No Design Legislation

Opposing interior design legislation everywhere

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

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

AIP Officials Sweep Student Coercion Under the Rug

The battle over AIPs coercive assignment to lobby legislators in support of Pennsylvania HB 1521 heats up, fueled by public outrage and president George Pry and interior design department chair Kelly Spewock’s assertions that no coercion was used.

Both administrators continue to claim that students were given equal opportunity to oppose legislation and to earn equal credit for that, despite confirmations from several students who personally objected to the assignment, and the opposition movement’s receipt of a copy of the actual assignment, confirming the original allegations of instructor Laura Musulin’s clearly stated attempt to force students to support her own political agenda.

AIP claims the Institute has no official policy on the legislation, but they are clearly not ensuring that this policy is adhered to by the faculty, if it is indeed the case, and have not said they’ve done anything to correct the situation. Instead, they now state that they consider the matter closed.

This type of behavior is a serious compromise of academic integrity, regardless of the political position being promoted, and seriously calls into question whether or not such coercion may be being used with students in other disciplines, and in other institutions.

Clearly, AICAD (the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design), which is one of the most important national accrediting bodies for institutions of higher learning specializing in the arts agrees, as president Bill Barrett weighs in with his response to IDPC postings.

Could AIP lose its accreditation if they continue to show signs of supporting this kind of outrageous behavior? I would suggest that perhaps they should.

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From IDPC:

Interior Design Protection Council

AIP officials sweep interior design coercion under the [designer] rug.

In a letter responding to multiple requests from IDPC requesting action on an inappropriate assignment, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh has indicated that they consider the matter resolved and are not open to further discussion.

We disagree. Click here to read press release and IDPC letters to AIP.

sweep

June 23, 2009 Posted by | Pennsylvania, Students | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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

Stagers and Feng Shui Experts Affected by Legislation – You Need to Educate Yourselves

Anyone practicing feng shui should also beware for the same reasons as outlined below and in the linked article about why real estate stagers are impacted by interior design legislation.
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to read the following message and the referenced article, and to beware, if you want to continue to practice your craft.
You can help protect your rights by spreading the word on your own, writing letters to your own legislators to oppose unfair and anticompetitive interior design legislation, by testifying at hearings on proposed bills in your state about how you would be negatively impacted, and by sharing the below information with your colleagues.  Feel free to ask any questions here that you like.
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From the Interior Design Protection Council:
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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 [sic] 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.
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

June 1, 2009 Posted by | Alabama, Florida | , , , , , | 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!

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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

Tennessee Practice Act Withdrawn by Sponsor Due to Opposition!

From the Interior Design Protection Council:

SB 2078 is dead for this year!

<Members of the Tennessee design community:

Celebration is in order — the practice act will NOT threaten your livelihood this year! Your phone calls, emails, and visits to the Senators’ offices succeeded.

Rather than face the certain vote-down of his bill, the sponsor withdrew SB 2078 and put it into “General Sub[committee].” Here are the sponsor and TIDC lobbyist’s testimonial comments, along with our response. Continue reading

May 11, 2009 Posted by | ncidq certification licensing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fire Retardant Codes Cause More Harm Than Good?

Some building codes not only do not protect the public as well as we would like to think they do, but may actually result in practices that do more harm to the public than they prevent.

The folks who are trying to legislate most designers out of business using largely health, safety, and welfare claims don’t seem to realize that some of the very building codes they tout as so necessary for designers to know are likely creating bigger problems than they are actually solving, that the testing and standards required by code aren’t cut and dried, black-and-white, complete solutions to anything with no downsides.

Who is teaching designers to actually think and learn for themselves? God knows it’s not the design schools. The design education process that is being promoted as the be-all and end-all pathway to learning how to be a designer and keep people safe in the built environment largely produces people who blindly follow what they are taught – by nonscientists, I might add – about codes and testing procedures as if it’s all the gospel truth, and as if following these guidelines is going to guarantee anyone’s safety, when in fact, it just ain’t so easy or clearcut.

Certainly this appears to be the thinking behind a lot of the push to legislate our profession as extensively as ASID and company are working hard to do.

Many building materials and products used in interiors, including the foams used in furniture construction, are required by the building code to be treated with fire retardant chemicals – even those products used in the residential environment. In addition, many fabrics are required to be treated with these chemicals, including clothing and bed linens, and all textiles used in the commercial environment.

There is a tremendous and growing body of evidence that these chemicals accumulate in the body and cause a number of major medical problems including cancers and neurological, reproductive, thyroid, and developmental problems, as well as genetic mutations. Studies have shown that many marine mammals and household pets are dying as a result of the accumulation of these chemicals, Continue reading

April 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

IN Registration Bill Snuck into Health Care Bill

SB 337 will hurt your ability to compete!

NEWS ALERT!

IDPC has just learned that SB 337 which passed the Senate but stalled in the House Rules Committee, is being revived as an amendment to be tacked onto HB 1573, a bill which concerns Health and Provider Services.

This is exactly the kind of deceitful, under-the-radar effort that resulted in so many states enacting title laws.

That was then.

Now, we are watching every move and today we are alerting the honest, hardworking interior designers of Indiana, that you need to ACT NOW to prevent this amendment from being included in the health care bill.

This amendment is an exercise in wasting taxpayer money, government time and state resources. The bill serves absolutely no public purpose, and merely duplicates what is already available through private organizations.


This amendment will ONLY benefit a very small minority of interior designers who will be able to market themselves as “State Registered” and YOU WILL NOT. Continue reading

April 14, 2009 Posted by | Indiana | , , , , , , , | 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