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Industry Experts Speak Out on Advocacy

02.16.2018
Sasha Wagner (AIA, IIDA, LEEP AP, principal and CEO of Huntsman Architectural Group), Bill Weeman (III, IIDA, CID, senior project manager of Ware Malcomb), Susan Coddington (CID, IIDA, NCIDQ, president of CDG Interior Design and Architecture), Samantha McLean-Bergel (IIDA, partner at McLean Bergel), Carlos Posada (IIDA, LEED AP, principal at Gensler Los Angeles), and Collin Burry (FIIDA, LEEP AP, principal at Gensler San Francisco) pose in the California State Capitol
By Kadie Yale

For the last few years, there have been widespread discussions about legislation for the interior design profession. In California and other heavily regulated states, the need for a commercial interior design certification focuses on designers’ desire to stamp their own work as architects do.

As of now, designs need to be stamped by a certified architect—a process that can add time and money to a project. The stance on advocacy can be a tense subject.

During Capitol Day in California on February 13, 2018, several designers met to advocate for the interior design profession and were sensitive to the nature of the conversation. They stressed their intention to educate and to allow designers to practice to the best of their abilities rather than exclude others.

interiors+sources asked several designers why they chose to advocate and what it means to them.


Susan Coddington, CID, IIDA, NCIDQ, president of Chelsea Design Group:

“We are all here representing the full spectrum of commercial interior design practitioners. As a small business owner, I am working with a common message alongside designers in large architectural firms to promote our profession and to reduce impediments to us practicing to our full potential.”

Carlos Posada, IIDA, LEED AP, principal of Gensler Los Angeles:

“Engaging in advocacy is necessary if we want to have a stake in the future of our profession.”

Bill Weeman, III, IIDA, CID, senior project manager of Ware Malcomb:

“[Advocacy is] important because we need to elevate our profession and raise the bar for interior designers; especially those of us who work in a code-impacted environment. ... There are so many different levels of legislation that could happen. We don’t know what legislation will look like; we just need to educate people and elevate what we do. We just need to be recognized as a bona fide profession.”

Emily Kluczynski, legislative affairs and public policy for IIDA, added,

“The complexity of the built environment has evolved dramatically over the past 30 years. At IIDA, we strive every day to tell that story and inform, educate, and advance the industry through grassroots advocacy at the local level.”