ASID – What’s in a name?

Tips and Advice

First, I’d like to thank Justin Oliver for his great info on cabinets and how to select them.  In future posts we’ll get into some hallmarks of quality when you’re selecting cabinets. Oh, and by the way, Justin did an awesome job on my client’s bathroom vanity and her bedroom dresser and night stands! She’s totally thrilled!

I missed posting yesterday because I was in ASID meetings all day.  What’s that?  The American Society of Interior Designers, a professional organization.  According to the website, we are a “community of people driven by a common love for design and committed to the belief that interior design, as a service to people, is a powerful, multi-faceted profession that can positively change people’s lives.” 

colored floor plans and fabric samples
Design presentation

The ASID was founded in 1975 when two similar organizations merged.  It is the oldest and largest leading professional organization for interior designers in the world.  Why does that matter?  Well, the society advocates for the education and legislation for the interior design profession.

Nintendo game of imagining oneself as an interior designer
You don't even need to play this game to call yourself and interior designer!

Did you know that Illinois, along with most states,  passed legislation saying that there are no specific qualifications necessary for calling oneself an interior designer?  Yep, if you think you’re good with colors- you can call yourself an interior designer.  However, if you request a membership to the ASID, you may only use the appellation of ASID with your name if you have met very specific requirements. 

To be an Allied Member, ASID, one must have 40 semester hours or 60 quarter credit hours of interior design education from an accredited institution. Continuing education classes don’t count. 

In order to use the appellation ASID, one must have passed a combination of accredited design education and/or full-time work experience and have passed a 2 day accreditation exam administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). 

Members also have to accumulate continuing education credits every two years to maintain their appellations.

All members as well as Industry Partners are bound to comply with the ASID Code of Ethics and Personal Conduct.  Non-compliance can mean the rejection of membership as well as having to give up the appellation of ASID. 

So, the ASID appellation tells you- the client- that your designer is serious about their profession and has the skills, education, and experience to back that up.  Is every competent designer an ASID member?  No.  Some designers choose to not belong, sometimes for budgetary reasons (it’s not inexpensive), or other reasons.  It’s always in your best interest as a client to ask about your designer’s experience, and education.  The ASID appellation gives you the confidence that the designer you’re engaging  is qualified AND committed to the highest ethical standards. 

What do you look for in an interior designer?  Are you inclined to use one or not?  Why?

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