our professional identity crisis that requires us (okay…me) to reconsider our current professional paradigm.

1. Interior Decoration and Interior Design will forever be entwined.  The general public will always think of us as interior decorators (not that there is anything wrong with interior decoration).  No amount of government mandated title legislation will change this perception.

2. The past effort to own the term “interior design” and shift the meaning and standards for individuals to call themselves interior designers and practice interior design has failed.

2. Our current professional membership organizations are incapable of addressing this identity crisis in a meaningful and non-divisive manner.

3. The current model for advancing the value of professional interior design within the eyes of the general public and ultimately our policy makers is broken-IT DOES NOT WORK (see my previous 300+ posts)

4. We are our own worst enemy when it comes to combating the efforts of those people/organizations that stand in direct opposition to the advancement of Interior Design via government regulation (not that I am supporting that particular model of professional validation).  We have failed to create a common sense definition of the title “interior designer” and the act of “interior design”.  And even if we had, as the AIA acknowledges, the difficulty with such semantic machinations to define and own certain terms and titles is a costly legal process. http://www.aia.org/about/AIAB091369

I will acknowledge that there has been some progress particularly on the sign/seal permitting front but given the disconnect between our professional member organizations, their professional and non-professional members and our policy makers this “progress” has been too slow and too costly.

What is the ROI on this effort?  This is not a rhetorical question- I first asked this question several years ago on this blog- I am still waiting for an answer (that is a rhetorical statement- I am not waiting for the answer to come to me…I am not that arrogant…but I have looked and I can’t find it….nobody knows….isn’t this bad business? I digress)

I could go on.  Suffice it to say I am not a fan of the current professional validation model(s)


That would be the easiest thing to do right?  Given the dearth of options it makes sense.  Of course there are those who choose to leave this madness behind them by co-opting the term “interior architect” even though they are not architects registered, licensed or otherwise. Can’t say I blame them and before I really dove into this issue from the perspective of a practitioner turned academic I also ignored  the time honored stereotypes by calling myself an interior architect.

PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER actually considers this semantic co-opting to be a legitimate option to solve our identity/societal respect issue.  If we assimilate the term “interior architect” and change all of the legal trappings that would allow interior designers to call themselves interior architects and legally practice interior architecture this professional pathway MIGHT work. But IMO the effort required to make this shift is insurmountable.  I have a better idea.  Here is my first step of a several step plan to reinvent the profession of interior design…no really that is what I am doing……well if you have a better idea I am happy to listen.

Step 1. Redefine Interior Design to acknowledge two important aspects that clearly distinguish those that are qualified via education/experience and examination and those that are simply innately qualified or self-proclaimed. TO WIT:

There are two types of interior design. Unregulated Interior Design and Regulated Interior Design (refer to cool graphics).  No longer will we be sucked into the never-ending debate about interior decoration vs. interior design, or residential vs. commercial interior design.  It is simply unregulated ID or regulated ID.  The distinction here is clear.  For 50+ years we have been looking to Uncle Sam to help us validate our efforts to be design professionals….well he’s already done it for us.












The evolution of the profession of Interior Design has reached a point where difficult decisions must be made in order for it to advance to the next level which is TRUE parity with other licensed design professionals.  We must provide a clear and powerful message about our right to be considered peers with our allied design professionals. This will not happen organically, by chance or one acquaintance at a time.  It will take courage, patience and commitment.  Crazy as it sounds I do not think it will take more work……we just have to be much more strategic about where we dedicate our financial, physical and intellectual resources.  That’s my plan and I am sticking with it.



Suffering from Professional Interior Design Incontinence?


After 3 years of daily Google Alerts in my email box I continue to be amazed by the number of articles espousing the ease by which anybody can claim status as a professional interior designer- as if it is an accident. I am also saddened by the absolute dearth of articles countering this misinformation.  We need a message to counter the proliferation of this professional malady….you know some P.R. we can DEPENDS on…………

Architects vs. Interior Designers vs. Interior Architects

From the Society of British Interior Designers

and from the Interiorarchitect.com

Lamenting the Message Part Deux

From the current issue of ICON obtained here; http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AIDQ/AIDQ0113/index.php


Seems pretty straightforward right?  Now what semantic/title issue has this organization taken a stance against?  That’s right interior designers who claim themselves to be “Interior Architects” for no better reason than to avoid the interior decorator/design diva stereotype.  Then why promote such a degree granting institution?  Or are you now opening the door to acknowledge this title as a legitimate semantic alternative?  If you are then come clean- there are a lot of us out here (myself included) that would like to see that happen.  That is a minor concern though….

Better yet which allied professional organization is a very vocal and major financial supporter of the anti-regulation effort against one of the major advocacy efforts of this very professional organization?  That’s correct- NKBA.   Now if you share my concerns (bloviated as they tend to be…there I said it again) you see the irony….which if you really think about the conflict of interests here you may see red. It’s obvious why they did it…advertising dollars. I get that but are you that desperate for funds that you tacitly support our sworn enemy…you know the group that claims you are an evil cartel.  Or are you simply trying to keep your friends close and your enemy closer? If that is the case you need to fess up.

I did not want my most recent posts to appear focused on any one particular professional organization..particularly one that I am not a member of.  I have crossed the line into obsession and I am sure I will hear about it…at least that is the message I am receiving from my aluminum foil space helmet.  Unfortunately as our profession’s only public face they speak for me and every other independent professional interior designer.

With that I have two suggestions.  Either decide what your message/brand is and focus on its public dissemination with laser focus and consistency or limit your PR efforts to your members only.

Okay three suggestions. Trademark/Copyright both the logo and the acronym and start policing the unofficial use of your brand.  Steve Jobs may have been a jerk but he understood the value of his brand and he defended it with every breath. 

Hey I Wanna Be a Lawyer

Another good example of the how the fine line between interior decoration and interior design often gets blurred by people who should know better.


She’s a decorator Bloomberg. She can’t practice as an interior designer in Washington D.C. unless she is licensed.