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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why I no longer belong to ASID

I quit ASID, the American Society of Interior Designers, in the late 1990s because I was appalled at the lack of talent and professionalism of my fellow ASID-accredited designers. ASID guarantees only a MINIMUM level of design education and experience. Many in our ASID chapter lorded their membership over other (much more talented) designers who could have cared less to have four little letters on their business cards. Sadly, the number of states who now require the accreditation for an individual to practice as an interior designer has increased in the past decade, due to the lobbying efforts of - you guessed it - ASID.

I present for your consideration the talents showcased at the ASID Orange County Chapter 2009 Design Tour held in a high-rise complex in Irvine, California. Feast on the glamour, baby...






[Los Angeles Times]

23 comments:

M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The TownhouseLady said...

Whenever I see pendant lights hanging on either side of a bed I automatically think Grandma earrings.

None of these wow me at all. Certain elements do but not overall.

To think people would have paid good money to have their rooms styled in this manner is disturbing.

nkp said...

Wow, that's really stank-tacular! Honestly, I think "fug" is too kind, but you are so much kinder and gentler than I. ;0)

g. said...

Stank-tacular is almost a compliment. You are one a many who seem to feel this way, Raina. I have numerous friends who told them they could shove the ASID up their ASS.

Decorina said...

Joni had an extensive post about the ASID. I, too, quit them after finding their members pretty sad in the design department.

And yet, membership in their organization is becoming widespread as states in the US start to "license" interior designers. That is just stupid I think.

And there are many many designers that are so very talented, yet haven't taken the NCIDQ exam - which is geared toward commercial designers, not residential at all. Idiocy.

Designers' Brew said...

I'm actually on the other side of the coin on this one. Licensing and certification should be mandatory for anyone who's going to be designing public spaces. There's a hell of a lot you have to know to design a space that is code- and ADA-compliant. I think it's somewhat less important for residential spaces, depending on the scope of work. Nobody needs a license to pick wallpaper and furniture, obviously, but the minute you start getting into things like built-in cabinetry and plumbing, the potential for disaster grows exponentially. I've run into several situations in residential work where either the client or the designer (this is when I worked for a sub) proposed something that was totally against fire code, and that's the kind of thing where an inexperienced designer could do some real damage if nobody else catches the mistake.

So do you need a license to be able to design a safe, correct, workable space for someone? Of course not. But you do need a certain body of knowledge to do that, and I think licensing could help ensure that everyone to whom a client is paying out their hard-earned money actually HAS that knowledge that's needed. GCs, plumbers, electricians, HVAC contractors all have to be licensed--why shouldn't designers?

karly / design-crisis.com said...

I'm with DB to a degree, but I don't think that's the point of this post. I agree that you need to understand code and certain safety measures when building or restructuring a space, but I do not get the feeling that the AISD makes that their main objective. Do I need 4 years of interior design related studies to get a license that my contractor husband can get in 6 months?

Accreditation is fine, but there should be a one or two semester long course on building structures and codes that I can take at my local community college and be done with it. The hoops I have to jump through currently are beyond my reach, both for lack of time and finances.

thehomebound said...

Ok, I just threw up in my mouth a little. Those rooms are hurting my eyes.

Alright, I think this is a great post. I agree with Karly that there needs to be some sort of middle ground. I have taken many art classes getting my Bachelors, and now taken several interior design classes (almost an associates) and that does not allow you to get accredited. Now, on top of this I have worked closely (read: shadowed) with contractors in various jobs for about 2 yrs now and am very familiar with all sorts of codes.
I don't want to start designing commercial spaces, but I would love to start a little side business helping with residential.

Shouldn't it just matter what my design aesthetic is, more than if I have a few letters after my name? Hmm, I am on the fence about if this should be mandatory or not.

Alicia B. Designs said...

i feel sad by these but also inspired because if these people can become designers (PUBLISHED designers) then perhaps I'll actually make it in the design world someday! But otherwise, the first picture with that violent looking mirror. I'm literally scared.

Cote de Texas said...

Who said they are published? I don't think these are published. In fact - show me, please, a cover anywhere by an ASID member - please show me one. They are the biggest non talents in the business. Wooh - they know codes. Whoop de doo. Like a commenter said - six weeks at a community college to learns "codes" vs. the six years of slavery that they require. what BS. Those non-talents want to tell John Salidno he is NOT a designer. He's a decorator - according to ASID. What a joke - show me ONE person in ASID who is fit to claim they are in the same profession as Saladino. It just GALLS me. GALLS me. If they had it their way - they would put Saladino out of business, along with Buatta, Hadley, Moss, Bunny, all the greats. Wake up your eyes people. They are such frauds.

Raina said...

Karly's idea of a more technical school approach is a great one. I'm struggling to remember what parts of my 4-year Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design could not have been distilled into a 2-year trade school education.

It's not as chi chi but imminently more practical given how many people find interiors as a career later in life.

I also remember being rather stunned that I could become an Allied Member of ASID (which is what the majority of members are) fresh out of design school with only a modicum of practical working experience under my belt.

As I finished writing this comment, Cote de Texas' popped up. Welcome Joni.

*moggit girls said...

Like a few bad episodes of Trading Spaces. Fug indeed.

LENORENEVERMORE said...

Whahaha...
stinky-stank-tacular I'd say! What a fun POST!!!

pillow mint said...

do you think all the bedding is custom?! ouch.
if not, where the hell did they shop?
...and the words on the wall - i hate that!

erin@designcrisis said...

I have pretty much given up on any dream of becoming an interior designer because of ASID. I spent 7 years in college and I'm not going back for 4? 6? more just so I can design rooms for brothels.

DB brings up some excellent points which Karly addressed very well, I think. A class on codes would be most helpful.

clorivak said...

Its kinda gotta glossy, scuzbag feel to it all.

Camilla @ Designalogue Blog said...

hmm, most if these rooms kinda hurt my head. But i have decided that the purple bedroom is suffering from spectacularly bad photography and would be more interesting from another angle.
As for the ASID debate interesting comments. In Australia we have the DIA - Design Institute Australia. I am a member, but couldn't tell you what good it really does me or my business!

Designers' Brew said...

Joni--I looked up your original post on your own blog, and I agree with most of your points--the accreditation requirements are draconian to say the least, and the idea of making it illegal for experienced, qualified designers to practice because they can't meet newly-imposed education and internship standards is incredibly unfair.

But I still support the concept of licensing, even for residential designers, and I'm a little unnerved by how dismissive you seem to be of "codes." Simply pointing out that there have not so far been any proven instances of an unlicensed designer being directly responsible for damage to property or harm to people because of non-compliance with fire code isn't a good argument against the need for designers to know it. There ARE safety concerns in residential design; I worked on a job where the client was combining several apartments into one, and the designer wanted to put my company's built-in cabinetry in front of an exit door because she didn't realize you don't get to eliminate existing fire doors just because you took down interior partitions. And I worked on another project where, because of my training in codes, I was able to identify the clearance that needed to exist between sprinkler heads in the ceiling and the millwork that we were designing--an issue that neither the designer nor anybody on his staff had thought of.

To me the point of a license has nothing to do with talent, it's a statement that you have sufficient knowledge to perform your job competently. I don't think there should be a separate education requirement as long as you can sit and pass the test, but I really don't see why introducing some sort of professional certification to attest to a minimum level of skill is so objectionable.

Awesome Sara said...

is that what talent looks like? yikes!! the most talented people never get the spotlight. shame shame

karly / design-crisis.com said...

DB - I think pretty much everyone agrees that the coding issue is important, it's just the means of achieving it that we're taking issue with.

Cote de Texas said...

i would think sprinkler heads would be drawn in by the engineer or the architect, not the interior designer. i may be wrong. all i can say is i don't know codes and have never had to use them. if someone wants to hire a designer proficient in codes for commercial design - it's pretty easy to do - check their portfolio and references. the asid means nothing - many many people were grandfathered in and never even passed the test to begin with. they are having problems with the younger set - passing the test. it's a worthless certification. if you want to separate commercial and residential ok - i can see that, maybe. but asid won't leave us alone. its a money racket. asid wants business that architects and engineers traditionally get. its complicated what their motives are. i don't know what you are - but obviously you caught something that you should have caught. decorators aren't engineers, they aren't architects, and they shouldn't play at being one either. i just want to decorate. leave me alone to do that, please. don't fine me for calling myself a designer on my web site, or make me take down work from my portfolio. we were fine before asid started legislating. and we'll be fine without them again when they are run out of town. there have been NO documented cases of health or safety being violated by a designer. Not ONE case that they can cite with accuracy. Not one.

ita darling. said...

I work in residential and commercial interior design- and I have found that my brand reps, the architects and engineers are plenty sufficient in directing some key points of hazards and safety. My tile rep is totally happy to recommend which tiles were slip resistant and my fabric reps steer me in the fire retardant- , the architects keep an eye on the fire hazards and clearances... I am completely unlicensed yet pretty dern clever, and i am there to keep the developers budgets in check and create the bestest awesomest designs. How much of a design is budget- is ASID going to make a designer get certified in accounting too? A lot of design is inherent, some of it is learned on the job, and the rest is basic business and contracting...

none said...

"there have been NO documented cases of health or safety being violated by a designer."

Hi Joni. That is bullshit statistics. "We have no data showing that Drug A is a bad treatment" is NOT equivalent to "We have data showing Drug A is a good treatment."

I don't believe for one second that anyone has ever gone, state by state, through the records of every possible government office that would keep such records, and looked for "accidents and injuries caused by non-licensed designers."

Nor do I believe that if there HAVE been accidents or injuries caused by non-licensed designers, that every single one has been reported to a govt. agency and is now documented and findable.