Notes from Natasha
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Designer Society of America
In a recent Interior Design Journal article, What's in a Name?, Alison White, Ph.D. joins previous IDEC members 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.
What's in a name? Apparently, a lot.
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):
- Licensure of interior design in all 50 states;
- Interior design continues to be one of several terms used, and the current diversified entries into the field are maintained;
- Interior architecture becomes their new term, restricted to those who graduate from a CIDA program and pass the NCIDQ;
- A split in the profession - interior design used for residential practice and interior architecture used for commercial practice.
White goes on to outline the external challenges "exacerbated by lawsuits brought by the Interior Design Protection Council (IDPC) and the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA)," yet fails to provide citations to the alleged legal challenges. That's because contrary to White's claim, there are none. Neither IDPC nor the NKBA have filed a single lawsuit challenging existing interior design laws. However, IDPC has, as White suggests, attacked the pro-regulation camp's "three E's" so-called minimum standard for competency, and quite effectively at that.
Identity in the legislative arena is targeted as another area of concern by White. She states that there are 25,000 NCIDQ certificate holders - a misleading statement at best, since it's been documented that only 10,500 are currently active. Unfortunately, failure to truthfully provide accurate data is a hallmark of the pro-regulation camp.
She further cites the necessity of examination and legal regulation, two of Caren Martin, Ph.D.'s seven steps for professionalism. White states,
"[T]his is the area where interior design is coming under fire from the Institute of [sic] Justice, Interior Design Protection Council, and the NKBA, among others. The IDPC argues 'it is not the function of the legislature to enhance the stature or respect of a profession.' Further, the IDPC contends that the practice of interior design has little or nothing to do with protection of the public health, safety, and welfare, an argument that Martin effectively refutes. Institute of Justice advocates Carpenter and Ross suggest that their constituents' First Amendment rights are being violated in that they are unable to communicate effectively with the public about the scope of their services, and their economic viability in the marketplace is being harmed. NKBA effectively sums up the argument when they state: 'Such laws harm the public by artificially inflating consumer prices, erecting unnecessary barriers to entry into the profession, giving government-imposed advantages to those already practicing and failing to demonstrate any social benefit.' In response, ASID has issued the following statement: 'ASID will continue to support legal recognition of the interior design profession, but not if that recognition prevents individuals from offering basic interior design services as they have in the past.' Until both the legislative arena and the public understand that interior design is different from interior decoration, these continuing battles will extract a toll on the profession."
My first response was "You've got to be kidding me. These are the alleged best and brightest of our educators? This is the best they can do?" Any publication that cites Professor Martin as a legitimate source in the legislative arena cannot be taken seriously. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Martin could be a proficient educator, but she's certainly out of her league when it comes to justifying licensure of interior designers. Her 2008 attempt to discredit the meticulously researched Designing Cartels by Dick Carpenter, Ph.D., fell flat on its face. Writes Carpenter,
"Martin's work was verbose, yet provided no evidence of the need for or benefits from regulation, while essentially conceding that the push for such regulation comes exclusively from industry insiders. Moreover, her missive is laced with logical and factual errors that severely undermine its conclusions. In short, Martin's attack on Designing Cartels not only fails to refute its key findings, it is yet another in a long line of examples of design industry insiders' complete failure to make a persuasive case for regulation."
Further, her unsuccessful testimony in support of a practice act in Minnesota earlier this year was based on opinion and conjecture, and contained errors which were easily rebutted and absorbed by the Committee Chair.
The solution to White's identity crisis is so simple it's child's play...
The message to Dr. White and her IDEC colleagues: you want to "move the profession forward?" The answer lies in educating the public - not in eliminating your competition.
- Number 1 is just not going to happen. I hope they are enjoying their visit to Earth. Here's a very, very brief synopsis of what has transpired on the regulatory front... Since 2006, 113 efforts to enact or expand new interior design regulations have been defeated or derailed, and not a single new title or practice act has passed. Multiple states have either had their regulations struck down or scrambled to correct the constitutional defects in order to avoid defending against an inevitable legal challenge. Additional legal challenges are pending.
- Number 3 is not going to happen. The architectural community surely will not permit their well-guarded term "architecture" to be used without adhering to their firmly entrenched criteria, namely, graduation from a NAAB school and passage of the NCARB.
- Number 4 is not going to happen, although efforts in that vein have already been implemented during 2009/2010. Virtually all new legislation proposed now exempts residential design, and everyone, including the main proponent of the regulatory scheme, ASID, has given up their dream of restricting the title "interior designer." However good those concessions are, they fall short of the mark. Many residential designers also practice some aspects of commercial design such as condos, hotel lobbies, restaurants, offices, etc., and they do so without causing any harm to the public; they will not allow part of their scope of their practice and resulting livelihood to be snatched from them.
- The obvious answer is Number 2, which White calls the "do nothing" approach. It's time for ASID, NCIDQ and IDEC to stop spinning their wheels. Yes, it's a bitter pill to swallow, but denial only prolongs the inevitable. The sooner they stop whining about their perceived lack of status, and face up to the reality that competing fairly on the merit of work produced is good for consumers, good for the economy, and good for the profession, the sooner this contentious and controversial "turf war" will cease and the healing can begin. Small business entrepreneurs are the backbone of the American economy, and the free market systems WORKS. Period.
Why is it that the overly educated cannot grasp the simplest, most logical solutions? Don't answer. It was a rhetorical question.
1 A Single Interior Design Professional Association, Kucko, Turpin and Pable, Journal of Interior Design, May 8, 2009
2 Myth of the Three E's, Patti Morrow, IDPC, May 2010 http://www.idpcinfo.org/THREE_E_s.pdf
3 The NCIDQ: Does It Still Pass the Test?, ASID Icon, May/June 2009
4 Rebuttal to ASID's Message Guide, IDPC, May 2008, http://www.idpcinfo.org/Rebuttal_to_ASID_Message_Guide.pdf
5 Designing Cartels Through Censorship, Carpenter & Ross, Summer 2008, http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv31n2/v31n2-3.pdf
6 Position Statement, National Kitchen and Bath Association, February 2008, http://www.idpcinfo.org/NKBA_Position_Statement.pdf
7 Designing Cartels, Dick Carpenter, Ph.D., http://www.ij.org/images/pdf_folder/economic_liberty/Interior-Design-Study.pdf
8 Misinformation: How the Interior Design Cartel's Attack on IJ's Designing Cartels Misses the Mark, Dick Carpenter, Ph.D., http://www.ij.org/images/pdf_folder/other_pubs/misinformation-report.pdf
9 Testimony of Patti Morrow/IDPC, Hearing before the Minnesota Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection, March 2, 2010.
Interior Design Protection Council
Patti Morrow is the Executive Director of the Interior Design Protection Council (IDPCinfo.org), principal of Juxtapose, RIDE Certified #105105 (Residential Interior Design Exam), author of Getting Grassroots Galvanized, adjunct faculty at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, Professional Member of the Association of Design Education, Professional Member of the Designer Society of America, and V.P. Government Relations of the NNE National Kitchen and Bath Association. Nicknamed the "Mother of the Movement," Morrow is credited with organizing the Freedom Movement. Her writings and views have appeared in dozens of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Design Trade magazine, and Window Fashions Vision. pmorrow@IDPCinfo.org.
Feng Shui Tips On Color
By Mary Denniswww.gracefullifestyles.com
Excerpt from 5 Day Feng Shui Interior ReDesign Certificate Program June 21-25, 2010 in Celebration, Florida
Take all your designs very personal. Listen and look for your clients' needs. Ask your clients what emotions they would like to feel in their space. Examples could be quiet, energized, and relaxed. Pair the emotional wish list with your ba gua (the invisible map of 9 energies) and five elements for color choices and use the hues that best fit into personalizing their environment and activating their intentions. Their choice of words expresses an elemental emotional choice so listen carefully.
Use Harmony from Sherwin Williams.It is zero-VOC paint, eliminating emissions that can irritate eyes and lungs. It is a good choice for today's green movement - and by the way FENG SHUI is GREEN!
Earth ElementsThe element most missing in modern day American homes is earth, which is represented by neutral tones of beiges, yellows, creams, browns and the like. Incorporate a neutral earth color as your base throughout the space and then go about adding your accent colors. Harmony earth tone suggestions: NATURAL CHOICE, and UNBELIEVABLE BUFF, use LATTE for mid-shades of brown. Using the earth element will help calm the fast pace of families in today's culture!
Bring the sky into your clients' homesAdd a Harmony selection, SKY HIGH, and add expansion! Paint the ceilings of kitchens, garden rooms, patios and bathrooms. Be mindful to balance the chi and still keep the client feeling grounded, use your magic! Be mindful - if you are placing a sky-like effect in the kitchen not to place it over the stove. We do not want this important position to be depleted in any way.
When adding an accent color, be mindful to add it somewhere else in the design of the space. It adds to the comfort of the environment by adding a touch of familiarity.Remember to marry the chi/energy flow from one room to another. Use color to replace a missing or awkwardly shaped Gua. If you are concerned about adding too much of a bright color to a space, add it to only two connecting walls and leave the other two walls as a neutral for relief. Be on the lookout for Benjamin Moore "chameleon colors." I believe they will soon dominate the new scene for paint colors. These are paints that, because several different color tones are mixed in, take on a different tone at various light levels. For example, in low evening light it might look more pearly or luminescent than it would with bright morning sunlight streaming through the windows. The luminescence may bring in a subtle metal energy.
Metallics:The use of silver, gold and bronze seem to be the hot colors for 2010. Use sparingly with clients that suffer with asthma, as these metal elements are related to the lungs!!
Color enhances the chi/energy of any space:
- Lift energy: yellows, reds, turquoise, any bright color
- Slow down energy: browns, rusts, all dark colors
- Soften energy: light pinks, greens, corals, pastels
- Draw energy: reds, purples and gold
- Neutralizes energy: whites, beiges and tans
- Enhances creativity: oranges, teals, vibrant blue
- Enhances spirituality: purples, violets, white
- Romantic colors: pinks, reds, oranges, hot pink
School of Graceful Lifestyles