Interior Design Protection Consulting

March 19, 2012

Sacramento Bee Throws Baby Out With Bath Water on Interior Design Bill

On March 19th, in his Sacramento Bee op ed column, License bill cuts down competition Dan Walters appears to have done something no one else has ever done.

Congratulations, Dan – you have managed to tick off interior designers in favor of licensing AND those against it.

While I agree wholeheartedly with Walters’ overall judgment that licensing of interior designers is anticompetitive and unnecessary, and drives up costs to consumers I was appalled by his disparaging, belittling, inaccurate stereotyping of the entire interior design industry.

The reason that interior designers “like to call themselves” that is because it accurately describes what they do.   Interior decorating and interior design are not necessarily interchangeable, although design services can and frequently do include decorating.

And categorizing interior design as a “marginal profession” is just plain insulting and did nothing to further his position.

The Walters piece is just one of several similar articles that have been published in the past few years in direct response to pending legislation – and the industry can thank the ASID Cartel for that…

In their efforts to so-call “professionalize the industry,” the Cartel has accomplished the direct opposite.  Their absurd assertions like “every decision an interior designer makes affects the health and safety of the public,” or their unending scare tactics that the use of the wrong fabrics in hospitals could spread infection contributing to 88,000 deaths every year, flammable carpets spark infernos, porous countertops spread bacteria; jail furnishings being turned into weapons”[1] do nothing but make the industry fodder for ridicule.

It is alleged that the Cartel has spent over $7,000,000 lobbying for legislation to eliminate their competition over the past 35 years.

If they had, instead, spent that money educating the public about interior designers, their own members, and their own private certification, we would not be embroiled in the contentious turf war taking place today.

Dan – “ridiculous ideas deserve ridicule” (Christina Botteri), but please… don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.


April 30, 2011

Interior Design DE-regulation Stays IN Florida Budget!

shocked!We’re IN!!!   

Are you sitting down?  You might want to…

After meeting last night at 10:15, this morning at 10:00 and this afternoon at 2:00, the negotiations between Sen. Alexander and Rep. Grimsley are over.  They have reached a budget agreement and (drum roll, please)….

INTERIOR DESIGN REMAINS IN
TO BE DEREGULATED!!!

The budget bill now has a 72 hour “cooling off” period, then will be on legislators’ desks next Tuesday, for a final vote on Friday (last day of session) to confirm the budget which has now been informally agreed to by both Senate and House.

The Cartel will no doubt do everything they can to make a desperate, final attempt to get interior designers removed and save their monopoly stranglehold, but that’s highly unlikely at this juncture, as the budget should be a straight up-or-down vote, and all the “horse trading” has already been done. Still, you just never know what can happen in the legislature, so put that champagne on ice, but don’t crack it open just yet.  We’ll give you the thumbs up when all hurdles have been passed.

For all intents and purposes, it sure does look like the Good Guys have won!  Thanks for being part of our team effort — IDPC has been working on getting rid of this law since 2008, and if you have not already done so, this would be an ideal time to support our work.

I think I’m going to take the rest of the weekend off.

April 29, 2011

ASID. . . or SNL? Press conference bombs!

“It was like a Saturday Night Live skit.”

That was typical of the many comments we received regarding ASID’s flop-of-a-press-conference held in Tallahassee yesterday.  Here is a summary of the debacle.

Almost no one came out to hear what the Cartel had to say…

  • no designers other than their own cronies
  • few if any legislators
  • no mainstream news media or blogs
  • and only two local reporters, whose media decided not to run anything

In fact, the people in the conference area never even bothered to stop talking – there was so much ambient noise, one could barely hear what was being said.

Well, that would have been a blessing in disguise for the Cartel if not for the streaming video. . .

Don Davis, ASID’s national lobbyist, led the cache of Cartel speakers looking very ill at ease – probably because the audience just kept talking right over him.  In his comments, he emphasized the same falsehoods that were publicized by ASID earlier in the week.

The first was the claim that interior design regulation regulation in Florida is voluntary and that anyone who would like to do interior design may do so.  This is not true; Florida is one of only three states that have enacted a state-mandated regulatory scheme which prohibits unlicensed individuals from practicing commercial interior design.  Mr. Davis’ deliberately misleading statement and additional ASID mistruths have been thoroughly, factually, and empirically debunked in detail here.

My colleague, Clark Neily says, “If Florida’s law is indeed voluntary, that will come as a huge surprise to IJ client Barbara Gardner and hundreds of others like her who received this letter from the BOAID’s prosecuting attorney, David Minacci, advising that it is illegal to offer “interior design” and “commercial design” services in Florida and demanding that they sign an affidavit in which they agree to “refrain from offering interior design and commercial design services” without a license and swear under oath that “interior design and commercial design services have not been provided . . . without proper licensure.”  I further assume that Mr. Minacci and members of the BOAID will be investigated for their criminal conduct in making those misrepresentations to hundreds of people and businesses under color of law.

I further assume the BOAID will retract these false and misleading press releases regarding its apparently illegal enforcement action against Kelly Wearstler for ‘practic[ing] interior design in Florida without a license.’”

Mr. Davis went on to proclaim that if deregulation occurs, no one but architects would be able to practice interior design in a commercial setting or be able to pull permits for their projects.  ASID continues to perpetrate this scare tactic even after it has been totally discredited here and here.

Mr. Davis’ claim that deregulation would create a monopoly for architects is absurd.
No clear-thinking legislator is going to be hoodwinked by ASID’s bait-and-switch tactics which falsely and unsuccessfully try to portray the Cartel as the victims in a monopoly scheme.  To the contrary, what Florida has now is a state-sanctioned monopoly under which a mere 2,560 state-licensed interior designers are allowed to work in commercial spaces.  Eliminating Florida’s interior design law will enable consumers to hire whomever they wish and require interior designers to compete on a level playing field in Florida the way they do in the 47 states that do not regulate interior design.  Talented interior designers are flourishing in those states, as they will when Florida’s blatantly anti-competitive interior design law is repealed.

Alison Levy, a spokesperson for IIDA, claimed that deregulation would cost Florida consumers $51 million and result in layoffs because registered interior designers would not be able to offer commercial interior design services; however, that number appears to have been made up as she supplied not single statistic, documentation, or any verification whatsoever to support the assertion.  More importantly, it’s just not true.  Everything registered interior designers are doing today, they will be able to do if deregulated.  They will be able to practice commercial design and they will be able to submit plans (albeit without a seal, which is not necessary for non-lifesafety work under the Florida Building Code Guidebook).  Deregulation would create, not destroy, jobs, so no layoffs would occur.  Whether or not the current licensed designers actually get/keep the commercial work once fair competition is allowed will depend solely on the merit of work produced, as in the 47 non-regulated states.

Ms. Levy claimed that Florida is currently not a regulated state.  This is a serious misrepresentation of Statues 481which could have the chilling effect of leading to unlicensed practice resulting in additional disciplinary actions (in addition to the 600+ individuals who were victims of the “witch hunt”) at the hands of the BOAID’s ruthless prosecution firm.

Walter Dartland, a former employee in the Attorney General’s office was (unintentionally) hilarious!  He talked in general about consumer issues (which of course, interior design is not).  He indicated that interior designers are the functional equivalent of lawyers and should be regulated accordingly. Hmmm.  I guess he didn’t hear Don Davis’ statement that they’re not regulated…  He also railed against deregulation of movers and auto repair shops as the top recipient of consumer complaints.  That’s it.  Did ASID forget to tell Mr. Dartland the press conference was supposed to be about interior design?

Representative Van Zandt was undoubtedly the highlight of the press conference, and did the most to damage the credibility of the Cartel’s agenda to remove interior designers from the deregulation bill.

  • He went on and on about how the current regulated interior designers protect public safety, but gave no proof whatsoever – that’s because there is none, as proved here and here.
  • He mistakenly used the term interior “decorator” instead of “designer”
  • He stated there are 883 regulated firms with 11,000 employees, affecting another 46,000 jobs for a total loss of 60,000 jobs if deregulated.  Again, no proof was offered.  The truth is that those 60,000 jobs would still be viable, and in addition, hundreds of thousands more would be created by deregulation!

But by far the best of the best of Rep. Van Zandt’s belabored speech was his repeating again and again and again that registered interior designers are trained to provide interior architecture.  In fact, at one point, he said something to the effect of “if deregulated, anyone would be able to design interior architecture.”

Seriously?  As an architect of 40 years, Representative Van Zandt should know, that’s illegal in Florida!  Statutes 481.223(1)(a) says “A person may not knowingly practice architecture unless the person is an architect or a registered architect.”

With no clear coordinated talking points, and each bumbling speaker contradicting the other, as amusing as it was for the Freedom Movement, the press conference had to be excruciatingly painful for the Cartel to watch.

How could it not?

January 21, 2011

Interior design legislation discussion on Today’s Home

PATTI MORROW, Director of the Interior Design Protection Council, is going to be my very special guest on Today’s Home tomorrow morning at 9:00 Pacific Time/12:00 Eastern Time. Please tune in, and call with your questions (toll free, of course!)

Click here for tune in and call in structions: http://todays-home.com/

Diane Plesset, Today’s Home radio host

More red tape for Florida interior designers…students beware!

Read this excellent investigative report by David Arthur Walters of the Miami Mirror: http://www.idpcinfo.org/The_Case_of_Elizabeth_by_David_Arthur_Walters.pdf

January 19, 2011

Interior designers and the “life safety” myth

Do unregulated interior designers jeopardize public safety?  The answer is found in this short video!

October 28, 2010

ASID’s Interior Design Legislation Seminar

Well, it looks like ASID just completed another (excuse my yawn) legislative symposium, this time in Colorado.  Mostly the same old, same old, but not entirely.  Here’s a link to their power point:  http://www.asid.org/NR/rdonlyres/EEFE7E77-1735-4137-A0AB-FF3767057E42/0/LegislativeAffairsDesignAdvocacyforAll.pdf

It should be noted that the training seminar was lead by Bruce Goff (CA) and Rose Botti-Salitsky (MA) – two pro-regulation extremists that have failed miserably, time and time again, to bring licensure to their own states of California and Massachusetts.

THE GOOD NEWS…..

It appears that the strategy will now focus solely on trying to restrict sign and seal privileges to only NCIDQ-certified designers and prevent all others from submitting plans for non-structural permitting.  Why is this good news? Because as we all know, the pro-regulation faction want everything interior designers do to be restricted to only NCIDQ-certified, but IDPC, with assistance from our allies in the Freedom Movement, have BLOCKED them at every turn:

  • We decimated their entire “health, safety and welfare” argument by proving that there is not a shred of evidence to warrant a conclusion that the unregulated practice of interior design places the public in any form of jeopardy whatsoever.
  • We neutralized their whining that they deserve “legislated professional recognition” by pointing out that it is not a legitimate function of the legislature to provide government-sanctioned enhancement to a small handful of elitist industry insiders while placing the majority of honest, hard-working designers at an unfair competitive disadvantage.
  • We provided in-depth analysis which undeniably demonstrates that the IBC (Sec. 106.1) does NOT require that all construction documents be prepared by registered design professionals, but 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.
  • We took OUR title back via the Institute of Justice’s successful court challenges that restricting the title of “interior designer” is unconstitutional.

The Cartel has been left scrambling around the proverbial regulatory floor, trying to find any crumbs of legislation that they can sweep up.

But the sign and seal hybrid practice act bills will be met with the same vigorous opposition from IDPC and our allies – especially the AIA, with whom I’ve been working to strengthen our partnership both nationally and on a state-by-state basis.

NOW THE BAD NEWS…

According to reports IDPC has obtained on the seminar,

  • ASID is again encouraging that bills be introduced in EVERY legislature in the country.  This is not a new concept.  IDPC exposed the previous ASID/IIDA “Parker Plan” in 2008  (http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs060/1102107213116/archive/1102134496569.html).  Of course, ASID denied such a plan existed, but soon thereafter a third failed effort to merge the two organizations was revealed, totally vindicating my announcement of the alleged Parker Plan.
  • ASID is encouraging hiring new lobbyists if the previous ones did not adequately advance their licensing scheme;
  • ASID offers states opportunities to have their legislative efforts funded;
  • Many states like WA, CO, MN, AZ, PA, TN, CA, MS, OR, MI and others will be pursuing practice acts;
  • States like Florida and Georgia will be looking to expand the insidious reach of their existing laws.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO…

Support IDPC and the Freedom Movement, and we will give you the tools you need to keep the Cartel’s licensing scheme from steamrolling your state and stealing your hard earned business!  Read more about the benefits and how much time and money we can save you: https://idpcinfo.wordpress.com/2010/10/11/idpc-features-vs-benefits/.

Join our crusade, TODAY!  Waiting for the bill to be introduced TOMORROW may be too late to stop it! The Cartel will engage directly following the November 2nd elections and so should you!  http://www.idpcinfo.org/Membership.html

October 26, 2010

Student speaks out against NCIDQ, interior design licensing

Student Exposes Truth About NCIDQ Exam and Licensing

This is probably the best post we’ve ever received.  It just came in as a reply to an article I posted (https://idpcinfo.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/patti-morrow-students-should-not-be-forced-to-support-licensing/a couple of years ago, but I can’t take the chance of it getting buried — EVERYONE needs to read this, especially the ASID/NCIDQ/CIDA Cartel.  It proves EXACTLY what we’ve been saying!:

“You’re 100% right – there are not enough experienced designers out there who are giving the newbies a chance to “sit” and those that do give this opportunity, are usually cruel and unjust, not to mention they rarely follow the apprenticeship guidelines. (uuhhh, like give us the chance to get our feet wet by letting us do the tough stuff).

As for the NCIDQ exam – talk about raping someone of money! OMG. I think I’ve spent a total of $2,000 at this point. The questions they ask require so much analysis it’s no wonder 50% fail it multiple times. I keep running out of time analyzing them. Because the reality is – Not every interior design firm operates EXACTLY how the NCIDQ council “claims” is the “official” way of the entire industry. For instance, I “sat” under Architects, and their system was fairly different than the NCIDQ’s. So I had to buy all kinds of books and reprogram myself, but when I would read a question on the test, there were moments when I would have to recall my real life experience and compare it to the NCIDQ books. WHOOPS. Times up! You fail! Example: What’s considered a part of the “Schematic Design” phase is often times very subjective.

And what’s up with the NCIDQ judges who judge Part 3? They probably have to fail half the people b/c this is how they make their money. Designing what normally would take at least a week, in three hours? SO lame. Even more lame was how they threw in a huge ADA factor – my client was in a wheelchair and he wanted a classroom designed for photography students which had to include a darkroom and this was directly adjacent to the office space we had to design. What the heck? Honestly, most of my studying for the test was on what system to use so that I could finish it on time. I hate the NCIDQ council AND their ridiculous exam. It needs to die! I spent over $60,000 to get a BFA in ID, spent over two years working 60 hours a week for $30,000 a year for architects who lorded over me b/c they didn’t take interior designers seriously, had to move back to my parents to pay my school loans, then got laid off b/c of the sucky economy right before taking the exam, only to fail it. Ironic that I failed too considering I gave the Architects I worked for a run for their money. I know I’m skilled. I LOVE interior design with a heartfelt passion. Yet honestly, I have no choice but to give up at this point. There are no jobs and if there are jobs, it’s almost impossible to find them. And if one does find one, the job probably requires the 3d software they DIDN’T learn in college not the one they DID learn. Speaking of which, there is always a new version of the software coming out and I can’t afford  it and I’m not into stealing copies. So, I think the decade I’ve invested into the field of interior design has been enough. Sadly my college, although one of the best, operated much like the NCIDQ council and they have been no help to me. Really, really sucks. Goodbye Interior Design. Hello – reception job? Oh it gets better. Now people won’t hire me b/c they think all I can do is interior design and they don’t really understand what the field is about. Even after I explain  all the transferable skills there are between project management and office administration. It’s just SO sad. All of it.

This includes you Harrington College of Design. What a bunch of liars. Money hungry thieves who get 22 year old kids to the point where they are so broke (b/c they have no time by jr./sr. year to even think about a job but are most likely slaving away at their full time internship for free) that they have to take out personal loans with 15+% interest rates! Little do they know that when they graduate, they are screwed. Not exactly easy to pay off and get ahead when it’s hard to even get paid $25,000 a year as an entry level designer.

Sorry, but someone had to say it.

Signed. . . “Frustrated”

October 4, 2010

Reversing the Indoctrination of Interior Design Students

ATTENTION STUDENTS!

On September 15th, the IDLNY conducted a pro-legislation meeting.  While very little input from those opposing their agenda to expand the current title act was allowed into the forum, subsequent to the meeting, a very interesting email debate ensued between Patti Morrow, founder and director of the Interior Design Protection Council and Chris Cyphers, Ph.D.  and president of the NY School of Interior Design.

That unedited exchange can be found here.

Students — it is important that you take the initiative to educate yourself as to both sides of this important issue.  You are being indoctrinated with ONE SIDE — by teachers who desire to impose their own political agenda.   In order to make an informed decision about your future rights and livelihood, you need to know the FACTS.

To read about IDPC’s exposing of student coersion at the Art Institute of Pittsurgh and Florida State University, click here: http://www.idpcinfo.org/Students.html

For more information, please visit the IDPC website, where you will find the most comprehensive collection of truthful and factual information on this issue available anywhere:  http://www.idpcinfo.org/

August 25, 2010

Absurd ASID link to safety in bedroom design

Another ridiculous ASID post…

In their August 20th Eye on Design newsletter, ASID gives us yet another example of their desperation to grasp at anything to try to justify their health, safety and welfare argument.  Or I should say, non-argument.

In their latest ludicrous effort, ASID advocates and links to an article which they renamed “Personal safety key to bedroom design” http://www.researchdesignconnections.com/content/evolutionary-bedroom-design-08-13-10

This article enlightens us that “it is desirable for people to feel comfortable” in their sleeping spaces.”  Wow.  Radical.

It also informs us of conclusions we could certainly never have reached via common sense without ASID’s assistance, such as people preferred their bed positioned in such a way that “allowed them to see the door.”  Very cutting edge and “evolutionary.”

But my favorite phrase was where the researchers started by saying they “found that when a window was included on the floor plan. . .”  Here’s a newsflash: windows in bedrooms are not optional; a “legal” bedroom must have not only a window, but a certain sized window, by code, to allow for egress and fire safety. 

Amazingly, even a non-NCIDQ designer knows that.

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