The American Society of Interior Designers, the International Interior Design Association and the Council for Interior Design Qualification hailed Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker for signing legislation that recognizes interior design as a distinct profession in the built environment. The law, which passed the Illinois House and Senate unanimously, also acknowledges the crucial role professional interior designers play in protecting occupant health, safety and well-being.
The legislation was introduced and sponsored by Rep. Margaret Croke (D) and Sen. Laura Fine (D) in the Senate. Practitioners will be regulated by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
ASID partnered with the ASID Illinois chapter, legislators and counterparts at IIDA and CIDQ to secure the decisive win for the interior design profession in Illinois, according to a news release.
The legislation expands the scope of interior design with permitting privileges for interior designers to stamp and seal plans, thus defining interior designers as professionals who protect and advance occupant health safety in their work. In expanding the scope of interior design, the new legislation recognizes the extensive education and knowledge of interior designers concerning safety solutions in the built environment, including ADA-friendly features and fire safety codes, the news release said.
“Interior designers are highly skilled professionals who must have significant qualifications to pursue a career in the industry,” Croke said.“ This bill will allow designers to stamp their own design plans for nonstructural construction, removing an unnecessary barrier for those in the industry. Interior design is a traditionally female-dominated industry, and I’m proud to lead efforts to ease the challenges they face.”
Gary Wheeler, FASID, ASID chief executive officer, said “Interior designers bring an extensive body of knowledge, experience and care to their profession, and this legislation reaffirms their impressive qualifications. We are grateful to the state of Illinois for recognizing the profession’s value and empowering designers to be true custodians of health and safety in the built environment. ASID is committedto advocating for our members, the profession and the public as we continue to lead the national movement around practice rights.”
“IIDA is proud to have collaborated with our partners on the forward movement of Illinois House Bill 4715 ensuring interior designers can seamlessly continue the critical work of managing and protecting the health and safety of all those that inhabit our designed environments,” said Cheryl S. Durst, IIDA executive vice president and CEO. “This legislative progress reinforces the skill, talent and essential value of our industry professionals and is a significant achievement for the profession, for IIDA and our partners, and the broader design industry. Thank you to Gov. Pritzker and the state of Illinois for supporting this influential bill, and congratulations to all the advocates for interior design that worked long and hard on this important achievement.”
Thom Banks, CEO of CIDQ, said, “This historic legislation is yet another example of the continued importance of reasonable regulation of interior design. These policies are vital for protecting the public in the built environment through responsible practice, and we’re thrilled to see such a strong bipartisan outcome and collaborative effort between the design professions toward achieving that goal. We thank Rep. Croke and Sen. Fine for their strong support and hope other states will look to what’s been accomplished in Illinois as an example of collaboration towards a shared goal of protecting health, safety and welfare.”
HB 4715 represents the next chapter of an initiative shared by the three organizations to codify legislation that accurately and comprehensively reflects the modern interior design practice and its ever-expanding role. Illinois is the second state to pass legislation of this nature in 2022 alone, on the heels of Wisconsin in March. Since 2021, ASID, IIDA and CIDQ have also secured legislative victories in North Carolina and Oklahoma and improved distinct professional recognition in states, including Utah and Virginia.
The bill may be viewed in its entirety here.