Attention Florida Interior Design Students!
Will deregulating interior design allow ONLY architects to do commercial design?
In a word. . . NO!
The statement that deregulating designers will mean that only architects can do design work in commercial spaces is nothing more than a deliberate attempt by ASID and their puppet coalition IDAF to mislead their members, the design community, legislators, and students, in a planned effort to confuse them as to the true purpose of the bill. No one, other than ASID/IDAF, says that the law will limit the ability of designers to work and seek jobs. The entire purpose of deregulation is to remove barriers to entry, reduce unnecessary governmental regulations which hinder small businesses and entrepreneurs from starting or expanding their businesses, encourage new businesses to grow and hire, and provide consumer choice.
What ASID/IDAF has done is take the language of the bill regarding the definition of “architecture” and taken words out of context, while ignoring the full language of the definition, to claim that if architects are the only ones left in the architecture law, that means that no one else can do work in commercial spaces. That’s not what the law says, that is not what AIA says, that is not what the bill sponsor says, that is not what the Building Officials Association of Florida says, that is not what the Florida Engineering Society says, and that is not what is contained in the Building Official’s Guide to the Professional Practice of Architects & Engineers in Florida. Architectural services as defined by law, and which designers may not perform unless licensed as architects, “means the rendering or offering to render services in connection with the design and construction of a structure or group of structures which have as their principal purpose human habitation or use, and the utilization of space within and surrounding such structures.” Taken to its illogical extreme, ASID/IDAF ignores the language that sets out the parameters of the work as “the design and construction of a structure” and references only the portion that talks about utilization of space and designs and drawings. Again, it is only related to the design and construction of the structure. But since designers can’t do that anyway, saying that would not generate the outpouring of letters and phone calls that their campaign has generated. We have worked with the bill sponsor and the legal counsel for the Committee to ensure that what ASID/IDAF are claiming is not accurate, and they have told us that if it helps, they would add language to the bill to make it absolutely clear that all interior designers will be able to perform the services that only registered interior designers may perform today – no one intends to limit their work or restrict commercial design to just architects.
Students are receiving a grave injustice from their “professors” who are not telling them the truth about the profession or the affect of deregulation. As Florida law currently stands now, if they want to become registered, students must only work under the supervision of a licensed interior designer (only 2560 in the entire state of Florida), or an architect or engineer. Where are the 2,000 design students that were testified to going to get a job upon graduation? How many of the 2560 designers are still in business, or are not solo practitioners who don’t have enough work for themselves let alone enough to hire a new designer, or who do not work for a large architecture firm and have the ability to hire a designer themselves? And even if they have the means, how many are in favor of training up their future competitors in such a difficult economy? Not to mention, we hear numerous complaints from student “interns” that they feel like indentured servants, making little or no pay, and relegated to non-related design work like filing and answering phones.
The schools have greatly expanded their design programs over the past few years chasing tuitions and fees, far beyond the capacity of the profession to absorb the graduates. These students are in for a rude awakening upon graduation. By allowing more businesses to work in the field, their job opportunities and ability to be hired will increase. Only in the hallowed halls of academia can limiting the number of businesses that can operate, especially in a down economy, increase job opportunities for graduates!
I strongly encourage all students to seek out the facts of this issue rather than take at face value the intentional misleading by instructors who have their own personal political agenda. The truth is always the best place to start out in your career.
Please share this information with your fellow students, and for more information, please visit our website where we have a special page dedicated to student licensing issues. I guarantee you’ll find the information there very eye-opening. http://www.idpcinfo.org/Students.html
Best of luck to you in your interior design career!
ADE, CAPS, DSA, IRIS, NKBA, RESA, RIDE, NAOEM, USGBC-NH