I am going to take a departure from my typical posts and get a little serious now. There is a lot going on with the Interior Design profession here in Florida. Interior Designers have been put on a list with dozens of other professions to be de-regulated. Some of the other professions up for de-regulation are movers and hair braiders...seriously, 4 years of education and I am lumped together with a person who braids hair on the beach?!
By de-regulating interior design, it will force us to have to have architects sign off on all commercial work where now we are able to submit work under our license. It takes the interior design profession back a few steps in being taken more seriously. Florida's governor is putting these professions up for deregulation saying it will encourage job growth but in the design perspective, it actually does the opposite. It will put a lot of firms out of business that rely on primarily commercial work. Also, in most Interior Design degrees, the majority of coursework is commercial based. This bill will ultimately kill all design degree programs and make them useless. Nice to know I have student loans for nothing! This bill doesn't effect residential design at all since you don't have to be licensed to design residential interiors, but you have to be licensed to design commercial interiors. In school, the focus is on codes, health, safety, and welfare in commercial spaces. I spent 4 years in school memorizing all the codes, another 2 years working towards taking my licensing exam, studying my butt off and passing the exam, and now for the government to tell me it means nothing and I will have to give work to an architect, is such an unsettling feeling.
Proponents of the deregulation bill are saying that Interior Designers have put a monopoly on decorators ability to work in commercial spaces. But, the only ones who prevented them from working on commercial spaces is themselves. They chose not to pursue a design education, or maybe they do have the degree, but chose not to take the licensing exam. So, now everyone will be punished because news flash--they aren't going to be getting any more commercial work from this bill being passed unless they are an architect.
Take away the decorators vs. designers argument, and consider the men vs. women owned businesses. Interior Designer businesses are primarily female owned and the majority of architecture firms are male owned. This bill basically takes away the power that us females had in the design field and gives it back to the male-owned business. Pretty antiquated, no?
I will wrap up my rant with a plead to sign this petition for removing interior design from the list of professions set to be de-regulated. It will mean so much to me and all the other countless designers and design students who are fighting for our profession in Florida this week.
Spy Les Giacometti
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