In Oregon, a battle has been waged between interior designers who feel that their industry should be strictly licensed and those who do not.
An important consideration in making a decision about this is how this will ultimately impact and entirely different industry in the state: interior design schools.
The arguments are years old, now, but the Interior Design Collaboration of Oregon is still talking with legislatures about the need for licensing among interior designers. After all, interior designers are more than decorators. At schools across the nation, students are learning how to visualize the empty shell of a structure and redesign it for the best use possible. This task is closer to architecture according to the IDC, who wants to see interior designers licensed and knowledgeable about fire codes, building safety, and more.
Interior design schools certainly touch on these topics, but would a bill with this type of detail change the landscape for them? It is possible that some schools would only need to make moderate changes to how they talk about these items, but few are preparing students for the licensing exams that professional constructing contractors must pass. The IDC seems to view this type of law as a way to even the playing field between the disciplines, but opposed interior designers see things differently.
On the other side of the argument, interior designers say that it is unnecessary. Furthermore, they think that it’s more “red tape” than an interior designer needs and will put a burden on the industry. They claim that consumers should have the right to choose the designer of their choice, and that the government should stay out of the to-date private matter.
Interior design schools will be directly impacted by any new legislation, but it is unclear of what type of impact it would have. It could cause an increase in new students who head back to class, but it could also cause enrollments to fall because of licensing requirements in the state.