Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Big 5

Once again, the ugly specter of requirement of NCIDQ certification as a qualification for teaching has risen to haunt the halls of interior design, striking fear into the hearts of young faculty and architects everywhere. I am so tired of listening to the same five people complain about the same three issues all the time and having it published everywhere as if somehow they are having a new thought. Let others participate in the knowledge creation and you'll have more ideas from which to draw. There's a small pool of people with all of the qualifications to do all of the things that allow people to have access to knowledge creation and dissemination and they continue to work to consolidate their powerbase to the exclusion of others. Then, they want to know (or maybe just pretend to want to know) why interior design doesn't have the broad based appeal and unified voice it needs to advance beyond petty squabbling.

Maybe if they would stop broadcasting, publishing themselves, creating more honors for which only they are eligible, appointing themselves to commissions and task forces and committees, and let someone, -anyone - else participate in the system, there would be an opportunity for some growth and change. However, I am not foolish enough to believe that they really strive for growth and change. Instead, they wish to ossify, as they have sanctified themselves and their visions of interior design and reap the benefits of being big fish in a little pond. If the pond grows, they won't seem so large. If the pond exists as water interacting with a larger hydrology then they certainly become insignificant. They are willing to sacrifice interior design in order to prove to themselves that they are right.

I wonder when it is going to dawn on enough people that whatever we've been trying for the past 25 - 60 years hasn't been working and so maybe it is time for something new. No one ever gets into the history books with the tag line "this person kept everything exactly the same." It's very rarely the old guard who moves the revolution forward but the new guard is very rarely liked by the old guard. Design education must politely sidestep these individuals, these roadblocks to progress. It should be polite because, although their actions are often horribly misguided, at one point they too existed in rebellion to the prevailing paradigm. Their contributions were viable and created change, but they have been allowed to settle in and become legends in their own minds. It is time to reorganize ourselves outside of the existing models of design culture if we want to survive, and I think we do.

We must stop looking to those who benefit most from the continuance of the current situation to be the agents of change. The time for revolution is now.


Anonymous said...

The perpetuation of the legitimization of interior design via our supposed ability to protect the health, welfare and safety of the occupants will be the downfall of the profession. It has been 30 years with untold financial, time and emotional investment yet only 3 states can claim tenuous "practice" ("title" acts are meaningless) legislation. Seems to me this is not a winning strategy. HELLO????

Hannah said...

What's the definition of insanity again...doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.