Posted in Consumer Protection, Consumer Research, Legislation, NKBA

ASID Members Resort to Mudslinging.

A small group of pro-legislation designers in Florida are resorting to mudslinging tactics and name calling on their new blog. In a desperate attempt to gain support it looks like they will alienate more members. Whining about outside interference from other states objecting to Florida’s anti-competitive and unconstitutional law, in an illiterate rant the authors of this anonymous blog have resorted to defamation and character assassination against Patti Morrow, the Executive Director of the Interior Design Protection Council. The IDPC is the only national association of interior designers exclusively dedicated to the task of protecting the livelihoods and rights to practice interior design.

You can read a copy of their unprofessional attack and a response from Patti Morrow at Interior Design Protection Council Blog. Please post your comments there. If one cannot defend his position intelligently and finds his only recourse in name calling and character assassination, proves his argument has no weight and has nothing left to offer in his defense but to throw personal attacks at his opponents. Further, the “writer”, (cough), coward of the attack chooses to remain anonymous.

If this is an example of the leadership within the ASID, it is no wonder why more and more interior designers are disgusted with ASID and resigning as members The resignation of allied partners, vendors and even former ASID chapter officers proves ASID is losing support over useless legislation that negatively impacts the industry at large and places the burden on the American taxpayer.

Why is this important?

While Florida is one of only three states with a practice act , a minority of ASID designers have a personal stake in limiting competition under “consumer safety” in all states and are continuing to lobby for government intervention though practice acts and title acts asking that individual States give a select few a competitive and economic advantage over others, including kitchen and bath designers.

What is their evidence?

Not a shred of evidence has ever been presented to warrant a conclusion that the unregulated practice of interior design places the public in any form of jeopardy.

Further, interior design title and practice act legislation is not being advocated by the public through consumer advocacy groups, attorneys general offices or divisions of consumer affairs.

In fact, 12 government agencies have looked into this issue and concluded that interior design licensing does nothing to protect the public beyond the processes already in place. Click here for a list and access to all 12 government reports, including the 1999 Florida report recommending that the profession of interior design be deregulated.

Proving they have no evidence, even the leadership within ASID publicly admits that there are no known cases where an unlicensed interior designer created a safety hazard. Interior Designers Rallying for Rights.

With building codes in place for all local jurisdictions and building inspectors to verify that specific standards and materials are used in accordance to the local building and safety codes, the public’s health, safety and welfare is protected.

All states have very strict building codes in effect. In addition, there are codes that individual counties might impose above and beyond the state codes. Anyone practicing interior design (licensed or not) must adhere to these codes. Commercial buildings must be inspected and pass inspection by law on a regular basis. If a designer (licensed or not) specifies furniture, fabric, finishes, equipment or installations that aren’t up to code, the inspection will discover it. Any designer (licensed or not) that continually makes mistakes in this area will soon find themselves not getting work.

Alabama previously had a practice act. In 2007, the Supreme Court of the state of Alabama struck down their Interior Design Practice Act. In his opinion, Justice Parker stated: “Nor should this Court embrace the paternalistic notion that the average citizen is incapable of choosing a competent interior designer without the State’s help. The economic liberty of contract remains a protected right in Alabama, especially in a field like interior design that involves expressive activity.”




Laurie Burke, connected to the design and construction industry since 1996. A seasoned residential kitchen and bath design specialist , Laurie has designed thousands of kitchens & baths as well as other cabinetry projects requiring technical precision in design drafting utilizing state of the art 2020 software for creating accurate plans and elevations. Through on- going product knowledge training and a desire to always stay current with an evolving marketplace, Laurie Burke maintains a strong command of knowing the appropriate Fit & Finish materials required for a residential remodel to meet the budget, the timeline of a project and a client's need for a finished product that meets their satisfaction. Kitchen Designer by trade, foodie, techie, weekend traveler for fun. For more information contact me at

3 thoughts on “ASID Members Resort to Mudslinging.

  1. The effort to validate the profession of interior design via legislation is not the best way for the profession to advance itself. I am not a member of ASID/IIDA and I do not support Interior Design practice or title legislation. I am however a professional and I take the anti-legislation effort very seriously because it is degrading to the very tenets of the profession.What some see as simply ownership of the term interior design I see as an affront to the profession of interior design. What most of the interior decorators posing as defacto memebers of the profession of interior design do not grasp is that as a member of the profession of interior design that you accept certain obligations to your profession and that you do everything in your ability to define, advance and promote the professional society. That means that you accept that one of the prerequisites for professional status is a strictly defined education and supervised experience leading to a test of one’s knowledge of, and skillset in, the profession. You are free to criticize the effort to legislate interior design based on our supposed responsiblity to protect the health safety and welfare of the public. You are also free to criticize our professional organizations (ASID/IIDA/CID). But if you are also going to eschew education, experience and examination as some grand conspiracy to exclude you from the profession then maybe you are not really serious about interior design and the professional society that it is. In other words there are really 2 distinct issues at play here.1. The advancement of the profession via government legislation and2. The advancement of the profession via education, experience and examination amongst other less tangible measurements.The second point has nothing to do with ASID/IIDA/CIDA or the legislative effort.You should not confuse them. To do so indicates that you really are not serious about maintaining professional status and that maybe you would be better off calling yourself an interior decorator. No harm. No foul.


  2. It is too bad that you are feeding the ASID/IIDA propaganda to your design students. You are shifting the debate to education to manipulate the truth. The bottom line is that interior design practice acts have been declared unconstitutional. What are we really talking about? There are some designers who want to set them selves apart as interior architects. Then I say to those who want to pursue it, go get your license to practice architecture and celebrate your success. But to denigrate other design professionals because they did not follow your educational path smacks of elitism. Practice acts only limit the competition by preventing talented, experienced and educated individuals who work in the design industry from earning a living are entirely unconstitutional, anti-consumer and anti-business. Where is your evidence that a designer who passes the NCIDQ exam is any more qualified than another designer with practical experience or a graduate from another program?Consumers are more than capable of selecting a design professional without the government intervening. Proponents of interior design legislation are crying wolf with arguments that it is necessary to regulate the profession of interior design to protect the public health and well being. These arguments have been rejected in state courts across our nation. In my own experience, working for contractors and cabinet showrooms I have personally witnessed design plans come across my desk from licensed interior designers where I found basic design errors that would not pass code or even provide a functional kitchen if I ordered the cabinets as specified from the licensed interior designer. If you are intent on criticizing me for not being licensed, how is it that I knew basic codes and the licensed interior designers I have worked with did not? Suffice it to say, designers from commercial design paths are not always going to be knowledgeable about residential kitchen and bath design and residential codes. In this case the NKBA Certified Kitchen Design or Certified Bath Design exam would be the appropriate course of study over the NCIDQ exam which is weighted in commercial design of public spaces. And yet, lets say the practice act passed in my state. Even if I passed my CKD exam, I would still have to go back to school at an an additional expense and then gain practical time working for a licensed interior designer to be allowed to continue my career as a kitchen designer. Does this sound fair? Of course I am going to be up in arms about this anti-competitive legislation. Professor Mike Dudek takes the position that the anti-legislation movement is degrading the interior design profession. Oh? I see. What is truly degrading, is witnessing criminal prosecution against talented, experienced and educated designers practicing their trade without a license in Florida. And for what purpose? There is no evidence showing that the unregulated practice of interior design has put the public at harm. Building codes are in place to protect the public. If two of the most legendary designers such as Sister Parrish and Billy Baldwin practiced design today in Florida, they would be facing criminal prosecution same as legendary contemporary counterparts are facing today. Most notable Kelly Wearstler and Vicente Wolf are two designers of international fame who join hundreds of other designers now facing criminal prosecution in Florida. The inference made by Professor Dudek in his comment that one might be better off by calling yourself an interior decorator as a result of not taking your professional status seriously is an insult to all interior decorators. Well that is just rude and actually amusing when you think of the talented decorators who have contributed so much. Adelene Keeler Smith, another designer prosecuted in Florida who holds a BS in Interior Design, tells her story about her seriousness of intent about her career and yet was derailed by the ASID/ADAF and from practicing in Florida. is more than one track to pursue your design education. Billy Baldwin, an interior design legend, was quoted in Architectural Digest as abhorring the term interior designer. Mario Buatta, a celebrated decorator, who prefers to call himself a decorator and leave the architectural design to the architects, has won every major design award and has made virtually every list of top designers. Would anyone think they were not serious about their careers? Ironically, Mario Buatta tips his hat in commending the work of Kelly Wearstler and Vicente Wolf, (Washington Post/May 2008). He says: "Today, we live in the best of times. Good design is accessible and available. Crate & Barrel, Ballard Designs and Pottery Barn have things at great prices. Everything good is copied in two minutes and sold at retail. Whenever someone like Vicente Wolf or Kelly Wearstler designs something, it shows up right away in a store." If the designs coming from unlicensed designers like Wolf and Wearstler are good enough for the mass market, why won't Florida allow them to practice design in Florida? What design students should be prepared to know is that government legislation may limit their opportunities in the design profession and ASID/IIDA/CIDA is doing there best to confuse the issues. The harm they inflict is very real.


  3. Mike, I totally agree with what Laurie has said, as I’m sure you know, so I won’t repeat it.I will, however, ask you how you can say you’re opposed to legislation when you are so vociferously in support of the exact same pathway to being allowed to work in this field at all as is required in states that have legislation.Methinks that something isn’t exactly making sense here.


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