PENNSYLVANIA PURSUES CODE REGULATED INTERIOR DESIGN AND REGISTRATION ACT

While much of the profession is watching the current effort in Florida to deregulate that state’s Interior Design practice legislation, Pennsylvania Interior Designers, as represented by the Interior Design Legislative Coalition of Pennsylvania, have submitted an Interior Design Registration Bill.  As of April 7th,  Pennsylvania House Bill #1102 has been referred to the Professional License Committee and as of April 19th is not scheduled for further action.  At this point no news is good news given the debacle in Florida.

PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER appreciates IDLCP’s efforts to distinguish “Code Regulated” Interior Design(ers) from those Interior Designers who do not practice in code regulated building design environments.  The inclusion of the term”Code Regulated” provides policy makers with a defacto distinction between those Interior Designers whose work is primarily decoration, thereby avoiding the building permit process, and those whose work truly impacts the Health Safety and Wellbeing of the public.  Previous attempts at framing this distinction have devolved into designer vs. decorator hissy fits prompting some coalition lobbyists to include terms such as “Commercial” Interior Design in their bill language.  But even then it is possible to perform interior design services in a commercial setting without triggering the necessity to obtain a building permit.  Semantics!

It’s all about that damn building permit and who is truly qualified to submit the required documents to obtain local jurisdictional approval to assume ownership and liability for one’s own design work.  More on that point later.

Good luck Pennsylvania…..we need a win.  If you are interested in helping or getting involved with the effort in Pennsylvania contact;

Angela Leigh Novalski, NCIDQ, LEED AP
Interior Design Legislative Coalition of Pennsylvania
Executive Board Secretary
609-820-5977
angela.leigh@cbre.com

MORE INFORMATION HERE: http://mailchi.mp/132c72276d1f/pa-hb1102-know-the-facts?e=[UNIQID]

FLORIDA INTRODUCES BILL TO DEREGULATE INTERIOR DESIGN

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UPDATE 4/1- This is not an April fools prank:

UPDATE 4/13- Florida HB 7047 Amended to remove the deregulation of Florida Registered Interior Designers.

Currently Florida House Bill 7047  and Senate Bill 802 which seek to eliminate all legislation and practice rights regarding Florida Registered Interior Design, and the practice thereof, are working their way through committees in Tallahassee.  All indications are that the anti-regulationists, with the governor’s backing, have the upper hand in seeing this bill through and on to the governor’s desk for signature.

If you found this site on a general search I hope you are here to see how you can help the Interior Design profession defend its  hard-earned right to practice to the fullest extent of our knowledge and abilities.  Here are some sites that are focused on rallying designers;

Interior Design Association of Florida

IIDA & ASID Petition

If you are a member of ASID or IIDA I encourage you to get involved via the advocacy arms of those organizations.

There is a swell of interest and support for deregulation of occupational and professional legislation.  Unfortunately the practice of code regulated Interior Design often gets lumped in with those occupations which arguably present a good case for government over-reach.  I am not here to argue the politics of this issue or the merit of whether sports agents or auctioneers should be licensed.  But it is helpful to understand the various forces at play here.  On one hand you have the Libertarians who see any and all regulation as a hindrance to free and open markets.  While theirs is a very broad stance against regulation in general Interior Design licensure and legislation seems to be a favorite target, or prime example, of the problems and limitations caused by onerous regulations. Here are 2 recent examples that illuminate their position;

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/columnists/os-ed-roll-back-occupational-licensing-laws-20170313-story.html

and this Huffington Post Op-Ed from 2015 that is a classic example of how the anti-regulationists present the profession of Interior Design;

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hilary-gowins/dolly-decorator-or-how-to_b_6951422.html 

HOWEVER ON THE OTHER HAND is there is a less pronounced, but far more focused force behind the deregulation of Interior Design…the American Institute of Architects.

There is much to discuss with this particular opponent to our legislative goals.  Suffice it to say that if we did not have to deal with the AIA’s direct or indirect support of deregulating Interior Design legislation our path to licensure would be far less contentious.  If you work with an AIA member you may want to ask them why they support the deregulation and ultimately the deprofessionalization of Interior Design.

I would be curious to know their answer.  I suspect the majority of AIA’ers are unaware that their professional organization supports such efforts.

The nuances between qualified/certified Interior Designers who practice in code regulated building design projects, shoulder to shoulder with other licensed design professionals, and the thousands of others, from the classically trained to the self-proclaimed, who perform work that does not require a building permit, are virtually impossible to understand. It is that very fine and ill defined line that the anti-regulationists, and the AIA, use to confuse lawmakers and lead them to believe that we have no business performing code regulated design work that directly impacts the Health, Safety and Welfare of the public. We (the code regulated ID’ers) have to do a much better job of defining the difference between residential designer/decorators (not that there is anything wrong with that) and certified ID’ers who are educated, trained and vetted by examination to design within code regulated building environments.

MAKE NO BONES ABOUT IT…FLORIDA HOUSE BILL 7074, IF PASSED, WILL SEVERELY LIMIT ALL CERTIFIED INTERIOR DESIGNERS RIGHT TO WORK TO THE FULLEST OF OUR KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITY. SINCE FLORIDA IS SUCH A KEY STATE IN THIS REGARD THOSE OF YOU IN OTHER STATES WITH ID LEGISLATION, BE THAT TITLE OR PRACTICE ACT, NEED TO PAY ATTENTION- YOU MAY BE NEXT.

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CALL TODAY- DESIGN TOMORROW

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…………………

http://www.theacademyofinteriordesign.com/default.asp

Food…Er..Um..Drink for Thought

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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;

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/506319408/506401504

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.

image= https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/ndsuag/Dairy-cows-pict-1.jpg/

Time for Interior Design to Split

For those of you who still visit this site, or receive notifications, you will note that PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER has been quiet for the past year.  Several reasons;  First, I have not had time.  Second, not much has been happening on the Interior Design identity front-good or bad.  Third, I am tired of posting the same old diatribes.  Fourth, since I do not tweet or promote my thoughts via  wider social media I find this forum….blogging…rather limited in reach.

If nothing else it helps me to frame my thoughts about this much maligned and misunderstood profession.  If it has any influence above and beyond that then great.

I continue to serve the profession via two of the three ‘E’s (education/experience/examination) and for the time being, find that my time is better invested in that regard.  So unless something earth shattering comes across my Interior Design Identity Radar (IDIR) this will be my last post for a while.

Remember the concept of Mitosis?  “During mitosis one cell divides once to form two identical cells. The major purpose of mitosis is for growth and to replace worn out cells” (http://www.yourgenome.org/ ).

We have spent the past 45+ years trying to make Interior Design into what we think it should be.  It has been so much to so many.  From the innately qualified interior decorators to the licensed professionals who practice at the highest levels of the code regulated building design professions we have all claimed “Interior Design” to be our very own by title and performance.  Some of us have tried to regulate the title. Some of us have abandoned the title altogether (shout out to my IA brethren/sistren) while others have railed against any effort to own the title and redefine it to make it their own.

How has that worked out for any of us?

The world (at least here in the U.S.) still considers Interior Design to be an unessential occupation, a flight of fancy requiring little more than an artistic flair and eye for color. Of course there are exceptions…but you cannot prove my overall assessment to be unfounded.  45+ years…..

Suffice it to say we have done a poor job of defining our value to society. 45+ years.

Interior Design is tired…and may well be “worn out”.  Growth has been limited but the potential is unlimited.  I have used many metaphors to describe our conflicted identity, from familial to militaristic to camping to athletics.  I grow weary trying to conjure another. So let’s try genetic science.

While much of the world endeavors to adapt to an exponentially increasing level of technological advancement, subsequent specialization, and daily disruptions to the status quo we have…well we still cling to our comfy pillow. Why can’t society just accept us for who we are?  Rhetorical question.  Pillow getting a bit flat after 45+ years?

Well here is my FINAL plea for the profession of Interior Design to go biological and split.  It is time Interior Design to become just plain “Interior Design” to include everyone who decorates and designs interior spaces that are not regulated by code, ordinance, standard, law, or any other legal oversight and those who choose to practice “code regulated Interior Design”¹.  The distinction is clear.  Not everyone understands the fine line between interior decoration and interior design.  But most people understand and respect those whose work affects their health, safety and/or improves their overall welfare vis-a-vis regulations and laws.

This is our cleave;  Not “designers can decorate but decorators cannot design”. Not “I am a state certified interior designer and you’re not”.  Not “I went to design school and you did not”.  But simply I am an Interior Designer and you are a code regulated Interior Designer¹.  If we make this our message, or mantra, we can use this simple distinction to easily and effectively self-regulate the professional domain.

NOTE 1: Recent ID legislation (Utah, Oregon, Washington) has contained the title “Commercial Interior Designer” as a means to help policy makers grasp the nuances between those who practice code regulated Interior Design and those who do not.  PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER agrees with this semantic ploy but urges us all to fully consider the implications of that distinction. Some regulated Interior Design is quasi-residential in nature…..and many larger communities regulate residential construction in some fashion.   Ultimately PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER really does not care what we call our new form of Interior Design. We just need to adopt a model title and our professional organizations need to adopt their preference and self-regulate based on this split.  There is a way.  Who has the will?

P.S. Code Regulated Interior Design Update.

Pennsylvania just introduced a bill incorporating “Code Regulated Interior Design” in its language.  http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/CSM/2015/0/20088_11187.pdf

Now if they can just loose the “Interior Design” nomenclature altogether, other than to define it as something we are not, we’ll be on to something.

 

 

 

UTAH PASSES COMMERCIAL INTERIOR DESIGN PRACTICE BILL!

Utah Senate Bill 0117  which allows state certified Commercial Interior Designers to submit signed and sealed drawings (within limited scope) in order to obtain building permits in that state was approved today.  Yay!

This is the first substantial piece of ID legislation to be approved in several years.

Kudos to IDEAL Utah and their lobbyist Amy Coombs for creating the proper strategic alliances and educating/swaying/cajoling Utah policymakers.   This was the result of a monumental investment of time, effort and perseverance.

With that a precedent has been established.  Utah SB0117 codifies the title “Commercial Interior Designer”.  PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER finds the savvy semantics interesting.  As far as I know Oregon was the first state ID coalition to draft ID legislation using that particular title nuance.  It makes sense to help distinguish our work  in the regulated ID realm…but.

Are we ready to dissect the profession in this manner?  Will we evolve into Commercial Interior Designers and Residential Interior Designers or just Commercial Interior Designers and Interior Designers (my vote)?  Will we need to create Schools of Commercial Interior Design?  Will CIDA need to become CCIDA?  Will the NCIDQ Examination need to become the NCCIDQ Examination? Will this minimize the appeal of the title “Interior Architect”?

Do I ask too many questions?

IIDA Steps Up to Forge Agreement with Food Service Equipment Distributors

Wow two positive efforts to advocate for the Interior Design profession in one week (see previous post).  This time it is IIDA that ironed out an agreement with FEDA which is an allied association that represents commercial food service equipment distributors.  FEDA has been an IDPC card carrying opponent of most, if not all, recent ID legislation.  For now it appears that the IIDA advocacy team has ironed out whatever misunderstandings there were regarding ID legislation and its infringement on FEDA’s members, real or imagined.  You can read FEDA’s point of view here along with the letter of understanding.

http://www.feda.com/new/2015/10/IIDAagreement.pdf

It will be interesting to see how this plays out with the next round of ID legislative efforts.