No Design Legislation

Opposing interior design legislation everywhere

ASID – Backpeddling as Fast as They Can

Interior Design Protection Council

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Please forward this email to every interior designer, interior decorator, student, vendor or industry partner who would be negatively affected by regulation

Who is IDPC?

The Interior Design Protection Council is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect the rights of interior designers, interior decorators, office furniture dealers, showrooms, suppleirs and other businesses who would be negatively affected by interior design regulation.

We also actively influence legislation germane to protecting the livelihood of our members.

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Freedom Tactics Change ASID Mission!

On March 4th, ASID sent a letter to their membership and an accompanying FAQ document in attempt to assuage their members’ fears that the “ASID legislative strategy may be harmful to their businesses.” IDPC has been forwarded a multitude of these documents from ASID members who are just not buying into the ASID party line any longer.

Over the last few months,IDPC has focused much attention and provided factual details, evidence, and empirical data on exactly how ASID-sponsored legislation is hurting its own members. The result is that many, many ASID members have chosen NOT to renew their memberships, hence the reason for this latest ASID piece of propaganda — they need their Allied members (what people are calling ASID’s “cash cow”) back so they can continue to fund their push for anti-competitive, anti-consumer regulation.

Don’t fall for this obvious PR ploy…these documents are nothing more than DAMAGE CONTROL 101! Here’s IDPC’s response to some of their claims:

“ASID will not support title acts that restrict the use of the title “interior designer.”

One one hand this is definitely waving the white flag; however it is also totally disingenuous. The fact is that pure title acts which restrict the use of the title “interior designer” have been taken away from them! Restricting that title is unconstitutional and the Institute for Justice succeeded in removing that barrier in New Mexico, and has filed lawsuits in Texas, Connecticut, and Oklahoma, which they are almost certain to win. Illinois corrected their title act on their own, to avoid a lawsuit. In the past, pure title laws were surreptitiously passed without the knowledge or consent of the design community, but the days of ASID-supported legislation passing under-the-radar are over. To persist in pushing for pure title acts would result in their continued, utter failure, so pragmatically, of course they are going to withdraw their support. This is not the result of an epiphany or sudden stab of conscience. This new policy is equal to an admission that they have failed in their quest to prohibit use of the title “interior designer” to only NCIDQ certified designers.

“ASID advocates that the requirements to become a state-qualified interior designer include formal interior design education, experience and passage of the NCIDQ examination.”

There it is, Allied members. They are still advocating that you cannot be a part of their elitist cartel unless you pass the NCIDQ, an exam that historically has had a very low passage rate, takes up to six months to prepare, requires 2 to 4 years of (usually unpaid) internship before applying, costs $2000 or more to take including preparation and materials, and is rarely passed on the first attempt. Not to mention it is considered irrelevant by the majority of interior designers AND consumers.

“Enables all interior designers to practice to the fullest extent of their capabilities.”

This is merely code for distinguishing between the qualifications of those who they believe are fully qualified to practice (i.e., those who have education, experience and the NCIDQ) and those who aren’t — the overwhelming majority of designers in this country. According to the statement, a “state qualified interior designer” must still meet the education, experience and NCIDQ advocated by ASID, so there is no change there.

ASID will support your right to provide “services such as selection of colors, materials and finishes or selection and specification of furniture, fixtures and equipment.”

In other words, they will allow you to be a decorator. Incidentally, don’t think they they are being generous — these services are already exempted in virtually all proposed legislation anyway.

“ASID has grown to 40,000 members”

Yeah, right. And if you believe that, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. Okay, let’s take out the student members, the members from other countries, the members who have not renewed, the members who are retired, the members who are dead, How many are left? Two years ago, they had 20,000 practicing members (8000 professional and 12,000 Allied). But that was before the downturn in the economy and before IDPC entered the arena to bring the truth about anti-competitive regulation to the design community. Most professional organizations that are not involved in controversy are down by 25 – 35% or more this year due solely to the difficult economy. ASID’s membership fee of $440 is higher than most, and they are embroiled in the backfire of their regulatory scheme, yet they claim they’re growing and not losing members? Absurd! IDPC gets emails and phone calls every week from Allied members who have not and will not renew! We report the facts — you will have to come to your own conclusion.

ASID is no longer the organization it once was. Their power is only perceived. Allied members are fleeing in droves because ASID refusal to acknowledge them as the “professionals” they truly are.

“Be assured that if the interior design services you offer are legal today, ASID will not support any law that makes it illegal tomorrow.”

This statement is so important, that it deserves it’s own section…

So, this would seem to indicate that ASID is not going to support ANY practice act legislation, because practice acts make it illegal to practice some aspect of interior design. Right?

Wrong. You have to read EVERY WORD very carefully, and sometimes even between the lines. Take a look at this loophole:

“ASID will not support legislation that restricts interior design services that do not affect building codes or other statutes.”

So, this gives them the option to support this type of legislation, even if you are already successful in that area, which would make it illegal for you to practice. This loophole leaves the door wide open for ASID to support, behind the scenes, any practice act bills they choose.

Remember, the IBC does NOT require that all construction documents be prepared by registered design professionals. It is up to the local code officials to determine whether or not plans meet with their approval.

If you are facing an ASID-supported practice act in your state, be sure to use the statement at the top of this section to expose the utter hypocrisy between what they SAY and what they DO.

What’s Missing?

Health, Safety and Welfare

Conspicuously absent is any indication that regulation is being pursued to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public.

This is clearly an [unintended] admission by ASID that there really is no issue of health, safety and welfare in providing interior design services in residential or commercial applications.

Therefore, there is no reason for any state-imposed regulation whatsoever.

IDPC is the only national organization solely dedicated to protecting the rights and livelihoods of ALL interior designers.

Click here to become a member.

New ASID Video

ASID has a new 3-minute video on their homepage, reiterating the information sent on March 4th. It’s really just the same old rhetoric, but I do want to address a couple of statements that are misleading.

Mr. Alin states that 80% of the ASID members surveyed support “legal recognition” (aka “licensing”) interior design.

Actually, the number is 77% who agreed that designers should be licensed, but aside from that technicality, Mr. Alin fails to mention that this is NOT the will of their entire membership, ONLY 2,200 members even bothered to respond!

So less than 1700 of their alleged 40,000 members have given them the thumbs up to continue pushing their anti-competitive regulatory scheme!

Clearly they do NOT have a mandate from their OWN membership to continue to use their money to fund legislation, but hey, why let a little thing like MAJORITY VOICE affect policy decisions when you can get away with a dictatorship.

ASID, you do not speak for the design community — you don’t even speak for your own membership.

If you are an Allied member, “professional” member, or student member:


No dues = no legislation. Could it be any more simple?

Another thing Mr. Alin failed to mention is that according to the same survey, 82% said that “clients seldom or never ask them if they are licensed.” That’s because they don’t care! Consumers are NOT confused about interior design services and they do not need a NANNY state to dictate who they may or may not hire.

Mr. Alin goes on to further state that ASID is “fighting to expand your scope of work” that you are “trained and educated to do but are restricted from performing.”

More false information. The only thing that restricts the performance of interior design work are practice acts themselves! In 47 states, it is legal to do ANY kind of interior design work. Clearly, ASID is fighting to expand the scope of interior design into interior architecture.

A new trend is beginning to develop in which interior design educators are now beginning to questioning the abandonment of the aesthetic nature of design for the “interior architecture” model that the design schools have been teaching, which is a real disservice to the students who are being told that they can be one thing (an interior architect) when in fact, that is not occurring in the real world.

Oh, one more thing…

If ASID was sincere about their Allied members right to the use the title “interior designer,” why does the new policy state “ASID does not intend to pursue amendments to existing interior design statutes”?

Because the whole thing is just lip service. If they were truly advocating for all their members, including Allied members, they would use the dues and legislative assessment to UNDO laws which prohibit ANY of their members from using a title that accurately describes what they do, and which makes it impossible to market their services truthfully and effectively, like the current Florida law, and the proposed practice act in Tennessee.

Letter to the Editor

THIS IS FOR ALL YOU ALLIED MEMBERS – STOP PAYING THOSE DUES! I attended the legislative meeting in MN. The pro-legislation people I will quote as saying, “We are not just good at decoration., we do more than just pick out colors.” “You, Senators, may call yourselves designers too.” “We do not teach style or trend at the U of M. We know where to place Exit signs,” (isn’t that what the contractor is licensed to do, let alone the architect that knows where the doorway is?” Personally, I went to school to learn (among other things in interior design) color, trend, and style, not to learn where an Exit sign is placed, that profession is already taken!
Those are just a handful of the comments that were very snide and full of contempt to any of you out there that went to school for interior design especially if you are an Allied Member of ASID. By paying your dues to ASID you help to support their contempt of you by not being a Professional. If you have no plans, such as myself after 16 years, of going back to school, spending $thousands (it is only $800 according to testimony–they must have forgotten the cost of books, the cost of the study program, the cost of travel, and the cost of your time) you need to wake up and stop sending money to ASID. They will allow you to use the word Designer (in MN) but yet you clearly are not as they said at the legislative meeting. You are a decorator and you choose color, you have a knack for selecting decorations unless you are licensed!

Suzanne Hynan, NKBA, WFCP, ASP
Former Allied ASID

Dear Colleagues,

I trust you have benefited from our ongoing effort to seek the truth, cut through ASID’s rhetoric and misleading information, and expose their duplicity. This latest PR effort is merely an attempt to soften their position in the public eye, without truly changing their legislation scheme.

I am still receiving many emails from Allied (and even some “professional”) members who are NOT renewing their ASID memberships. Good! Your message is coming through loud and clear! Without YOUR money to fund legislation, ASID will be forced to pull back their support to their state chapters and coalitions.

Patti PR headshotPlease consider joining OUR crusade — your future to design tomorrow could depend on action you take today.

Best regards,


Executive Director


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March 11, 2009 - Posted by | Interior Design Legislation Opposition, Interior Design Protection Council (IDPC)


  1. From the second ASID attachment….

    “Be assured that if the interior design services you offer are legal today, ASID will not support any law that makes it illegal tomorrow.”

    Sounds good, huh? Well, if this statement puts you at ease and alleviates your concerns about licensing, read it again carefully! As with poetry, it’s what is not said that has real meaning. So re-read this and think about what ASID is not saying in their statement…

    The whole reason ASID claims to be seeking legislation is because [they claim] the IBC makes it illegal for interior designers to submit drawings for non-load bearing construction to state and/or county authorities for review and approval. If their claim is true, doing what I’ve been doing for 25 years is illegal, although I’ve never been prosecuted for this alleged crime. Therefore, licensing and restricting this practice definitely will make it illegal for me in the future. If this is true for me, then it’s also true for You!

    This is nothing less than verbal slight-of-hand. ASID is attempting to win favor in the design community by reassuring designers that they will not support anything that makes illegal tomorrow what is legal today. This is very clever wording! ASID is not saying they will not support anything that makes legal tomorrow what [they claim] is illegal today, but that’s exactly what they are doing. It’s a matter of syntax.

    CAUTION: Read everything very carefully!! ASID is a cartel seeking monopoly control in the market by lobbying legislators into granting them exclusive rights to practice most aspects of interior design that historically has been, and currently is, the open and free practice of all interior designers. For this, ASID may be distasteful but they’re also very clever and hardly stupid. WATCH OUT!!

    ASID no longer wants to license the term “interior designer” because – and only because – court after court, in state after state, has already ruled it to be a violation of our First Amendment rights under the Constitution. So regardless of what you call yourself, ASID wants to make sure that you will no longer be able to practice most of what you do without a license. And to win support for their cause, this statement was cleverly crafted to lull interior designers into thinking that ASID will not support anything that makes what they do illegal. But a careful analysis of what ASID does not say, makes it quite clear that ASID wants licensing to prohibit the overwhelming number of interior designers from doing precisely what they already do now as interior designers.

    If you don’t believe this, then go support ASID’s quest for licensing. But don’t be surprised if you wake-up one day to find yourself restricted by what you can no longer legally do as an unlicensed interior designer, or worse yet – are out of business altogether.

    Walter B. Peterson, Allied ASID
    Interior Design & Decoration
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Comment by Walter B. Peterson | March 12, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] March 10, 2009 by Hoechstetter Interiors This post has been moved to the No Design Legislation blog at […]

    Pingback by ASID - Backpeddling as Fast as They Can « Hoechstetter Interiors | April 23, 2009 | Reply

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