There are several organizations and associations for practicing interior designers to join. The purpose of these is to provide continuing education, professional development, networking, and learning sources for prospective designers. This post will examine some of the features of entities offering services for existing designers and individuals who want to enter the profession.
Interior Design Institute (IDI)
Individuals who want to forgo the expense of a college education might be interested in the IDI. It offers an online diploma course that includes 15 videos created by renowned interior designer Darren Palmer. He has a line of soft and hard home furnishings, rugs, candles, flooring, and two books. All of the material is online in twelve modules that you complete and upload to the IDI site. A personal tutor guides you, monitors your progress, and provides constructive feedback.
For example, each student receives the same residential renovation project. The task is to decorate and design flooring, lighting, window treatments, color schemes, furnishings, and write quotations. Students must also prepare ads, provide a scope of the work for contractors, and calculate the client’s projected cost.
The cost of the Darren Palmer Masterseries is $1,399 when paid in full or a monthly payment plan of $249.83 for six months. The Certified Interior Decorators (CID) and the International Approval and Registration Center (IARC) accredit this program.
Interior Design Society (IDS)
The IDS is one of the largest design organizations in the United States serving the residential design industry. Interior designers, sales specialists, industry partners, and students or recent college graduates are eligible for membership. The annual fees range from $350 for degreed designers with a business license to $40 for full-time students. There is also a directory of IDS chapters scattered across the nation. Those without a local chapter can interact with IDS members through the virtual chapter.
Every active Certified Interior Designer must complete 10 hours of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) every two years. One source for webinars and in-person CEUs available year-round is the IDS. A list of approved courses is available at the International Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC).
Designer Society of America (DSA)
The DSA boasts a membership of over 22,000 designers, students, and vendors who collaborate to furnish an organization devoted to professionalism, creativity, and educational programs. Certification programs for qualified interior designers eager to expand their credentials are available through the DSA. Some require years of experience, such as the Residential Interior Design Qualifying Certification (RIDQC). Eligibility involves the completion of a college or university design coursework and seven years of professional design experience.
American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)
According to the ASID, they have 13,500 designer members, 6,000 industry partners, 5,500 student members, and 46 professional chapters. Since 1975, the multi-discipline organization has served professional designers, students, manufacturers, and suppliers in the industry. Members may visit any one of the branches that are located from Alaska to Hawaii to South Florida. There are several categories of membership, including post-secondary students, educators, individuals employed in the design sector, and companies engaged in supplying products or services to the interior design profession. Students pay only $85 as a one-time fee – it lasts six years!
Interior designers, architects, and individuals in the building environment who meet ASID qualifications have annuals dues of $525, plus a one-time $100 application fee.
International Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC)
ASID members receive a 10-digit number to access the IDCEC website. The latter houses all your continuing education units (CEUs), as well as a portal to submit education for approval. IDCEC members are companies or professionals who provide continuing education and pay an annual Provider registration fee to IDCEC. Designers who have an IDCEC number are registry users only. The 10-digit number provides a path to learning opportunities, like conferences and courses, under one platform.
International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA)
What started on April 22, 1947, over lunch in New York City by six women has blossomed into 11 chapters with international members in the furnishings and design industries. Currently, IFDA members include executives and other professionals immersed in the production, promotion, education, or design for the furnishings and related businesses.
As a member of the IFDA, there are many benefits – too numerous to state them all. Some of the full-service perks are:
- Long Term Care Insurance at group pricing
- Umbrella Liability Policy
- Business Owners Policy (BOP)
- FedEx Savings of up to 55%
- National Transaction Corp Credit Card Merchant Programs
- Health Insurance
- Prescription Drug Program
Membership dues are $350 per calendar year for Professionals in the industry; Associate is $150 for graduates of a 2 or 4-year college program, and students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program pay only $45.
U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
Interior designers educated in earth-friendly interior design methods may seek membership in the USGBC. The Council strives to design and build environmentally safe and healthy structures and communities. The vast membership of realtors, government officials, architects, interior designers, contractors, and engineers support LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a worldwide rating system. A LEED-certified building is a testament to its high efficiency, cleaner air, chemical-free interior, and cost-savings measures. Statistics show that a LEED building consumes 25% less energy, uses 11% less water, prevents 80 million tons of landfill waste, and avoid 78 million tons of CO2 emissions!
As illustrated, there are ample choices of organizations involved in interior design and associated professions. Their mission is to enhance careers, offer a host of networking sources, educate, and confer with companies and experts in the field of design.