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North Carolina Takes Bold Action Adopting Nation's Most Holistic Interior Design Practice Law
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(July 13, 2021 — Raleigh, NC) — The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), with the knowledge and support of the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ), have strengthened the interior design profession in North Carolina and beyond, as part of the new Senate Bill 188, signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper on July 8, 2021. This major step forward for the industry establishes a new voluntary state registry for qualified interior designers, with the accompanying ability to stamp and seal construction documents for permit and was the result of thorough negotiations and agreement with the state’s own Board of Architecture. With this latest victory, the most comprehensive in the profession’s history, the interior design industry has paved the way for future recognition nationwide.

Explains ASID CEO Gary Wheeler, FASID, “We are so grateful to the partners who joined us to make this possible, from the legislators to our fellow associations, the licensed architects, the Board of Architecture, and of course, our amazing local members. The message this bill sends is loud and clear: interior designers play a critical role in our economy and in ensuring the success and safety of buildings, and that must be reflected in our laws.”

“We view this bill as a guide to move the profession forward not just in North Carolina, but across the country,” says IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA. “Interior designers must be recognized in state law and must be given the same opportunities to succeed as other design and construction professionals. We are greatly encouraged to see this acknowledged by the state of North Carolina in such a thorough way, and we hope to bring similar ideals to improve practice rights and strengthen the role of the interior designer nationally.”

CIDQ CEO Thom Banks
adds, “We believe this new law, and particularly the statutory definition of interior design contained within, more fully reflects modern interior design practice and the competencies assessed on the NCIDQ Exam. The public benefits when interior designers can practice to the full extent of their demonstrated capabilities and this law can serve as a new minimum baseline for the rest of the country.”

Prior to Bill S188, interior designers were not recognized as a distinct profession by the state of North Carolina. By codifying the rights and abilities of interior designers, North Carolina is also bolstering the safety of the built environment for its citizens. Interior designers play a key role in public safety, from fostering ADA-friendly environments to understanding fire safety codes and wayfinding. The law recognizes this critical knowledge base, enabling designers to bring their expertise on safety solutions, wellness, and more to a wide range of projects. The rights asserted in the bill further enable practitioners to utilize their skills and knowledge to design interior plans that will protect the public in the built environment — without the bureaucratic hurdles and added expenses that were formerly passed onto clients and consumers. It also makes it easier for interior designers to own and operate their own firms. With the interior design profession being predominantly female (more than 80%), the bill will enable the growth and creation of female-owned and operated businesses across the state and support equity within the profession.

“This is an issue that I’ve been passionate about for several years,” said Representative Dennis Riddell (R – Alamance). “I’m thrilled that these qualified professionals will finally have the legal recognition they need to practice independently, and to positively impact their clients and the interior spaces we utilize each and every day.” Adds Senator Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth), “We are proud to have worked with the interior designers and the architects to craft this historic piece of legislation, and we hope that our efforts on this interior design bill will provide a roadmap for other states to fairly recognize this valued profession.”

About ASID

The American Society of Interior Designers believes that design transforms lives. ASID serves the full range of the interior design profession and practice through the Society’s programs, networks, and advocacy. We thrive on the strength of cross-functional and interdisciplinary relationships among designers of all specialties, including workplace, healthcare, retail and hospitality, education, institutional, and residential. We lead interior designers in shared conversations around topics that matter: from evidence-based and human-centric design to social responsibility, well-being, and sustainability. We showcase the impact of design on the human experience and the value interior designers provide.

ASID was founded over 40 years ago when two organizations became one, but its legacy dates back to the early 1930s. As we celebrate nearly 85 years of industry leadership, we are leading the future of interior design, continuing to integrate the advantages of local connections with national reach, of small firms with big, and of the places we live with the places we work, play, and heal. Learn more at asid.org.

About CIDQ

The Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ) is a nonprofit organization that develops and administers the NCIDQ Examination. The NCIDQ Examination is the broad-based exam for all interior designers and serves as the foundation from which to build for those moving into specialty design areas. NCIDQ Certification is required for the practice of many types of interior design in regulated jurisdictions throughout North America.

CIDQ's membership is made up of U.S. state boards and Canadian provincial associations that regulate the profession of interior design. NCIDQ Certification is the industry's recognized indicator of proficiency in interior design principles and a designer's commitment to the profession. Professional interior designers who possess the NCIDQ credential have distinguished themselves by demonstrating a specific set of core competencies, supported by verified work experience and a college degree. They have proven their expertise in understanding and applying current codes established to protect public health, safety and welfare. Learn more at cidq.org.

About IIDA

is the commercial interior design association with a global reach. We support design professionals, industry affiliates, educators, students, firms, and their clients through our network of 15,000+ members across 58 countries. We advocate for advancements in education, design excellence, legislation, leadership, accreditation, and community outreach to increase the value and understanding of interior design as a profession that enhances business value and positively impacts the health and well-being of people’s lives every day. www.iida.org

Media Contacts
Lucy Mayer
Novita Communications

Matthew Barusch, CIDQ

Cindy Dampier
Jo Communications