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?;
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?
Or in other words….what is our “work” and do we really have a “right” to it?
PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER stumbled across this missive from the recent American Institute of Architects State Government Network forum.
I can only assume that this presentation was not meant to be public knowledge and would not be surprised if the link dies…..none the less if you are quick you will note that the issue of interior designers seeking permitting rights and those who claim to be “Interior Architects” was a main topic of conversation. See slides #9-#14
My take away is that the AIA is clearly drawing a line in the sand by defining what a Registered Architect can legally design and what a non-licensed Architect can design…or get built.
Actually anybody can “design” a building…..getting it permitted and constructed is the real key. I won’t even touch the issue of “Interior Architecture”……. I digress.
Back to the SGN network document. We, as a profession, have struggled with how to define what it is that we do, where we do it and how. Ultimately much of what passes as the common definition of “Interior Design” is simply intended to distinguish us from interior decorators. When it comes to defining our actual scope of responsibility we are not quite sure. We know we should be able to submit permit documents for our own work but what exactly is that “work”? Is it anything less than 5,000 square feet as some practice legislation defines or is it interior work that does not affect base building life safety systems, building egress and tenant separation? There are several attempts to define the scope of our rightful work out there….this is not a good thing. Well why we have been trying to figure that out the National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB) has provided their own answer…. To wit;
“Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent: 1. The practice of architecture performed in connection with any of the following:
(a) A detached single- or two-family dwelling and any accessory buildings incidental thereto, unless an architect is otherwise required by law or by the building authority having jurisdiction over the project; or
(b) Farm buildings, including barns, silos, sheds, or housing for farm equipment and machinery, livestock, poultry, or storage, if such structures are designed to be occupied by no more than 10 persons; or
(c) Any construction of particular features of a building, if the construction of such features does not require the issuance of a permit under any applicable building code and does not affect structural or other life-safety aspects of the building. ” ( http://www.ncarb.org/~/media/files/pdf/special-paper/legislative_guidelines.pdf )
So if your brain is not frozen at this point what this means is that NCARB has clearly defined our scope of practice to small scale residential, barns, silos or any construction that does not require the issuance of a permit. “Duh.- I knew that!” you might say……
My point is…if we can’t define where the line of work truly lies then we need to accept that others are going to define it for us……and we are not going to like it.
Now does anybody know a good floorcovering material for a grain silo?
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 10/14/14 UPDATE BELOW
At first I was concerned by the misinformation posited by the September 17th Huffington Post article “Arbitrary Interior Design Regulations Hurt Entrepreneurs, Consumers”. Much to our chagrin the Huff post has a pretty broad reach. Hats off to the Institute for Justice and their continued ringing of this bell.
At this point posting comments to this anti-regulatory rhetoric is just pissing in the wind….makes me feel better though. Then there were rumors of an impending rebuttal from ID professional organization ‘A’ -the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). Finally 12 days later came
IIDA’s rebuttal issued via their own blog;
Unfortunately IIDA was suckered into the unwinnable debate- what is decoration and what is design. Fortunately their response was issued to its members and not the wider press. Had it been issued as a press release (which it to my knowledge wasn’t) and picked up by the wider press I am not sure any non-designer would have any interest much less be able to grasp the nuances. Hell I know many informed interior designers that can’t explain the difference.
Then ID professional organization ‘1’ the American Society of Interior Designers issue this memorandum to I don’t know who one day later;
While the ASID does a better job dancing around the designer vs. decorator issue there is one closing statement that just does not make any sense to PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER;
“Interior design laws allow designers to sell more products and hire employees as their businesses grow.”
Really…this is why we have been beating our collective heads against the legal/political wall for 30+ years?……So we can sell more product?……
Actually maybe it is a good thing these rebuttals are for a limited audience.
Here is John Czarnecki and Contract Magazine’s take on the issue;