No Design Legislation

Opposing interior design legislation everywhere

New Video – Free to Design: Florida Entrepreneurs Take On the Interior Design Cartel

New video about the lawsuit challenging Florida’s anticompetitive interior design law.

The Institute for Justice’s Clark Neily explains the growth of red tape and licensing laws which have led to an explosion of governmental controls on occupations that were never regulated before. Legislation has always been abused as a weapon to suppress competition, starting with attempting to prevent African Americans from getting a leg up, to now restricting many other people from working in the fields of their choice. It’s an ugly history that has been continued now as a tool of special interest groups who want to exclude others.

In fact, as David Harrington of Kenyon College explains, this sort of legislation is also most likely to exclude minorities and midcareer job changers. See “Designed to Exclude” for more information on this.

Can you say “discrimination”? And “antithesis of the American Dream”? Sure, I knew you could.

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more about “Video – Free to Design: Florida Entre…“, posted with vodpod

September 3, 2009 Posted by | Florida, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Florida Governor Signs Bill Regarding Foodservice Dealers and Kitchen Design

Another nail in the coffin of anticompetitive interior design legislation in Florida.  As noted, legislation of this nature is likely to have broad implications for designers of professional kitchens throughout the country if they are not licensed interior designers, and bodes well for complete overturn of the Florida practice act (see further information on the preliminary injunction regarding title act provisions here).

By extension, recognizing that the design of complex facilities such as commercial kitchens do not require any sort of licensing is likely to have further positive implications for aborting, overturning, and preventing passage of other anticompetitive interior design laws in other states as well.

From Foodservice Equipment and Supplies Magazine:

“Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed a bill into law which exempts foodservice equipment dealers from long-standing legislation that prohibited them to design commercial kitchens. The proposed bill, which was passed by the Florida House of Representatives in Early May, included an amendment to allow dealers, as well as foodservice equipment manufacturers and their reps, to continue designing or aiding in the design of commercial kitchens in Florida as they have done so, but now on a legal basis.

Before Gov. Crist signed the bill, in Florida, only certified interior designers were legally able to design commercial kitchens. ”

Read the rest of this article at http://www.fesmag.com/article/CA6666271.html?nid=3454&rid=12726435

August 31, 2009 Posted by | Florida | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FL Barred From Enforcing Title Law Provisions!

Florida judge defends designers’ First Amendment rights! This is yet the latest example of the courts upholding our right to call ourselves interior designers without restriction, and to freely advertise exactly what we do. The dominos are falling one by one, but more and more quickly now. Spread the word!


From Clark Neily of the Institute for Justice:

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Great news in the Florida interior design case! Yesterday Judge Hinkle entered a preliminary injunction order ordering the State Board to stop enforcing the title provisions of Florida’s interior design law. I have attached a copy of the order, but here’s what this means in practical terms:

  • Anyone who is lawfully performing interior design services in Florida may now use the terms “interior designer,” “interior design,” “space planning,” etc. to describe themselves and their work. There is no requirement to preface those terms with the word “residential.”
  • While the order is en effect, the State Board may not proceed with any enforcement action that have already been commenced.

  • Technically, this is not a final order, and it could be withdrawn by the judge at a later date. Given the particular facts of this case, however, I consider that extremely unlikely, nor would it happen overnight. Bottom line, we are telling people that while there is a possibility that the order could be withdrawn, the odds of that happening appear very small.

  • The order does not affect the practice-related restrictions of Florida’s interior design law, which means that non-licensees are still limited to performing residential interior design services only. We will now turn our attention to the law’s practice restrictions, which will be a more challenging — but very exciting — effort.
  • We encourage all of you to publicize this development through whatever networks or contacts you might have… But in terms of telling people informally about the injunction order and what it means, please don’t hold back — it’s important that we get the word out about this far and wide.

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Here’s the text of the actual order:

(You can also find the order as a PDF here. Please forward it far and wide.)

Case 4:09-cv-00193-RH-WCS Document 32 Filed 08/07/2009 Page 1 of 2
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
Tallahassee Division
EVA LOCKE, et al.,
Plaintiffs,
v.
JOYCE SHORE, et al.,
Defendants.
Civil Action No.
4:09cv193-RH/WCS
PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
THIS MATTER is before the Court on the parties’ Agreed Motion For
Preliminary Injunction. Upon consideration of the motion and the representations of
counsel and it appearing to the Court that the Motion is well taken,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED THAT:
1. The First Amendment protects people’s right to speak truthfully about services
they lawfully perform. This includes advertising that uses terms that accurately describe
services a person legally provides and that accurately describe the person providing those
services.
2. Under Florida law, anyone may perform residential interior design services
without being licensed by or registered with the state. Accordingly, the plaintiffs and
other nonlicensees may lawfully perform residential interior design services in Florida,
and they have a right under the First Amendment to advertise those services using terms
that accurately describe themselves and the services they lawfully provide.

Case 4:09-cv-00193-RH-WCS Document 32 Filed 08/07/2009 Page 2 of 2
3. In light of the foregoing, the defendants and their officers, agents, servants,
employees, and attorneys, and other persons who are in active concert or participation
with them,(1) are hereby enjoined from enforcing the statutory restrictions on the use by
unlicensed or unregistered individuals who lawfully practice interior design of the
specific statutory terms in Fla. Stat. §§ 481.223(1)(c) and 481.229(6)(a) and any other
“words to that effect” to truthfully describe themselves and the services they lawfully
provide.
4. This agreed injunction shall remain in effect until further order of the Court,
and it is expressly understood and acknowledged by the parties that (a) the order applies
to disciplinary actions already commenced or that could have been commenced by the
Board of Architecture and Interior Design; and (b) the Board may not take action against
any person for actions taken in accordance with the agreed injunction order while it was
in effect, even if the order is later withdrawn or dissolved.
SO ORDERED on August 7, 2009.
s/Robert L. Hinkle
United States District Judge

(1) The parties’ agreed preliminary injunction would also enjoin “potential ‘affected
persons’ under Fla. Stat. § 481.223(3)(a)&(b).” They cite no authority for enjoining
nonparties in addition to those listed in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(d)(2). This
order tracks the rule. Except for this change, this order is the same as proposed by the
parties.

===============================================================

August 12, 2009 Posted by | Florida, Institute for Justice | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Help for Victims of Florida’s Witch Hunt

Help for victims of Florida’s WITCH HUNT!

Interior Design Protection Council
Legal assistance!

Over the last year, many designers who live or provide services in Florida have contacted me for a legal recommendation to understand and defend against the Board of Architecture and Interior Design (BOAID) disciplinary actions (a.k.a. “the witch hunt”).  Regrettably, I did not personally know of an attorney who had expertise in regulatory proceedings and was unable to give a referral.

Well, I am delighted to tell you that is no longer the case!  I have been contact by a Florida attorney with many years of extensive experience in interior design regulatory laws and procedure.  She knows Statute 481 and the DBPR inside and out.

And she wants to help! She does not agree with the BOAID’s very broad interpretation of the statute.  She is offering representation to persons targeted by the BOAID on a cost-only basis and instead will seek legal fees via statute from BOAID (which really should be held liable for paying fees for defense of their unfair “enforcement” activities).

As you may be aware, most people accused of unlicensed interior design activity either resolve it by attending the “probable cause” hearings and signing an affidavit admitting guilt and accepting cease-and-desist orders, or they hold out until after an administrative complaint is filed and then settle, paying a fine of something less than the $5000 threatened by the Board, even though they do not agree than they have violated any laws.

We believe more harm than good may come from the accused attending these probable cause proceedings without expert, experienced legal representation.  First, the cease-and-desist orders that the board routinely issues in lieu of a finding of probable cause are not subject to dispute at a hearing through the Florida Administrative Procedures Act (see section 455.228, F.S.) and future “violation” of a C&D can lead to a heavier second penalty.  Although the designers who do not appear will most likely be issued an administrative complaint, the complaint certainly can be challenged. The BOAID would have to prove their accusations at an administrative hearing through clear and convincing evidence.   How many victims of this witch hunt “knowingly” violated the statute?  The BOAID ignores that crucial element.

Moreover, if an “improvident finding of probable cause” is found in response to the complaint, it is possible that the defendant could require that the agency/board pay attorneys fees and costs (see section 57.111, F.S.).   Interestingly, if you perform a search on the Division of Administrative Hearings website (www.doah.state.fl.us) which is where disputed complaints would be adjudicated, you will see that the BOAID has not actually gone to hearing on an administrative complaint against a designer since the 1990s, and then the cases involved only disputed licensure denials.  Instead, the board routinely “helps” people into compliance with some pretty stiff fines and costs. Or they “help” them become compliant by telling them they can avoid a fine if they just sign an affidavit admitting guilt and promising not to do it again.  What they don’t tell them is that the admission of guilt becomes public domain, and any client or potential client using an internet search engine (like Google) will see their Florida record for years, perhaps a lifetime.  This result of the witch hunt is just one more way that the Florida cartel places “unlicensed” designers at an unfair competitive disadvantage.

Since there are not many attorneys willing to actually challenge them, the BOAID makes a ton of money this way.  Most lawyers without administrative agency experience are not familiar with regulatory law or procedures, so even when respondents have legal representation, some of the professional boards are able to get away with very iffy procedural practices.

This intimidation must STOP NOW!
If you or someone you know has been issued a cease and desist, please tell them to contact me at pmorrow@IDPCinfo.org and attach a copy of the cease and desist order, and I will be happy to answer any questions and put them in touch with this attorney.

IDPC is pleased to be involved in putting yet one more nail in IDAF’s coffin.  Click here to read how we’ve helped the Florida design community over the last year.

Please show your support for IDPC’s work by becoming a member or by making a donation of your choice.

Best regards,

signature
Patti Morrow
Executive Director
Support IDPC:
About IDPC:

July 1, 2009 Posted by | Florida | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are Stagers Affected by Interior Design Legislation?

Do interior design licensing laws affect real estate home stagers, or, as their professional association claims, will they be exempt?

Not only are stagers affected, but practitioners of arts such as feng shui and vastu would be at risk also. Please read the following post and position paper by IDPC to learn more.

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Interior Design Protection Council
Yes!

Real estate/home stagers – you need to educate yourselves

Take action to protect your rights and livelihoods!

Recently, we became aware of positions and statements originating from the staging profession purporting that regulation of interior designers does not affect real estate/home stagers and they should not become pro-active in protecting their freedoms.

This is not only far from true, but is a dangerous position that could potentially place real estate stagers at great risk. Practice laws in states like Florida and Alabama have been a detriment to real estate stagers, and if similar practice acts are allowed to be enacted, stagers will continue be impacted. Sadly, the advice which has been given to stagers recommending that they do not look into this issue lacks a clear understanding of the nuances of regulation, and rather than advancing member protection, it serves only to encourage stagers to withdraw back into complacency instead of continuing to actively engage in this important issue that has and will continue to impact staging professionals if left unchecked.

Click here to read IDPC’s Position Paper:
The Collateral Affect of Interior Design Regulation on Real Estate Stagers

Stagers, please join the fight for your right to perform your services free from arbitrary government interference.superhero
Take part in the freedom movement to ensure that legislation which would restrict your scope of work is never enacted. 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 everyone in the design community.

Please support our efforts!
Click here to become a member of IDPC.

Join Our Mailing List!

June 18, 2009 Posted by | Alabama, feng shui, Florida, staging | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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!

==============================================================
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

Why Should I Care About Other States?

Why should you care what other states are doing with respect to laws regulating the practice of interior design, other than the ones in which you reside and practice?

In a post on the Kitchen Design Notes blog, someone commented that he did not “have a dog in this fight” in reference to the Florida situation, a sentiment that I often hear expressed by designers from all over the country in one format or another.

Whether or not you have a dog in the Florida fight in particular, it’s critical to realize that we *all* have a stake in whatever happens in each and every state, and here’s why. Continue reading

May 11, 2009 Posted by | Florida, Interior Design Legislation Opposition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Letter from an ASID Allied Member – This Could Happen to You

Think you aren’t going to be affected by interior design legislation, even if it comes to your state? The following post details only one of a huge number of stories coming out of Florida and other states about the destruction of lives and careers that ASID’s witch hunt is causing. None of us can afford to remain complacent and let others fight this battle. What happens in other states could well be coming to your own state soon, so beware!

from the Interior Design Freedom Coalition blog:

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Letter from an ASID Allied Member

We just received an email newsletter from IDPC (Interior Design Protection Council) that is worth reading regarding the enforecment [sic] of Florida’s “medieval” interior design statute as the State of Florida continues to use an outside law firm to terrorize unsuspecting “Interior Designers” in Florida.

Read what happened to this Allied ASID member from Florida!
This could happen to YOU!
January 2009

Adelene Keeler SmithWest Palm Beach, FL

Dear Allied Members of ASID:

I write to validate that the Interior Design Protection Council, Liberty for Pennsylvania Designers and Institute of Justice are telling you the truth.

I am not an activist, but your design colleague. Iʼd like to share more insight on the negative impact licensing of interior designers has had on me personally.

Please link onto my website at www.adelenekeelersmith.com Allow me to walk you through my current website, which has clearly been diluted of the original strength and message it had when launched in February 2008. My research continues to point to the likelihood that a fellow ASID member reported my website to the state. In my efforts to clarify and confront this issue with ASID, I was met with flippancy, arrogance, and told “…but you were in violation! and why are you featuring past commercial projects on your web site!…donʼt you have something new to show! Donʼt take it so personally, just tell the investigator you are sorry and you wonʼt do it again!” Totally stunned, I replied that my corporate work stands the test of time and I feel I have done nothing inappropriate. When I called the IDAF director they suggested it might have been disgruntled client who filed thecompliant. “I donʼt maintain a clientele in Florida to report me”, I replied. My letters to the ASID and IDAF leadership have never been acknowledged. The complaint remains anonymous, but this action resulted in the investigation of my practice last year.

Here were the changes required to comply with and obey Florida law:

The Home Page: remove the term Interior Design or any other word combination containing them. I replaced it with Refined Elegance. I am now asked, so what is it that you do actually?

The Portfolio Page: every project you note here (even those obviously not in Florida) were under suspicion and scrutinized. I had to provide dates, names and project locations for each project. Can you imagine explaining that the tropical looking home was my personalresidence and not that of a paid client. All other Florida projects with timeless appeal, were completed before legislation or under current restrictions. In order to clear up any future assumptions or misunderstandings by the ASID or IDAF, I was required to by-line all commercial projects as not available in Florida.

The Profile Page: I had to remove any mention of the stellar interior design and architecture firms with which I had interned with, been employed by, or was mentored by in South Florida during or after receiving my five year BS degree in interior design. I suspect this was another way to discredit my obvious competency in commercial design even without the NCIDQ exam or professional level membership with ASID and IIDA.

The Process Page: I had to remove and re-write various verbiage. I had to explain in detail that the sample project boards on the website were not Florida projects, but were used as instructional materials only for the Commercial and Residential Design Labs I taught at alocal Florida college or were prepared for out of state clients. I am free to educate Floridaʼs students in Interior Design, but I am prohibited from practicing it.

Lastly, on my contact page, I voluntarily took off any indication or relationship to Florida,including area code and residential studio. (We returned to Florida for my husbandʼs careeras civil/structural bridge engineer) A good move back for him and Floridaʼs bridge needs…not so good for me. He needs the license, not me.

None of these changes required by the State of Florida where remotely required to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens. I believe it to be a witch hunt for the ASID agenda, cloaked under Florida state law that relishes any means of generating revenue in a state with no income tax.

In conclusion, I have been banned from practicing any commercial design, including condo lobbies, retail stores or corporate spaces for which I have received numerous ASID (first place) Awards for Excellence.

I am accused of soliciting and offering Interior Design services via my website to the state of Florida without a license. I am prohibited from establishing any interior design practice here (including residential, because I do not just decorate) without taking the NCIDQ exam necessary for application of a Florida license. (Note that in Florida tasks as basic as specification of furniture and creating a plan for arranging furniture are restricted to licensed interior designers. Unlicensed individuals wishing to perform residential decorating are limited to specifying fabrics, paint, flush mount lighting and window treatments.)

We received a wave of crank calls from so-called “prospective clients” to test our adherence to this warning. We politely declined their projects and referred them to a licensed Florida interior designer.

You be the judge of our website contents and my credentials. I believe I have conducted myself as a consummate professional in this industry for 35 years. And, because I will not cow-tow to anotherʼs definition or policy endorsed by the government, I am excluded and denied the ability to contribute to my family finances.

I am perplexed and troubled that ASID would allow this type of activity. Where was the civil and professional “courtesy call” that I deserved if a fellow ASID member had concerns about my new posted website. Silly me, I thought our new ASID chapter and membership would be welcoming, happy and excited for our new venture.

I am on a forced sabbatical.

In the next news letter, I would like to share with you my fall 2008 letter written to the new ASID incoming national President, my chapter administrator and two chapter presidents expressing matters at hand. Stay tuned!

Until then, the Happiest of New Yearʼs to you and yours!

Yours Sincerely,

Adelene Keeler Smith

April 14, 2009 Posted by | Florida, Pennsylvania | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about “Is Your Interior Designer *Really* Pu…“, posted with vodpod

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

Second Group of ASID Members Resign in Protest over ASID’s Support of Interior Design Legislation

Thanks to the Interior Design Freedom Coalition blog for the following post.  I’m a little behind in updating my blog.  And I’m really, really sad that, as stated, “ASID is not the organization it once was”.

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We just received a copy of this letter from IDPC

www.idpcinfo.org

ASID RESIGNATIONS
-GROUP 2-

January 16, 2009
Michael Alin, Executive Director
The American Society of Interior Designers
608 Massachusetts Ave., NE
Washington, D.C., 20002

Dear Mr. Alin:

Once again Allied designers have come together to state the reasons for their dispute with ASID and to resign as a group in protest of the organization’s policies and practices.

Despite the fact that ASID leadership thinks it knows better, designers who have been practicing for years understand what they do for a living and how clients react to their work. And what they know is that they are not endangering the health and safety of the public, nor are they prevented from practicing by the IBC – both simply serve as excuses for licensing.

What they also know is that licensing is totally unnecessary, and basically a device that is used by ASID and its testing partner, NCIDQ, to DISQUALIFY, not qualify, designers through legislation, and through NCIDQ requirements that cripple designers’ ability not only to take the test, but to pass it as well.

Most designers have absolutely no desire and see no reason to take the NCIDQ. Nowhere has it ever been proven that designers who take it are any better than those who don’t. Many of the most accomplished, famous designers in the world (notably those often featured in Architectural Digest) have never taken the test and certainly don’t need to. What they have is talent, plus the ability to be creative and visionary. Techno-engineering is not what we want to study and it’s not what we want to do. But this is what ASID is trying to force upon us.

We see increasing comprehension and anger from young design graduates who were fed on the milk of ASID’s policies from an early age, and were uneducated as to how these policies would negatively affect their careers. They are now coming to understand how ASID’s methodology will keep them from moving on up into the so-called professional ranks. NCIDQ’s requirement for years of what many young designers are calling “indentured servitude” makes it impossible for anyone coming out of school to immediately take the test.

And the lack of NCIDQ-certified designers who could or would hire these young graduates into that required indentured servitude makes even the possibility of taking the test very unlikely indeed.

Many young designers have simply abandoned the desire to take the NCIDQ and are taking other roads – which is apparently another way that ASID deliberately decreases the ranks of future interior designers.

Additionally by requiring young designers to work only with NCIDQ certificate holders (few that there are) they also deny them the possibility of working with the top designers in the world who are not NCIDQ-certified.

Once again, we are appalled by the situation unfolding in Florida, which, sadly, has provided a glimpse into the real future of the meaning of design legislation.

If it has been your goal to cut the ranks of interior designers in Florida, you have succeeded
If it has been your goal to restrict decorators to the bare minimum of “legal” services where they would be less competitive, you have succeeded
If it has been your goal to use the Florida practice act to cause much pain in the design community in Florida, you have succeeded
If it has been your goal to cause Florida designers to operate in a state of fear, you have succeeded
If it has been your goal to penalize and exact huge fines against interior designers and collateral trades just trying to do business as they were used to doing, you have succeeded
If it has been your goal to destroy the ability to design in freedom in Florida, you have succeeded.

It is, however, our goal to inform designers of the type of restrictive actions heading their way if they allow ASID to pass legislation in dozens of states where legislation is slated to be introduced. And it is our goal to make sure that you never succeed in forcing this legislation on the design community, causing this type of damage to our fellow designers again.

Designers no longer feel that ASID’s dues represent a good value. In letters written by Allied members, they cited over and over again the fact that better information could be had over the internet, that Connex is worthless because of extensive censorship, that mandatory dues force people to pay for lobbying efforts they do not support, and that ASID does not do what it should to promote designers (especially Allied designers). Most agree that they can buy their own magazines, and for far less than $440 a year!

And perhaps the most important reason of all is that clients simply don’t care whether prospective designers are members of ASID – only that they like their portfolios, feel comfortable with the designers and agree with the proposed financial arrangements.

Additionally, ASID’s claim that it promotes the interests of Allied members is particularly ludicrous since other than paying dues that support lobbying for legislation that will put us out of business, the Society seems to have no use for us. Cited over and over are the elitist attitudes that permeate leadership and chapters around the country, creating an uncomfortable and unwelcome atmosphere for Allied members who are looked upon as second-class citizens.

Just because a designer passes the NCIDQ test and serves an NCIDQ certified practitioner for a number of years, does not make that designer a professional, nor does it entitle those designers to take an elitist attitude that is unwelcoming to others within the same organization who are not NCIDQ-certified.

Professional designers are those whose vision and creativity evolve over time, and who serve their customers successfully with expertise that is derived from any number of different sources, and these professionals include people who are self-taught through their own hands-on experience. “Professional” status is something designers earn through the quality of their work in the competitive arena of a free market – it is not something that can be conferred simply by passing a test or obtaining a government-issued license.

ASID will continue to lose members as long as it pursues professional licensing through legislation; as long as it continues to lose credibility by misrepresenting to its membership that licensing is necessary and good for the profession; as long as ASID continues to deny that licensing will put thousands of designers out of business; as long as it continues to ally with NCIDQ to disqualify designers from practice; as long as it continues its elitist attitudes; as long as it continues to mislead newcomers about their future in design; as long as it continues to deny designers who disagree with policy a voice; as long as it continues its policy of mandatory legislative assessments; and as long as it continues to promote its dictatorial policies, while denigrating its own membership.

ASID is not the organization it once was. We see that clearly, and have no desire to continue our membership.

And so we are resigning.

Thomas M. Bauer, #29892, Indiana
Paula Bertucci, #52512, California
Denise Bressler, #1485955, Florida
Edith Clamen, #42256, New York (previously resigned for above reasons)
Diann Gibson, #1226118, Florida
Starr Gobtop, 1868762, Illinois
Amy Hart, #1503605, Virginia
Melodie Hunt, #39056, Missouri
Patrick Mallaley, #1894927, Canada
Carolyn McComber, 1538456, Florida
Nicole Mitchell, #1527699, Pennsylvania
Emily Nagel, #1860696, Washington (state)
Richard Parker, #1480188, Florida
Deborah A. Rodeghier, #1485759, California
Kelly Savell, #1551058, Tennessee
Janet Schmierer, #1238256, New Jersey
Cricket Seal, #2440, Texas
Mimi Swerdlow, #1223205, Connecticut
Margaret Vogt, #84751, North Carolina
Corey Zucker, #1222704, New York

cc: Bruce J. Brigham, President
Board of Directors:
Bruce Goff
Charrisse Johnston
Doug Hartsell
Lisa Henry
Mary G. Knopf
Rachelle Schoessler Lynn
Stephanie Clemons
Sybil J.B. Van Dijs

February 18, 2009 Posted by | Interior Design Legislation Opposition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment