The Debate On Regulating Interior Design
Should Interior Design be regulated? That’s the question that the new House Bill 5005 in Tallahassee, Florida proposes – and it’s creating quite a stir of emotions within the designing industry all over the country. Currently, Florida is one of only three states that requires a license to practice Commercial Interior Design.
The Florida’s 5005 house bill isn’t targeted specifically to the design industry – it actually supports deregulating approximately 20 other professions and occupations, but none of them have sparked the passion and raw emotions for both sides of the argument as it has for the profession of Interior Design.
The concept is coming from a noble point of view; lawmakers feel that by deregulating the Interior Design profession, more notably Commercial Interior Design, it will make it easier on designers to establish their own businesses, gain a client base and thus improve the economy.
The Interior Design Industry Speaks Out
Many attendees of the meeting praised the lawmakers efforts arguing that current regulations stifle competition and keep the industry in the hands of a greedy cartel. Their view is that the current standards for the profession protect the designing community from fair competition and stifle the industry from growth.
Others stepping up to speak highlighted the potential for bad design and saftey issues to result if the current standards of the profession are not kept in place. They sited instances such as; materials being used for weapons in prisons, flooring that causes falls and flammable fabrics or paints that can lead to deaths. One designer amplified those sentiments by stating her skilled training and expertise affords her the knowledge to protect patients by selecting fabrics that won’t contribute to the spread of hospital-acquired infections.
One advocate went so far as to scold the lawmakers telling them they didn’t understand the color schemes that affect their “salivation and autonomic nervous system”, and that their current seating would endanger their lives if there was a fire to break out. She pointed out that a licensed Interior Designer would not have chosen that particular seating arrangement for that particular room due to safety issues.
The Debate Continues
The passion for the debate is evident with both sides taking a firm stand on their pros and cons for deregulating. Most of them agree that Interior Design is more than just selecting a color and tossing in some furniture – interior design results in a psychological impact that requires a certain degree of skill and schooling combined with a talent and a passion to change lives.
Whether the bill is to be passed or not is yet to be seen. Due to the unexpected passionate and emotional debate from Interior Designers, there is even talk of just removing this profession from the HB 5005 all together. However, the fire for the debate has been ignited and will remain a topic of conversation amongst the profession for years to come.
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