There is a conflict in the profession of interior design over regulation through legislation. For some organizations and individuals, regulation via legislation is the next perceived step in the professionalization process which has been evolving for over 40 years and is needed to protect the health, safety and welfare (HSW) of the public. For other organizations and individuals, legislation is deemed unnecessary and an affront to the free trade market and serves only to create anti-competitive barriers resulting in the formation of a "design cartel" (Campo-Flores, 2011; Carpenter, 2007). Research exists on the professionalization of interior design and on the reasons stated for and against legislation (ASID, 2010, Anderson, Honey, Dudek, 2007, Martin, 2008). However, there is little research on understanding how the actual stake-holders view legislation. For the purpose of this research, the stake-holders are the professional interior designers themselves. The purpose of this study was to examine the current status of relevant issues to the subject of regulation in interior design and to pose the question if there is an option to legislation. If so, could third party certification be an acceptable alternative? An on-line survey was developed and posted on interior design networking sites on LinkedIn. The results of the survey suggest that interior designers are completely divided on the issue of legislation but favorably view certification. The survey has also revealed the lack of understanding of the legislative process in interior design and confusion in the role that interior design organizations play. The study has also revealed that interior designers identify the distorted view the public has of this industry as a problem. Interior designers surveyed in this study see a need to separate commercial and residential interior design. Overall, this study has concluded that interior designers would actually prefer a certification process to legislation.
- Interior design: credentials and certification as an alternative to legislation
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Statement of Responsibility
by Catherine Pliess