The Running Dogs of Interior Design

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Meet the Interior Design Protection Council, arch-enemy of the evil ASID, and fighter for feng shui freedom everywhere. Their mission:

IDPC supports and promotes the need to retain diversity, vision, and creativity as integral components of the interior design profession. We are passionately committed to ending the push for anti-competitive, unnecessary interior design regulation in the United States. We will work vigorously to ensure that designers can continue to freely practice their profession without the fear of regulation that would severely limit or eliminate their practices. Our coalition consists of interior designers, interior decorators, educators, students, and professionals from related industries, such as builders, architects, sub-contractors, vendors, home furnishings, upholsterers, window treatment fabricators, and artisans, as well as other collaborating organizations and agencies.

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19 Responses to “The Running Dogs of Interior Design”

  1. #1 |  Eugene | 

    Huzza for the folks in the white hats.

  2. #2 |  Not That David | 

    You know this is going to end up with an Interior Designers’ Liberation Front somewhere down the line.

  3. #3 |  designer | 

    Finally! It’s about time interior designers wised up to the fact that ASID is nothing more than an elitist organization intent on monopolizing the entire profession.

  4. #4 |  citizen | 

    “Designing Cartels” (IJ) gives a lot of great information on this topic.

  5. #5 |  Eugene | 

    This subject actually got me into quite a bit of trouble with the girlfriend last night (she’s an interior design major). I commented on how silly some of her professional association’s actions were in regards to legislating licensing, and it just went downhill from there. Sometime I need to learn when libertarianism doesn’t make for good dinner talk.

  6. #6 |  Howlin' Hobbit | 

    Eugene — Get her some flowers. But for god’s sake, get them from a fully licensed and accredited floral arranger!

  7. #7 |  The Democratic Republican | 

    Eugene, generally when you’re trying to succeed with a woman it’s not a good idea to insult her profession (or her perception of her profession). :)

    Trust me, I’ve learned by experience. Even just with friends, I was talking with an otherwise conservative/Republican female friend a while back, who is also a teacher, and made the mistake of insulting teachers’ unions. If looks could kill. :)

  8. #8 |  clifford grout AIA | 


    I hate to say it, I must disagree with you on this one. I am grudgingly in favor of ID licensure, and I am an architect. Here is my reasoning if you want:

    All the best.

  9. #9 |  Common Sense | 

    Clifford, I read your blog. You drank the cool-aid! Too bad, but at least your wife is happy.

    Most architects disagree with your point of view. In fact AIA has actively opposed interior design legislation in nearly every state. You should read NCARB’s position paper, “An Examination of the Merits of Interior Design Regulation.” It will (should) change your mind.

  10. #10 |  clifford grout AIA | 

    Common Sense:

    First, I don’t like cool-aid. I prefer single-malt scotch. :-)

    Second, I know the AIA position, but if ID folks are going to be making decisions which affect HSW, they need to at least ne found competent to protect HSW. Either that, or we need to stop relying on them for making those kinds of decisions.

    NCARB’s position means nothing to me. NCARB is, as far as I am concerned, worse than ASID when it comes to restricting professional practice. They have made de facto closed shops by having states use them, and their tests, exclisivly for licesnure. Want to get licensed? You must join NCARB. Want to get reciprocity? You must join NCARB and have them approve. If NCARB wants to take 12 weeks to get a letter returned to you, you wait. If they never decide to return it, you are screwed. Whatever ASID is, NCARB for architects is worse.



  11. #11 |  H | 

    Ah, yes protect the public. It would be so simple if we only had to protect them from terrorists. But what about bad hairstyles and flammable materials? We MUST protect them from themselves, for they are fools and know not what they do!

    Who is doing the research on these public standards of respectable design? Oh, is that where the Federal grant money goes? Ah, science is always made better by steady dependable government funding. It reinforces the spirit of inquiry!

    When you take your tests are you SURE that all your design materials are a hundred percent SAFE and EFFECTIVE, or are you just protecting ‘yo ass in the event of litigation. Depend upon it sir, liability law cracks the whip above you. We are liscensed out of fear, not confidence. And if we had perfect confidence in everything we did, we would only be in denial of reality.

    Excuse me, I need to refresh my Kool-Aid.

  12. #12 |  L Yako | 

    You have fallen for that HSW line I see. How tragic! Perhaps you can find the evidence that consumers have ever been harmed by interior designers doing their jobs. Certainly, many have looked and none has been found dating back to 1907!
    Here’s the problem, dear Clifford. In the past few years, ASID approved schools have started to teach basic architectural principles as though they were part of interior design. They aren’t. They are part of architecture. But ASID is compulsive about blurring the lines between interior design and architects, especially interior architects. In the built environment, there is a rightful place for interior designers doing their work and architects doing there work and it should be a team effort. Yes, they are both in the design field. But my surgeon, my dentist and my veterinarian all have the word Dr. before their names and are a part of the medical field in one way or another. But I don’t want my surgeon to clean my teeth. I don’t want my vet to take out my appendix and I SURE don’t want my dentist touching my dog. If all of them do a great job doing what they are supposed to do, all will be well….hopefully. Get it?

  13. #13 |  Wazzamattawitu | 

    Spot on, L. Yako!

    You make it sound so simple anyone should understand. And yet……

  14. #14 |  Hannah Mendoza | 

    It is interesting to see how often this debate is couched in terms of making the little wifey or girlfriend angry. Could any of this possibly be a disguise for a generally mysoginistic attitude towards what women do as being a valuable service?? I’m not for licensing necessarily because I don’t care for the exclusive tone or the tack that’s being taken to promote it. I am also definitely not a libertarian because I believe in more than simple self-preservation. I am not a licensed designer nor do I practice but I work in an interior design department (I think it is always important to disclose who you are and not pretend as so many have in this debate that they speak from some god-like objective location that they and no others have managed to attain). I am a theorist and a historian and if you look at history, which we so rarely do these days, this is not a new argument – there is nothing new under the sun. Just don’t delude yourselves that this is really about your deep passion for the people. You individually may have that feeling but the organizations involved (on whatever side – I’m not excusing interior design organizations) are involved with this for the money and turf. I think what needs to happen is a total revisioning of the field and its services and how those services should be regulated. Oh, and I’m also a woman.

  15. #15 |  get real folks | 

    If Clifford “drank the kool-aide,” at least he read the ingredients. I can see the rest you forgot to find out the facts before you create fiction. If nothing else, engage true interior designers in conversation first, (sounds like Ciff-baby did) and you will find out that competent interior designers DO afect the public in very diverse ways, while those wishing to “practice” feng-shui still can, without regulation.
    oh – I’m a well educated, very experience, exam qualified interior designer who knows more about “interior architecture” than most architects junior or senior to me. I DO NOT want to be an architect, creating building envelopes. And I’m male … and straight !!

  16. #16 |  Hannah Mendoza | 

    Here’s another interesting idea to add…maybe lines aren’t as clear as you’d like to think they are. It’s possible, and I don’t want you to hurt yourself thinking about this, but it’s possible that there isn’t a simple good/evil, right/wrong binary in operation here. Maybe, there is a gray area that requires reasonable individuals to interpret and interact in areas that overlap. You can’t conquer a particular piece of knowledge, such as structures, and own it. Knowledge doesn’t work like that, it’s an evolving, multi-layered, mutable interaction, not a thing to be held and petted. You go ahead and hold onto whatever notion you have of the owning a piece of knowledge – it worked so well for alchemists.

  17. #17 |  Jeremy | 

    Perhaps if we had an architect design a small bungalow, and had an interior designer select some good lighting and comfortable furniture, then shipped it to a small, quiet beach somewhere, we could all lie back in the shade and relax.

  18. #18 |  design | 

    thank you for this article guys!
    Best Regards

  19. #19 |  Mike Dudek | 

    The anti ID-regulation effort is nothing more than a feeble attempt at self-preservation and economic turf cloaked in libertarian dogma. The IDPC and it’s cadre of flustered decorators cum designers need to take off their blinders and realize that the Norman Rockwell America of the 1950’s is long gone.
    If you choose not to hold yourselves to a higher standard then you have made your free choice. Call yourselves interior decorators and stop wasting your time and effort impugning other professional interior designers who have made the choice to improve their personal and professional status by working to actually advance the profession by creating interior environments that are safe and actually improve the lives of the user. Putting tassles on Scalamandre Hassocks is not interior design- not even close.