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Celebrate Interior Design Day 2014

Save the Date!  Monday September 22, 2014

Celebrating Sustainable Design in Interior Environments


There are 17 undergraduate degree programs and 3 masters programs offering higher education in interior design. Approximately 1,000 students are enrolled throughout Pennsylvania.

There are over 600 interior design professionals that attained a certificate through NCIDQ passing a rigorous professional practice examination.

Interior Design Day celebrates the interior design profession and its commitment to environmental responsibility and the improvement of interior environments that impact the health, well-being and quality of life of Pennsylvanians.


In Pennsylvania interior designers are prohibited from practice designing, selecting finishes and furnishings, and producing interior construction documents for interior environments occupied by the public.

“licensed architect or licensed professional engineer shall prepare the construction documents under the Architects Licensure Law (63 P.S. § § 34.1—34.22), or the Engineer, Land Surveyor and Geologist Registration Law (63 P. S. § § 148—158.2). An unlicensed person may prepare design documents for the remodeling or alteration of a building if there is no compensation and the remodeling or alteration does not relate to additions to the building or changes to the building’s structure or means of egress."

This is a clear restriction of trade. If designers practice in “public” spaces, they must either pay an architect or do the work for free.

Help end the trade restriction and promote economic growth in Pennsylvania. You can protect the practice of interior design and provide opportunity for professionals and students by supporting legislation that will give designers the option to provide interior design services legally for compensation.


There are primarily two groups of related trades that oppose optional licensure for interior designers who qualify via education, experience and examination in addition to continuing education requirements. They are the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).


The AIA believes licensure for interior design is unnecessary because interior designers do not perform services that impact life-safety. Interior designers doing construction documents for public projects perform these services daily – under an architect’s supervision. Designers select wall finishes that meet flammability ratings for wall assemblies, flooring that meets accessibility requirements, and space plan miles of cubical furniture that impacts egress through a building in addition to wayfinding and signage.  Interior designers are educated in school to perform these services and tested by an agency that studies and evaluates minimum competencies for code-regulated professional interior design practice.


Kitchen and Bath designers as well as residential interior designers often provide design services in the furtherance of a retail sale and work directly with contractors bypassing code restrictions imposed on interior designers that solely provide design services in commercial markets. These designers do not want legislation because it creates a public awareness of an interior designer that has attained a higher level of competency whereas they may be viewed as less qualified impacting their marketability.  In today’s economy it is an atrocity that interior designers who pay for an education, pay for an examination, and achieve credentials work at reduced incomes directly attributed to unjustified restrictions placed on professional services.

There are 26 US jurisdictions that provide licensure for interior designers of which the majority offer permitting privileges for non-load bearing interior construction. Additionally the federal government only employs interior designers who have passed the NCIDQ examination meeting rigorous requirements for code expertise in designing interior environments for multiple markets such as healthcare, office, education, housing, and childcare design.

House Bill 1258

Click image to view HB1258

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