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40 interiors+sources june2016 interiorsandsources.com
IDLNY discusses the importance of design certification
THE CASE FOR
in the interior design profession.
For the past several years, IDLNY (Interior Designers for Legislation in New York) has been working with lawmakers in the New York State Senate and Assembly who are sponsoring bills S.1137 and A.3446 during this legislative session. If passed, the legislation would grant
sign and seal privileges to interior designers working within the scope of practice
defined by New York State law. We’ve supported the legislation through a grassroots
letter-writing campaign to ensure that the voices of all design professionals could
be heard loud and clear in the state capital. At the time of writing, no decision has
been made, though it’s possible this legislation will go to a vote in both houses by
the time it goes to print.
For those who aren’t familiar with IDLNY, you are undoubtedly aware of the
member organizations that comprise our organization. An industry coalition
including IIDA NY, ASID NY Metro and Upstate, and The Decorator’s Club, we
serve to advance, promote, and monitor the right to practice interior design in the
state of New York and act as a spokes-group for interior designers within New
York State government.
The “sign and seal” legislation we’re fighting for addresses two issues. First,
it provides that being a certified interior designer is more than just an appellation
denoting achievement of certain credentials. A certified designer will also have
professional privileges in line with their practice; in this case, the ability to sign and
seal one’s own documents for projects within the scope of interior design practice.
Second, it serves to strengthen and enhance the perception of our professional
abilities in a wider community.
In states where sign and seal rights are already in place—Georgia is a superb
example—certified interior designers are regularly engaged as project leaders,
professionally equal to the other design disciplines hired for a project, such as
architects and engineers. With sign and seal privileges in effect, we’re able to see
a fundamental positive shift in the perception of value in what a certified interior
designer brings to a project. At the most basic level, the designer is no longer seen
as a professional needing another “more responsible” professional to approve their
design work. Therefore, a significant impact of this legislation beyond the practical
applications, is a new and improved appreciation of the interior design discipline.
It’s worth noting that some current practicing interior designers are used to working
within the current business and legal environment, and don’t see the need for
legislative change. They work around these inequities, perhaps not even recognizing
them. At IDLNY, we are working with a long-term vision of the interior design
profession in order to achieve meaningful benefits to new and future practitioners.
Interior design is a distinct discipline, increasingly so as new technologies emerge and
as our collective understanding about human interaction with the built-environment