Brent’s Blog

Putting it out there

ASID’s Licensing Spin is Dizzying

[read comments below]

There’s an article written by Rita Carson Guest, FASID called “A Goal of Licensure, not Limitation” in Interiors and Sources Magazine. It is a masterpiece of smoothly written nonsense masked to take in and win over unwitting practitioners.

For example – – -read it slowly . . .

“We are asking that those practitioners who can provide evidence that they meet the necessary requirements ­similar requirements demanded of other professionals ­be permitted to provide certain services, which they are trained and qualified to perform.”

I say: WHAT SERVICES are interior designers currently denied from providing? The answer is NONE. As long as they are actually providing interior design services and not architecture, engineering or building contracting, interior designers are free as birds to provide interior design services, no license needed.

Rita also wrote:

“To those who say to us, “Why do you need a law for interior designers?” we say, interior design is already regulated de facto. The law is there to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, and we support that. But those laws are preventing interior designers from fully practicing their profession. We simply want states to grant interior design professionals who meet the necessary qualifications to be permitted to offer their services. We want to loosen the restriction on interior design professionals, not add a new one.”

I say: WHAT LAWS say that interior designers cannot fully practice? WHAT RESTRICTIONS need loosening? Again, the answer is NONE. Unless Rita is referring to those restrictive interior designer laws that ASID has already supported that currently shuts out other designers !

Rita, you do not need a heavy handed state license scheme to make interior designers accountable and responsible. California interior designer law already proves this. If your argument was a canoe, it would be at the bottom of the lake, it’s so full of holes.



July 9, 2008 - Posted by | Stupid Legislation | , ,


  1. Great post, Brent.

    What amazes me is she comes right out and admits that we are already regulated de facto – something that ASID has not previously admitted, but which is absolutely true – and yet she still claims we need *more* regulation, in order to “free” us somehow.

    The spin is indeed dizzying – as is how widespread the obvious lack of critical thinking which seems to fuel these people who go on and on about the benefits of licensing interior designers and regulating us out of existence.

    I’d really *like* to believe that they are all just misguided and misinformed, but I’ve had to come to the conclusion that in many ways, the most vocal and active proponents are actually clearly intelligent enough to know better, which perpetuates the question of what their *real* motivations are.

    Comment by Wendy Hoechstetter | July 9, 2008 | Reply

  2. Letter to the Editor of INTERIORS & SOURCES, in response …

    Dear Sir:

    In the ASID Update: A Goal of Licensure, Not Limitation [Interiors & Sources, May 2008], Rita Carson Guest wrote “…we are asking to be allowed to practice our profession.” Where aren’t we allowed to practice our profession?

    For 25 years, I have completed projects for clients in a dozen states and three foreign countries, often working with local architects, engineers, builders and contractors, without any interior design license. While each jurisdictions had its own set of building codes, they all shared one thing in common – building inspectors, who required us to adhere to their specific standards and codes and provide evidential documents confirming that all materials specified and used thus complied. In each and every instance, the public’s health, safety and welfare was quite adequately protected. The need to license interior designers for this reason is bogus.

    Since the only research study of our profession provides empirical evidence proving it to be absolutely free from any danger to society over the past century, and the protections already provided by states and municipalities everywhere prevent any unlawful use of inappropriate materials in the construction or decoration of public and private structures, and the only constituency advocating interior design legislation anywhere resides within a very small percentage of all the interior designers in practice, it remains beyond doubt that the only reason ASID insiders have been pursuing licensing is to create a cartel – an absolute monopoly that dominates and controls the market, restricts free trade and inhibits all but those who meet their capricious and arbitrary standards.

    Ms. Guest was correct, however, when she wrote, “Words can be slippery…” She is an accomplished practitioner of the slippery word in stating that “Twenty-six U.S. states and jurisdictions have seen the merit of our request.” Not true! There are only three states and jurisdictions that have practice act legislation, which is what Ms. Guest and the leadership of ASID advocate. These practice acts are, in fact, quite restrictive and exclusionary. They also are enforced with the vengeance more usually applied to drug dealers and child pornographers. Anyone who doubts this should ask California-based designer Kelly Wearstler or New York-based designer Juan Montoya, both of whom (among others) face criminal charges including fines, penalties and possibly imprisonment in Florida for daring to do what they are internationally renowned for doing: interior design!

    Florida’s legal indictment of Kelly Wearstler and Juan Montoya – two of the country’s most distinguished interior designers – is a perfect example of just how threatening and restrictive interior design licensing is and, contrary to what Ms. Guest and her ASID insiders want us to believe, how licensing protects a privileged few “professionals” from the competition they now face in a free market.

    Our economic liberty is clearly under attack and those who do not fight to preserve it are doomed to perish.

    Walter B. Peterson

    Interior Designers
    232 South Fourth Street
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106

    Comment by Walter B. Peterson | July 10, 2008 | Reply

  3. Critical thinking is one of the many attributes we use every day, to dissect problems and devise solutions. I don’t understand how or why ASID believers forget their critical thinking skills when talking about legislation. It feels like a mystical cult belief, reminiscent of Jim Jones, or the Branch Dividians — willing to fight (and die) for the cause rather than admitting that their beliefs are misdirected. Like the Jones or Dividian followers, they’ve been thoroughly indoctrinated and brainwashed.

    I am amazed when intelligent, well-educated people like Ms. Guest repeat the ASID mantra. Is it to convert us, or drown out the sound of our message? We can’t shout loud enough to get through to the true believers, but we must continue to fight legislation, trying to appeal to the few who have the ability to think critically and ask questions. We have the facts and evidence for them, if they’ll listen.

    Diane Plesset, President
    Protect Design Freedom-Oregon
    CMKBD, CID #5818, NCIDQ, C.A.P.S.
    D. P. Design + Associates

    Comment by Diane Plesset, CMKBD, CID #5818, NCIDQ, C.A.P.S. | July 14, 2008 | Reply

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