Interior Design Protection Consulting

May 11, 2010

Interior Design Freedom Movement

Establishing the Freedom Movement

 Not a week goes by that I don’t receive multiple inquiries as to why I became involved in fighting the interior design cartel and how the interior design Freedom Movement started.  I’m not an attorney, not a lobbyist, never wanted to be a political activist.  I’m just an interior designer who couldn’t bear to see the entire interior design industry destroyed.  Yes, interior design is more than decoration, but it’s also more than just being able to read codes.  All designers want their clients to be safe in their spaces, but our opponents’ drive to deny the aesthetic aspects of the profession smacks of lack of confidence in their ability, vision, and creativity.

I now find myself in a totally unforeseen career – educating, organizing and mobilizing grassroots and traveling the country with pink slingshot and pink boxing gloves in tow.

Last month, after sharing my story with a fellow designer, she said, “That’s so inspiring.  You should write a book.”  So after giving it some thought, I decided to craft not a book but instead a short autobiographical documentary which details my motivation, experience, and the pathway to protecting the design community’s rights to earn a living.

It’s been one wild rollercoaster ride, but second only to motherhood, no other endeavor has ever been so gratifying.  I know, we’re not curing cancer or solving world peace, but saving thousands of jobs, well, that’s a good thing.

The Beginnings of the Movement

The Establishing of the Movement

The Future of the Movement

Click here to read entire autobiographical article: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/38330241/Patti-Morrow-and-the-Interior-Design-Freedom-Movement

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”: http://www.idpcinfo.org/THREE_E_s.pdf


[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, http://www.ij.org/images/pdf_folder/other_pubs/designedtomislead.pdf

[3] IDPC Amicus Brief in Locke vs. Shore, No. 10-11052EE (11th Cir). 2010 available at http://www.idpcinfo.org/Amicus_Brief_of_Interior_Design_Protection_Council_.pdf

Blog at WordPress.com.