Hi - You may or may not know this, but I was allied ASID for 15 plus years. During that time, I was too busy as a working designer to take the time to be grandfathered in as a professional ASID, and was told that it would really not affect my practice. I have decided to share my story with all of you in an effort to help more interior designers better understand the affects of the Practice and Title Acts. I did not realize their true meaning until I too had been fined.
Notes from Natasha
The State of Florida, fined me $25,000 - $5,000 each for three counts of claiming to be an architect and two counts of claiming to be an interior designer. The charges were a direct result of a Green Room I designed for the Latin Billboard awards project. An article was written about the project, referring to me as an "award-winning interior designer" and stating that I used crown moldings to embellish interiors. The state interpreted that to mean that I considered myself an architect.
It took us two years and $10,000 to fight and prove that this was unwarranted and that I didn't even have anything to do with the writing of that article. Interior Design Protection Council (IDPC) and Institute for Justice (IJ),helped to reverse the Title Act in the state of Florida at the beginning of this year. Please do not think that the fight is over. States across the country continue to attempt to pass such laws, acknowledging that enforcing the Title and Practice Acts is nothing short of a "witch hunt."
Even though I proved everything was not true and that I was fully in compliance, I still had to pay the state $2,500 for their time. States hire outside legal firms that aggressively interpret the law, fining and disciplining members of the design community that are just trying to earn a living and have not done harm to the public in any way. In a two year period, over 600 Florida interior designers were dragged through the same process.
Please take the time to view this video. (The network named it "Pillow Fight." I am not in favor of the title, but this video has helped to explain our plight and is being used across the country to help prevent the Practice and Title Acts from being passed.) Video link
Natasha Lima YountsFounder
Designer Society of America