Interior Design Protection Consulting

May 26, 2010

Interior Design Regulation: What’s in a Name?


What’s in a Name?  Apparently, a lot.

In a recent Interior Design Journal article, What’s in a Name?, Alison White, Ph.D. joins previous IDEC members[1] as they flounder about like fish out of water, stunned by the explosive success of the Freedom Movement in beating back their licensing scheme, and at an utter loss as to how to stop this moving train.

At the heart of the article is the conundrum of whether to continue their efforts to regulate the title “interior designer” or to surrender their claim and switch gears to gain exclusive right to use “interior architect.”  White outlines four possible scenarios (paraphrased):

  1. Licensure of interior design in all 50 states;
  2. Interior design continues to be one of several terms used, and the current diversified entries into the field are maintained;
  3. Interior architecture becomes their new term, restricted to those who graduate from a CIDA program and pass the NCIDQ;
  4. A split in the profession – interior design used for residential practice and interior architecture used for commercial practice.

Click here to read IDPC’s complete rebuttal to IDEC’s unsubstantiated claims and our suggestions for future actions:

[1] A Single Interior Design Professional Association, Kucko, Turpin and Pable, Journal of Interior Design, May 8, 2009

May 5, 2010

“Three E’s” Myth of the Interior Design Cartel

How the Cartel Uses Their Own Self-Annointed Version of the “Three E’s” to Exclude Fair and Qualified Competition

Proponents of the interior design regulatory scheme (a.k.a. “the Cartel)[1] have long advocated a single entry method into interior design under the guise of protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public.  Their self-anointed standards are known as their “Three E’s” – Education, Experience, and Examination.

Education, experience and examination – individually or jointly – can and should be used to attain a higher level of proficiency as well as used to gain a better marketing position.  But the so-called “Three E’s” should not be used to stifle fair competition.

For more than 30 years, cartel members have worked furiously, spending over $7 million dollars lobbying to establish their own self-interested qualifications as the minimum standard for the practice of interior design.  Their definition is based on their own limited view of minimum competency, but in reality, the closest description we have to an “industry standard” definition is taken from the Department of Commerce, emphasizing the nature of the work.[2]

Despite 30 years of lobbying, ASID and its allies have failed to produce any evidence that interior design work impacts or jeopardizes public safety, thus negating the need for creating a regulatory scheme for their Three E’s.

Until 2006, the Cartel had a measured amount of success in defining interior design.  Although its attempts to get practice acts adopted – which is their true goal – almost always failed, 21 states have fallen victim to their incremental regulatory scheme by adopting titling laws.  The recently established and growing effort to resist and repeal regulation (a.k.a. “the Freedom Movement”) has rejected the Cartel’s doctrine which is wholly based on conjecture, rhetoric, opinion, scare tactics, and other misinformation, and has defeated over 100 individual pieces of legislation that would have expanded or enacted new regulations across the country – and not a single new title or practice act has passed since 2006.

Are aspirations to higher education, gaining hands-on work experience, and achieving (private) certification wrong?  Absolutely not.  Those are all valid ways to enter the profession, either together or separately.  What is totally unacceptable is the government’s mandating a single entry method as the only way to practice.  Creating such a monopoly is antithetical both to the basic spirit of creativity that characterizes the practice of interior design and to the notion of free markets and consumer choices. As attorney Robert Kry explained in a friend-of-the-court brief he wrote for IDPC in a challenge to Florida’s interior design law,

“What separates the truly great designers from the mediocre is artistic vision, not a superior ability to place air conditioning units where they will not obstruct wheelchair access.”[3]

In order to continue to effectively beat back the Cartel’s mission to monopolize the entire industry, grassroots activists need to be aware of the Three E’s, and be armed with factual information to rebut them.

This paper documents the positions falsely portrayed by the Cartel as standard, but proven by the Freedom Movement as merely optional.

Click here to read entire white paper Three E’s Myths of the Cartel”:

[1] American Society of Interior Designers, National Council for Interior Design Qualification, Council for Interior Design Accreditation, and International Interior Design Association

[2] Designed to Mislead, Dick Carpenter Ph.D., Institute for Justice,

[3] IDPC Amicus Brief in Locke vs. Shore, No. 10-11052EE (11th Cir). 2010 available at

Create a free website or blog at