Associations Join Forces on Rights of Designers

by WOHe

Associations Join Forces on Rights of
Designers

Washington, DC – The American Society of Interior
Designers has joined forces with the National Kitchen and Bath
Association, the International Interior Design Association and the
National Council for Interior Design Qualification in an effort by
the trade associations “to protect the right” of interior designers
and kitchen/bath specialists to practice under the definition of
the term ‘registered design professional’, according to the
ASID.

The ASID, headquartered here, said that the four associations are
working together to advocate an inclusive definition of “registered
design professional” within the various model codes of the
International Code Council (ICC).

Representatives from the ASID, NKBA, IIDA and NCIDQ presented
themselves jointly “as a single powerful voice that speaks for all
interior designers in the United States” during an ICC hearing in
late March. A final hearing on the matter is scheduled to be
conducted in September in St. Louis.

As part of their collaborative efforts, the four trade associations
have employed the services of a professional code consultant, who
will assist the with the planning of effective code strategies,
according to the ASID.

According to IIDA president Neil Frankel, FIIDA, AIA, the
definition of a registered design professional “gained ground” for
interior designers at ICC’s International Building Code hearings in
April 1998.

“To protect the viability of the interior design profession, it is
imperative that IIDA, ASID, NKBA and NCIDQ present a united front
at the 1999 hearings,” Frankel said.

Last year, the ICC General Subcommittee voted to maintain the
definition of registered design professional that includes all
design professions, rather than restrict it to only architects and
engineers. The decision “came after designers demonstrated to
building officials their understanding of the code, showed their
expertise in issues related to occupancy, egress and accessibility,
and exhibited their professionalism in completing construction
documents,” according to the ASID.

“This successful showing was made possible by the members of all
our organizations,” said Cary Johnson, IIDA, director of government
and regulatory affairs for IIDA, “and we must continue to work
together until the right of interior designers to practice in all
jurisdictions is assured.”

“NKBA is committed to being a part of a unified body within the
industry that protects the interests of both the public and our
peers,” said NKBA president Jeff Burton. “We cannot eliminate any
parties or any one practitioner, as we are all a united
profession.”

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