No Design Legislation

Opposing interior design legislation everywhere

Why Design Legislation is Bad for Students

Laws regulating the practice of interior design and restricting it to those who have met the pro-legislation cartel’s narrow standards are not in the best interests of the profession as a whole, and particularly not those of current or future students.

According to renowned kitchen design expert Dr. Phyllis Markussen, CKE, CBE, who is a professor of Family Studies and Interior Design at the University of Nebraska, interior design legislation could have a significantly negative effect on interior design students, because the one path route to practice that would result would “effectively ‘dumb down’ the educational programs by creating too-rigid guidelines”.

It is advantageous in academia to provide a “system-approached” education, bringing in a range of other disciplines to help provide students a “broader, more global perspective”. To restrict the practice of interior design to those who have graduated only from CIDA-accredited schools (which do not even include some of the most prestigious schools of design in the country, such as Parsons), would eliminate that opportunity by “…[narrowing] the approach with a single educational experience”.

In addition to homogenizing the educational offerings, specialization could be restricted as well, which could result in a shortage of designers to meet the needs in any given state. This is also because there simply won’t be enough qualified designers around to shepherd the students through the state-mandated process to being able to practice independently.

According to AICAD (Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design), “We need multiple pathways into creative fields due to their varied and dynamic natures… Society does not benefit by a narrowing of access to creative fields. ”

Far more schools are not CIDA-accredited than are, which would result in CIDA having a virtual monopoly on interior design education, with zero evidence that the CIDA schools have any better record of preparing students than any other programs. A situation such as this would not benefit anyone but those CIDA-approved, programs and the various organizations that support them.

The effects on other academic institutions are readily obvious – the net result would be discrimination against community colleges in particular, and their student bodies.

In addition, if there aren’t enough jobs for students when they graduate (and there already aren’t, particularly thanks to the present economy), then demand for these programs will decrease, which in turn will force a number of colleges and universities to restrict *all* of their offerings. Some programs will have to shut down altogether, leaving existing students high and dry, and effectively eliminating interior design as a career option at all for many who would have otherwise chosen this path.

Finally, and most importantly, students are being fed a line that they will not be able to practice what they are trained to do without design legislation, but a simply look at the present realities will show that to be untrue. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of interior designers are not licenced/registered/certified, even in states that do have some form of either practice or title act, and yet they are still working and still getting their projects built, the same as they always have.

As I wrote in my post “It Doesn’t Involve Me – Or Does It?”:

It is not illegal to practice interior design now in any state except the three in which the ASID-led cartel have managed to pass legislation that makes it illegal to do so without a license. They claim that the IBC makes it illegal, but it patently does not. What it does is leave the decision up to each jurisdiction, and most places and code officials have no desire to restrict the practice of interior design any more than it already is limited by architectural laws, or to regulate it. Read the code yourself – it’s on page 41. If what we do becomes illegal, it will only be because ASID and their cohorts will have made it that way.

Interior design legislation has been proven over and over again to be a solution in search of a problem. If passed, it will only create the very problem it claims it will prevent. In states that do not presently have any category of “registered design professional”, legislation will create that category – and then restrict the practice of design to those that hold those credentials, where it has never been restricted before.

Do not be misled into believing their scare tactics telling you that you won’t be able to practice what you’re learning now in school, because it’s simply not true. The only way that will happen is if they make it happen. And this is supposed to be protecting you?

Over and over again, this issue has been pointed out to the prolegislation cartel – and in front of legislators, who have been shown the actual code wording, as it’s been pointed out to the cartel people at the same time – and yet these people persist in repeating this blatant untruth, and particularly using it to frighten students into thinking they have no choice but to support legislation, when nothing is actually further from reality.

IDPC puts it most succinctly: “The IBC (Sec. 106.1) does NOT require that all construction documents be prepared by registered design professionals. What it actually says is the following: [C]onstruction documents shall be prepared by a registered design professional where required by the jurisdiction in which the project is to be constructed.” (emphasis added). The IBC defers completely to state law as to whether or not construction documents must be prepared by an architect or an engineer or may be prepared by anyone else including interior designers.”

And now, with the Art Institute of Pittsburgh scandal, we see again the lengths to which these people will go in order to accomplish their ends – faculty members of a design school coercing students into supporting the pro-legislation agenda whether they wanted to or not by giving an extra credit assignment that only offered credit to those who wrote to their legislators to support legislation, and no credit at all to those who wrote to oppose it.

Students, if legislation is brought into academia at all, you deserve an education that teaches you how to research all sides of the issue and make decisions like this for yourself. You deserve as much credit for your work in doing this and opposing legislation, if that is how you feel, if such an assignment is given, as any student who chooses to support it. For an instructor to coerce students into supporting his or her own political ends or risk their grade and academic standing is a violation of academic integrity and standards that is utterly shameful.

This is only one case that we know about. It’s anyone’s guess how many other instructors or schools might be doing the same thing, or something similar.

And you should be asking yourselves, is this what you want your tuition and tax dollars to be funding?

If you don’t already know how to research and evaluate both sides of an issue that is going to dramatically affect you and your future, then you deserve to be taught how to do so, not be railroaded into one point of view or the other like this. You do not deserve to be used as pawns.

It is just flat out unfair and unethical to put students in a position like this where they may have to choose between their own values and their academic standing, and if you are not outraged by this, you should be.

June 23, 2009 Posted by | ASID, Interior Design Protection Council (IDPC), ncidq certification licensing, Nebraska, NKBA, Pennsylvania, Students | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

IIDA Student Blog Censors Legislative Map Correction Post

6/8/09 Update – I was contacted by IIDA about this post, told I’m not blocked from commenting on the blog, and was invited to repost my comments – see comments below.  My apologies to IIDA if I was in error about that, but my comments about the problems with the out-of-date map still hold.

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I just tried to post the message below on the IIDA Student Blog about the out of date IIDA map of design legislation (same as the one ASID uses) and it got rejected. Not just rejected, as in not posted, but it brought up a “discarded” error message the moment I posted it, which means they’ve got the blog set to automatically reject any postings from me.

Why are these people so afraid of what we post about opposing design legislation?

Oh, wait, that’s right – the pro-legislation cartel doesn’t have a shred of evidence to back up their position, so they have to try to shut up those of us who can back up ours, so that their unsuspecting members aren’t diverted and won’t see that the emperor truly has no clothes.

What’s more, it’s apparently an intern at IIDA who’s running this blog – clearly a student herself – even though she has apparently declined to name herself or put up a bio. She menti0ned the fact in this post, though. What does she know about the realities of all of this?

Sweetheart, you need to grow up, get a life, and learn that informed decisions can only be made when people are aware of all of the issues, on both sides of the matter. Censoring the opposite point of view like this only demonstrates a small, closed mind, and that will not get you far in life. That is also a favorite tactic of the fearful who know they don’t have a leg to stand on.

But students (and others) need this information, even when their own peers as well as their instructors are trying to snowball them and keep them from learning both sides of the issue and the truth.

The proper role of education is to inform, teach students how to learn and reason for themselves, and to draw out their own conclusions, based on all available information. It is not to censor one point of view in favor of another, to attempt to restrict a students’ access to information they need in order to be able to formulate their own thoughts.

Students, you really need to demand that your schools and instructors not only allow but encourage the dissemination of information on both sides of this issue. Once you read the facts, you will discover that things are not nearly as cut and dried as the pro-legislation cartel would like you to believe. Follow the links on this blog on on the IDPC website, read everything you can, including every word of any legislation proposed in your own states, and the first-hand reports of people who have been harmed by this kind of legislation, and then make up your own mind.

And if neither IIDA nor ASID keep their legislative maps up to date, and neither are willing to admit it when their pet laws and legislative attempts are defeated, as they mostly have been, then how can you trust anything else they tell you on this subject?

Far and away the majority of allied members of ASID who have bothered to fully inform themselves have concluded that legislation will not only not benefit them, but will only harm them and put them out of business – what makes you think that you will fare any better right out of school?

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Why does IIDA persist in posting this out of date map? Among other things:

1. The Alabama practice act was struck down as unconstitutional in 2007 – http://www.nkba.org/press_releases_20071022.aspx

2. The New Mexico title act was also struck down as unconstitutional – http://www.ij.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=716&Itemid=165

3. The Oklahoma title act has been amended so that anyone can still use the tile “interior designer” – https://nodesignlegislation.wordpress.com/2009/05/18/ok-no-longer-illegal-to-use-title-interior-designer/

4. The proposed Tennessee practice act legislation was withdrawn due to opposition, and is thus no longer pending – https://nodesignlegislation.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/tennessee-practice-act-withdrawn-by-sponsor-due-to-opposition/

5. The list goes on.

Please see the IDPC website at http://idpcinfo.org and the No Design Legislation blog at https://nodesignlegislation.wordpress.com for more details on these and other states, and to keep up on the most recent changes, as they happen, complete with links directly to the actual sources, actual text of proposed and existing laws as well as judicial opinions, etc., where you can read it all for yourself, right from the horse’s mouth.

June 5, 2009 Posted by | ASID, IIDA, New Mexico, Students | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

NY – Design Practice Act to Limit Who Can Bid on State Contracts

Only 207 designers in the entire state would qualify!  Follow the links below for talking points and contact information for legislators to send your opposition letters to.

From NKBA:

Take Action. Now.

NEW YORK – DESIGN PRACTICE ACT INTRODUCED TO LIMIT WHICH DESIGNERS MAY BID ON STATE CONTRACTS; FULL LICENSURE OF DESIGNERS SOON TO FOLLOW!

After losing their attempt to restrict the title of “interior designer” to only those designers who are “certified” in the State of New York (a restriction that even ASID has now given up on), the interior design lobby is back again with an even more restrictive, anti-competitive design practice bill. Assembly Bill 7764 provides that state contracts for interior design services must specify only certified interior designer (i.e., one who has passed the NCIDQ exam). There is a grand total of 207 certified interior designers in the entire State of New York who would be eligible to bid on state projects!

Even if you do not intend to bid on state projects, passage of this bill will absolutely impact your business because this is merely the first step towards achieving the ultimate goal of the design lobby and the American Society of Interior Designers – licensing the entire design community and limiting the performance of design services to only those who have met the restrictive, self-imposed requirements that ASID and NCIDQ have established. Once the lobby gets the State to recognize that only certified interior designers are competent to bid on state projects, full licensure to “protect the public” will surely follow and your work in the State of New York will be in jeopardy.

Please click this LINK to be taken to our website for more information and to send a message to the Committee. Let them know that there are more than 207 competent and qualified designers in the State of New York and that limiting the competitive bidding process to only a handful of designers would deny the contracting agencies the ability to obtain the expertise needed to complete the job and at an increased cost to the taxpayers.

June 5, 2009 Posted by | ASID, New York, NKBA | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ASID: Consumers Very Satisfied Working with Interior Designers

In 2005, ASID did a study indicating that consumers are “very satisfied working with an interior designer”.  According to Anita Baltimore, FASID, the then-president of ASID, “The new ASID study shows that most homeowners who work with interior designers recognize the value of their services once they see the results” (emphasis added).

More and more households are using designers, too.  In 1997, consumer use of designers was estimated at about 4% of households with an annual income of $70,000 or more, which comprised 6% of the US population.

By 2005, that percentage had increased to 14% of that population hiring an interior designer, with 34% having household incomes between $125,000 and $200,000, although the study also says that they are just as likely to have incomes between $75,000 and $125,000 as between $200,000 and $400,000.  Age-wise, clients are mostly between the ages of 35 and 65, and gender distribution is 64% females vs 36% males.

According to the article, “The most common projects for which a designer was hired were to remodel or redecorate a kitchen or bath, a living or family room, or bedroom. Almost one-fourth (23 percent) of those who hired an interior designer completely remodeled or redecorated an entire home, compared to about one-fifth (19 percent) of those who did not. The most frequently mentioned responsibilities for the designers on these projects were space planning or arranging (67 percent), consultation for aesthetic advice (56 percent), selecting furniture or other products (49 percent), improving functionality (39 percent), remodeling (33 percent), and managing the project (30 percent)”.

So what does this have to do with legislation?

Everything.

The sponsors of this study are the same group of people who are screaming bloody murder that the public needs to be protected from the consequences of having the widest range of options possible because they can’t tell the difference between a competent designer and Betty Decorator who has no clue what she’s doing (regardless of what label they use to describe themselves, by the way).

But this demographic is not a stupid group of people – obviously.

Anyone earning a minimum of $70,000 in this country in this day and age is pretty much by definition highly intelligent and competent, or they wouldn’t have reached that level in their occupations that would bring them to that income level.  That is even more true of those in the higher income ranges cited.  I think it’s safe to assume that many of these people are in highly responsible jobs where all kinds of critical decisions are made, requiring high levels of analytical skills.  These are upper level managers, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, etc. – the captains of industry who run this country, the people who take care of the rest of us.  It’s the highly educated, not the high school dropouts.

By the age of 35, it’s also pretty safe to say that these folks have lived a slice of life enough to be able to figure out for themselves how to find competent help in all areas of their homes as well as their business, inluding in the selection of their interior designers.

What’s more, you know darn well that people at this level professionally are also often involved in the selection of designers for their offices, many of whom are then brought home to do the houses, or vice versa.

So, are we to assume that this group of people leave their intelligence and analytical skills at the doors to their homes?  That they suddenly become incapable of assessing quality of services or products for their own residences, as opposed to in their jobs?  That the skills that have helped them to the tops of their professions don’t extend to the ability to even select a good, competent designer for their businesses, without governmental assistance?

I think not.

And notice the percentages.  Far and away most of these people surveyed hired designers for what can most accurately be described as “decorating” kinds of services.  “Arranging”, “aesthetic advice”, “selecting furniture or other products”.

Duh.  We know this is what the public thinks designers do – and those creative elements are definitely a part of it.  A big part.  So why are ASID and other pro-legislation people trying to downplay the importance of this aesthetic side of what we do?  And create a credentialing process that doesn’t even take it into account?

The reality is that creativity and aesthetics are just as important as technical knowledge.  It’s no good to have either one without the other, and in the best projects, they are seamlessly integrated.

But the numbers are also significant for those who hired designers to do much more extensive remodeling, which is where a professional designer, however he or she comes by her knowledge, can really be of benefit to clients.  Just by nature of the overall increase in utilization of interior design services, and the not insubstantial percentages of people utilizing a designer to execute a complete remodel, space planning, project management, etc., I think we can safely say that these people recognize the existence  and value of the skills of a professional designer.  With a more than threefold increase in the utilization of design services, it’s probably safe to say that the utilization 0f these more extensive services has increased similarly, along with the increase in use of more decorative services.

Now, if these designers had not been competent, just how many building permits do you think would have been issued for the remodeling work that they specified?  And how many of their clients would have been “very satisfied” with their work?

Not too many.

So, we have an increasing number of highly intelligent and succcesful people hiring interior designers to provide a very broad scope of services, including extensive remodelling, and even ASID says that on the whole, they are indeed “very satisfied” with the work of these designers.

So why does ASID still claim we need legislation?  To protect people from… what?  Being already satisfied with the work of the designers they obviously already know how to successfully select and hire?

We need licensing and credentialing, then, for… what, exactly?

And let’s not forget that Michael S. Smith, one of the most talented, successful, and celebrated interior designers of our times, has been hired by no less a client than President and Mrs. Obama to redo the White House.  He’s not licensed, not a member of ASID, did not graduate from any kind of design school, etc.  And yet, somehow, he’s still good enough for the President of the United States, and apparently no one in the current administration believes that in any way the lives, health, or safety of the President or his family will be at risk, as Michael Alin, the current president of ASID, not-so -subtly suggested in his presumptuous January 2009 letter to the First Couple in Interiors & Sources.

Methinks that his ability to keep the First Family safe will have been scrutinized down to the nth degree by the people responsible for keeping them safe and sound, and clearly he has been found competent, by what is most like the most excruciatingly detailed examination any designer anywhere is likely to have to face.

If an unlicensed, uncredentialled designer who did not complete any form of professional formal schooling is good enough for the White House, then why aren’t they good enough for everyone else?

So what is it, ASID?  Are consumers satisfied with the current offerings and way of doing things or not?

Because if you are going to still crow about how unsophisticated consumers are, how much they need to be protected from the consequences of allegedly uninformed opinions and the clutches of designers who have no clue what they are doing, then why are you also reporting unprecedented levels of satisfaction with this very group of people you want to regulate?
Which of these opinions/groups of facts are actually true?  Because you are speaking with forked tongue to promulgate both opinions, which completely contradict one another.

If, indeed, consumers really are already satisfied, then what’s wrong that actually needs to be changed?

The fact of the matter is that the system ain’t broke, folks.  It doesn’t need fixing.  It’s just fine the way it is.

People who want to be able to highlight their educations and experiences should be allowed to voluntarily, like we do it here in CA.  There’s no need to require this kind of validation – and multiple studies by both the Institute for Justice, the Reason Foundation, and others have repeatedly shown this.

It’s time to end this nonsense of endless attempts to regulate this profession – an effort that has met with spectacularly little success, despite more than 30 years of attempts to pass legislation to control what we do and who is allowed to do it.  Legislators as a group aren’t stupid, either.  Over and over again, ASID and its legislative coalitions in many states have met with spectacular failure to convince the majority of them that there is any compelling need whatsoever to regulate this profession in any way, despite millions and millions of dollars (of members’ dues money!) being poured into exactly this effort.

In just the past year alone, something like nearly 60 attempts have met with crashing failure to convince legislators that there is any value whatsoever in regulating interior designers, and in just a little more than that time frame, successful Constitutional challenges to existing laws in at least three states have been mounted, striking down several such laws as completely unconstitutional.

Thirty years of failure – and yet these people persist.  Think about it.

The definition of insanity is widely held to be doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  Why won’t these people learn from their own endless failures?

And why won’t they look at the results of their own studies showing that consumers are already highly satisfied with the way things are?

It boggles the mind, and only reinforces the obvious conclusion that this is nothing but a cartelization effort of a small group of people who are hoping to keep a bigger piece of a growing pie for their own selves, and to shut out the competition.

May 30, 2009 Posted by | ASID, California, Institute for Justice | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Florida’s Interior Design Cartel Challenged in Federal Court – Press Release

INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE
901 N. Glebe Road Suite 900 Arlington, VA 22203 (703) 682-9320 FAX (703) 682-9321
Home Page: WWW.IJ.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 27, 2009

Florida’s Interior Design Cartel Challenged in Court
Federal Lawsuit Is Culmination of National Struggle
To Counter Industry Insiders’ Attempt to Wall Out Fair Competition

Tallahassee, Fla.—With the filing of a federal court challenge on Tuesday, Florida has become ground zero in a national struggle to prevent the monopolization of the interior design industry through anti-competitive occupational licensing laws. The struggle pits an elitist group of industry insiders seeking government protection from fair competition against independent entrepreneurs who simply wish to earn an honest living in the occupation of their choice without first meeting an expensive, time-consuming and utterly arbitrary series of government-mandated licensing requirements.

The Institute for Justice (IJ), the nation’s leading legal advocate for economic liberty, joined with three interior designers—Eva Locke, Pat Levenson and Barbara Gardner—and the National Federation of Independent Business to file the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Tallahassee, challenging Florida’s interior design law. IJ has successfully vindicated the rights of interior designers across the country and this case promises to be the biggest fight yet in the battle against the interior design cartel.

“In the midst of a recession and with the economy in shambles, the last thing the government should be doing is putting up barriers to people who simply want to earn a living in the occupation of their choice,” said Clark Neily, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice. “People are free in nearly every other state besides Florida to hire the interior designer who best meets their needs. But the government has taken that decision away from people in Florida, and the result is higher prices for consumers and fewer employment opportunities for designers. The proper role of government is protecting people from genuine harm—not protecting elitist cartels from fair competition.”

Only three states in the entire country regulate the practice of interior design, and Florida’s law is by far the most restrictive and aggressively enforced. The practice of interior design is defined under Florida law as including any consultation, study or drawing that relates to the “nonstructural interior elements” of any commercial building. That includes furniture, fixtures, lighting, carpets, drapes—even the artwork on the walls of an office—and all of it is off limits to anyone who is not a state-licensed interior designer.

“Why does Florida regulate the practice of interior design when virtually no other state does?” continued Neily. “It certainly has nothing to do with protecting public health, safety or welfare. Study after study has shown that the unlicensed practice of interior design presents no genuine safety risks whatsoever. Instead of protecting the public, interior design licensing laws are all about protecting industry members from fair competition.”

The push to license interior designers has not come from the public or from consumer watchdog groups or other concerned citizens, but from an industry organization called the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Working with local groups like Florida’s Interior Design Associations Foundation (IDAF), ASID has spent the past three decades and millions of dollars lobbying all over the country for licensing laws limiting the practice of interior design to people who possess the same credentials necessary to become a professional member of ASID itself.

Florida represents the interior design cartel’s greatest achievement so far, with not only the most sweeping interior design law anywhere in the country, but also the resources of a private law firm in Tallahassee that receives over $500,000 annually from the state to investigate and prosecute potential violations of the law. This has led to an enforcement campaign of unprecedented intensity, with hundreds of interior designers—including people legally performing residential interior design services, for which no license is required—being sent cease-and-desist letters every year.

Florida’s interior design law is riddled with constitutional defects, including improperly censoring truthful advertising and other forms of expression, violating people’s right to work in the occupation of their choice free from unreasonable government interference, and discriminating against interstate commerce by discouraging interior designers from other states from working in Florida.

IJ President and General Counsel Chip Mellor said, “This lawsuit is an important part of the Institute for Justice’s nationwide campaign to restore economic liberty to all Americans by defending their constitutional right to earn an honest living.”
For more information on the lawsuit, including video footage and national media coverage on the interior design cartel, visit www.ij.org/interiordesign

# # #

Christina Walsh
Director of Activism and Coalitions
Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 682-9320
www.ij.org
www.castlecoalition.org

May 28, 2009 Posted by | ASID, Florida, Institute for Justice | 1 Comment

Florida Design Law to be Challenged!

See press release below:

To view as a webpage: click here

Interior Design Protection Council

Finally!
It’s time for the Florida cartel to face the music!

And your support is needed!
THE INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE
is taking on
THE FLORIDA INTERIOR DESIGN CARTEL!

This could be the most important event in the future of interior design. Come and be a part of history in the making! Attend the press conference and RALLY. . .

Design Community: Click here for FLYER with rally date, time and details

Media: Click here for PRESS RELEASE

Blog: Click here to COMMENT

Forward this issue to a Friend

Please download and print copies of the flyer and post them EVERYWHERE!

— especially in showrooms and vendor locations —

Colleagues, please join the fight for our rights and freedom to design

With your help, we CAN resist or repeal legislation that restricts your practice or right to call yourself “interior designer” in every state — including YOURS. You can help by joining our team!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at info@IDPCinfo.org.

Patti Morrow
Executive Director
Interior Design Protection Council

IDPC is the only national organization solely dedicated to protecting the rights and livelihoods of ALL designers in our country.
Please support our efforts!
Click here to become a member of IDPC.
Join Our Mailing List!

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INTERIOR DESIGN PROTECTION COUNCIL

91 Reserve Place, Concord, New Hampshire 03301 Phone: 603.228.8550 Fax: 603.229.1339 http://www.IDPCinfo.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT:

May 21, 2009 Patti Morrow 603.228.8550

Florida interior designers victimized by restrictive law to get relief

Lawsuit, press conference and rally on May 27th in Tallahassee

Concord, NH – On Wednesday, May 27th, a public rally will be held at Waller Park in Tallahassee to coincide with a
legal challenge filed against Florida’s interior design practice law.

The Institute for Justice (IJ) is filing suit in Florida on behalf of several small business entrepreneurs whose basic
Constitutional rights have been violated by the most restrictive interior design law in the country. At issue is a Florida
law that restricts residential interior designers from advertising themselves as “interior designers” and prevents them from
legally practicing any type of commercial design. The law also prohibits industries such as office furniture and restaurant
equipment dealers from doing furniture or equipment layouts, an essential practice needed to succeed in those fields.

“Interior designers are already struggling with this difficult economy,” said Patti Morrow, executive director of
the Interior Design Protection Council (IDPC), the national grassroots voice for independent designers. “The last thing
they need is a completely unnecessary law that places an additional burden on their ability to earn a living.”

The proponents of the law, the Interior Design Associations Foundation (IDAF) and the American Society of
Interior Designers (ASID) maintain that Florida Statute 481 – and licensing in general – is needed to protect the health,
safety and welfare of the public, a claim that remains unsubstantiated even after the 30-year pursuit to impose interior
design licensing in all 50 states. Yet, since 2003 more than 600 unreasonable disciplinary actions have been brought
against members of the Florida design community, none of which had anything to do with public safety. When asked
about the aggressive disciplinary actions and increased fines imposed by the regulatory board, Janice Young,
spokesperson for IDAF responded, “We do it [penalize unlicensed design] by making the punishment more painful
and significant.”

“Florida’s restraint of trade and censorship of interior designers is blatantly unconstitutional and represents a
deliberate attempt by a tiny faction within the interior design industry to (1) eliminate their competition by restricting the
type of services they would be free to provide in nearly every other state, (2) silence competitors by preventing people
from truthfully advertising the services they do provide, and (3) improperly burden and discriminate against interstate
commerce,” said Clark Neily, senior attorney with the Institute for Justice. “This law has come from a minority of elitist
insiders within the design industry itself, not as a result of public demand or legislative determinations that such regulation
is necessary for the public good. They are clearly abusing government power to drive thousands of hard-working small
businessmen and women out of business. This law cannot stand.”

Over the last year, IDPC spearheaded the effort to raise awareness of this issue in Florida, by conducting town
hall meetings, lobbying the legislative and executive branches to deregulate the law, supporting amendments to FS 481,
opposing changes to the Florida Building Code, exposing blatantly false statements made by IDAF, revealing the
ruthlessly aggressive actions of the law firm retained to prosecute designers, and by publicizing the devastating effects on
the lives of these victims. IDPC’s widespread grassroots support will mobilize to support the IJ legal challenge.
“We value the innovation, creativity and diversity as well as the multiple methods of entry that have been the
cornerstone of this dynamic profession, serving the public without harm. Florida’s once-size-fits-all licensing scheme for
interior designers could not be more contrary to those values,” explained Morrow. “Protectionism, censorship, cartel,
monopoly, domination, control, special interests – you name, it’s all here, and it’s having a devastating effect on the lives
of Florida designers. It’s time to pull the curtains on the interior design cartel.”

May 21, 2009 Posted by | ASID, Florida, Institute for Justice, Interior Design Protection Council (IDPC) | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Congratulations! OK Law Amended!

Interior Design Protection Council
Congratulations Oklahoma!
No longer illegal to use title “Interior Designer!”

Celebrate restitution of your Constitutional right!
Members of the Oklahoma design community:

On May 12th, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry signed SB 592 into law. This bill amends the current title act which previously restricted the use of the title “interior designer.”

YOU ARE NOW FREE TO USE THAT TITLE
WHICH ACCURATELY DESCRIBES THE WORK YOU DO!

The amended law will restrict only the title “registered interior designer” to those who qualify under the previously established guidelines.

This bill to amend the “pure” title law was filed in order to avoid defending against the lawsuit filed by the Institute for Justice challenging violation of Oklahoma citizens’ First Amendment rights, which inevitably would have been lost by Oklahoma.

So go ahead, Oklahoma designers — celebrate the freedom you deserve!

Oklahoma’s violation of interior designers’ free speech rights is OVER!

Forward this email

SPIN, DENIAL, OR PLAIN STUPIDITY?

IDPC has received a copy of a May 15th internal IIDA memorandum which attempts to claim victory for the Oklahoma amendment on that basis it amends “their existing law to include the laughingtitle “Registered Interior Designer.”

How utterly absurd to think that any intellegent, informed person would actually believe that.

Restrictions on the title “interior designer,” included in the original law, have been abolished, and in its place — NOT as an additional title to be restricted, is “registered interior designer.”

Hello IIDA! Perhaps you haven’t heard…. IDPC will expose ALL such blatantly untrue and/or misleading statements and provide the design community with the TRUTH!

Bye-Bye Title Laws!
Of the five states that enacted “pure” title acts, i.e. they restricted the use of the terms “interior designer” and “interior design,” New Mexico, Illinois, Texas and Oklahoma have been turned back, allowing designers’ First Amendment rights to be restored.

Only Connecticut’s pure title law remains — but a lawsuit challenging their law was filed by the Institute for Justice in September, 2008, and CT will almost most likely come to realize their indefensible position and join their predecessors in waving the white flag. And we will be only too happy to report that good news when it happens.

Even ASID has their white flag billowing in the breeze — their “new” legislation policy admits the title “interior designer” cannot be restricted and in defeat, have retreated from their goal of securing that title for a very tiny minority of elitist insiders.

Soon, perhaps even by the end of 2009, the United States of America will no longer be a nation that violates ANY interior designers’ rights to accurately describe the services they provide or to use the title which portrays their professional occupation.

STAY TUNED!

This has been an exciting month for our Freedom Movement, but. . .

IT’S NOT OVER YET!!!!

Thank you IJ, for restoring the rights of Oklahoma designers!

But the fight is not over. . .

Oklahoma designers, now it’s your turn to help your colleagues in the rest of the country. Help IDPC put the monopoly effort down for the count by
joining our team!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at info@IDPCinfo.org.

Patti Morrow,
Executive Director
Interior Design Protection Council

IDPC is the only national organization solely dedicated to protecting the rights and livelihoods of ALL designers in our country.
Please support our efforts!
Click here to become a member of IDPC.
Join Our Mailing List!

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May 18, 2009 Posted by | ASID, IIDA, Institute for Justice | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

IIDA Nixes Merger With ASID

For the third time this decade, IIDA has rejected a request from ASID to merge the two design organizations into one. Here is the position statement released last week, followed by my thoughts on the matter, and how it relates to legislation.

In recent months, considerable speculation has circulated surrounding the question of whether a merger between the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) should take place. In early October, the boards of directors of both associations met to discuss a merger initiative. After much discussion and deliberation, the IIDA board of directors has established the following official position:

At this time, IIDA believes that a merger would not be in the overall best interests of our membership. The board of directors asserts that our association offers a unique experience unlike any other design organization and that the existence of more than one professional design association enables designers to choose the best alliance for advancing their career. To that end, the association will continue to focus on the principles and parameters on which the organization was founded.

As we have throughout our existence, IIDA will continue to promote and pursue initiatives for ongoing and meaningful collaborations with ASID in mutually beneficial pursuits of education, advocacy and areas of marketplace value.

The IIDA is steadfastly committed to its members, embracing the legacy of the profession, and advancing the future of design.

May 12, 2009 Posted by | ASID, IIDA | , , | 11 Comments

Is Your Interior Designer *Really* Putting Your Life at Risk?

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Reason.tv’s Nick Gillespie went looking for dead bodies, and for an explanation for why the state of Florida launched a legal case against Younts. State regulators demand that she obtain a license, a license she says she doesn’t need, a license that could cost her six years and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Do licensing laws protect consumers from death and destruction or, as the Interior Design Protection Council argues, do they protect licensed designers from competition? Should Younts be stripped of the career it took her decades to build? Should President Obama be worried about his interior designer, the unlicensed Michael Smith? Watch the documentary below, then you decide…

Written and produced by Ted Balaker. Director of photography is Roger Richards.

April 2, 2009 Posted by | Alabama, ASID, Florida, Georgia, Interior Design Legislation Opposition, Interior Design Protection Council (IDPC), ncidq certification licensing, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Report from Annapolis

Thanks to David Merrick of NARI for the following summary of the meeting in Annapolis regarding Maryland’s proposed legislation. Because of intense opposition pressure, the amendment turning the bill into a title act instead of a practice act was circulated, and changed the terminology – and they are going to vote on this on Friday, March 20.

They also want to change the existing title act restriction on “Certified interior Designer” to be “Licensed Interior Designer”, and wanted to even restrict the use of the term “interior designer”, but NKBA and others made it clear to them that this was not OK, either. Even ASID officially agrees with not restricting that use now, but the local Maryland people are still trying to push it through.

So, the fight isn’t over yet, folks – read on, and keep on writing and calling your legislators. This could still pass as amended on Friday – or even unamended.

=======================================================================================================
Yesterday’s hearing in Annapolis was well attended, over 100 people
turned out to testify against this bill. One of the delegates commented
at the start that they had received more emails on this than they did
for the death penalty.

Before the hearing started an amendment was circulated that drops the
practice issues included in the bill and turns the bill into a title
bill for Interior Designers. The original bill would limit the practice
of interior design to Licensed Interior Designers, this would include
kitchens, bathrooms and residential buildings and would greatly affect
design build contractors and people who call themselves Interior
Designers but have no credentials to back that up. The amended bill
would just restrict the title of Interior Designers to people who have
been licensed by the state.

The head of MHIC, Larry Levitan testified in favor of the bill as long
as MHIC contractors were exempted, that helps some of us but would still
affect many of our colleagues. Proponents of the bill say it is needed
to protect the public despite a clean record with no complaints filed
against Interior designers in the recent past.

This is a very political issue and is not dead, the bill could still go
before the legislature un-amended, amended or be killed in committee.
We need it to be killed in committee. If this passes it would be
complete disaster for our businesses.

Use this link to the NKBA website to respond to all of the legislators

http://capwiz.com/nkba/issues/alert/?alertid=12816801&type=ML

It is very important that we stay tuned into what is happening here, I
urge each of you to take a few minutes and write a personal message,
this link is very easy to use and very effective. I received a personal
reply from two representatives.

David Merrick, CR

President, NARI Metro DC

President Merrick Design and Build Inc

301-946-2356

March 19, 2009 Posted by | ASID, Interior Design Legislation Opposition, Interior Design Protection Council (IDPC), Maryland | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment