No Boost for Interior Design Schools in OR

An Oregon Senate Bill that might have encouraged more aspiring interior designers to attend an accredited school in the state failed in the original committee meetings last month.

Senate Bill 1521 would have provided more regulation in the state around the interior design industry, requiring more rigid licensing and education requirements.

More opponents than supports showed up to the committee hearing on the bill that would require a state licensing program for interior design professionals. The opposition claimed that requiring interior design school, certifications and licensures would limit the public’s options unnecessarily and cause harm to current interior designer’s businesses.

The bill was discussed in town hall meetings throughout the past year, but supporters of the bill say that the opponents of the bill were not present in that part of the process. The Interior Design Collaborative is one of the primary supporters of the bill, which in their view protects small interior design businesses in the state. To the surprise of supporters at the committee hearing, many of the missing opponents showed up to voice their opposition to the bill. One of the more surprising opponents may have been another professional design organization, the Oregon Chapter of the American Institutes of Architects.

Because of the opposition turn-out, the bill never went to vote and is marked for further research and review. In a report by the Daily Journal of Commerce Oregon, Interior Design Collaborative Oregon’s president, Alicia Snyder-Carlson said they were surprised by the turnout of opponents.

“We did not expect there to be as much opposition as there was, which might have been a little naïve on our part; nevertheless, (the bill’s opponents) did appear,” she said after the meeting. “We hadn’t heard much from them all year. There was not a whole lot of attendance at the town halls we held to discuss the bill, so that was unfortunate.”