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Top 10 Interior Design Communities to Join to Supplement Certification

Find information about professional interior design communities you can join to expand your network and learn more about the interior design industry.

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What Is an Interior Design Community? 

An interior design community is an organization you can join in order to connect with others in the industry. It is a great way to share ideas, get insight and expand your overall network within the interior design world. Whether you are a student or an experienced interior designer, joining a community can benefit your career. 

Why Is It Important to Join an Interior Design Community?

Joining an interior design community can help you gain: 

  • Confidence: It can show clients and firms that interior design is not only your profession but also your passion. 
  • Knowledge: Since you will be able to connect and communicate with other interior designers, you also will be able to gain more insight on different skills and projects.

Top 10 Interior Design Communities 

1. ASID (American Society of Interior Designers

ASID provides funding annually to various research and scholarship initiatives as well as career education that focuses on the impact of design, the business of design, leadership development, and health and wellness. ASID also offers prep courses for the WELL exam and seminars for principals/owners interested in learning about business transitions.

2. DFA (Decorative Furnishings Association) 

The DFA is committed to the health, growth and future of interior design. It launched the #DoItFor website and ad campaign to encourage consumers to hire interior designers (as opposed to completing projects by themselves). The DoItFor website connects consumers with interior designers via a quiz and matchmaking tool. Chad Stark, former president of the DFA, spearheaded the initiative last year. “With #DoItFor, we are highlighting the reason you design your home in the first place: It is where special moments happen,” he says. “When it comes to decorating our homes, it’s too important to do it yourself. So, we say work with professionals. Don’t do it yourself, do it for yourself: ‘DoItFor: Your Loved Ones,’ ‘DoItFor: Her First Steps,’ and for all the special moments that happen at home.”

3. DLN (Design Leadership Network) 

The DLN was founded by Peter Sallick, a creative entrepreneur and business leader who has led the Waterworks agency for most of the past 20 years and co-founded the Dering Hall company. The Design Leadership Network is committed to promoting education and connectivity through summits. What began as intimate regional meetings with high-level designers, architects, landscape architects and industry influencers is now an organization of 300-plus top-tier design industry professionals across multiple disciplines, corporate brands and media outlets. The DLN is eager to strengthen its community by investing in resources to support education, research and advocacy in new and compelling venues, tools and programs.

4. DSA (Designer Society of America

DSA is committed to increasing opportunities for talented and creative designers to obtain education and the credentials to reach their highest potential professionally. DSA members receive discounts on national products; links to resources; info on CEU programs, including home study courses; teleseminar and webinar schedules; design newsletters and support; communications concerning industry practices, issues, and trends; and more.

5. IIDA (International Interior Design Association)

IIDA is an association with global reach that supports design professionals, industry affiliates, educators, students, firms and their clients through its network of more than 15,000 members in 58 countries. It hosts competitions, award ceremonies, conferences and more. As a prominent voice for the industry, IIDA advocates for its members and their professions so interior designers can practice to their fullest abilities. It also offers many tools for designers interested in becoming an advocate and getting involved in local legislative issues.

6. IDEC (Interior Design Educators Council

IDEC’s purpose is to be “dedicated to the development and improvement of interior design education,” to establish and strengthen “lines of communication between individuals, educational institutions and organizations concerned with interior design” and to strive “to improve teaching of interior design, and through it the professional level of interior design.” If you are passionate about spreading what you have learned in your time in interior design, this community might be for you. Within IDEC are networks that meet a minimum of once a year at the annual conference, as well as online forums in which IDEC members communicate.

7. IDS (Interior Design Society

IDS is an independent national organization of more than 2,000 members that offers a variety of educational opportunities for professionals in the residential interior design Industry. It offers online webinars and in-person CEU courses throughout the year as well as hosts conferences around the country. The conferences allow designers to earn CEUs at seminars and workshops, connect with vendors, network with other designers and gain invaluable information on the latest trends and news in the residential interior design industry. IDS also offers tours that show inspiring designs firsthand, exploring a variety of architectural landmarks and beautifully decorated interiors. Previous tours have been in areas including Tuscany and Paris.

8. IES (Illuminating Engineering Society

Join a community of more than 8,000 engineers, consultants, researchers, interior designers, educators, manufacturers and consumers who are involved in lighting by profession. By joining the IES, you will have access to resources and opportunities to keep on top of changes in the lighting industry. Engage and network with peers and other professionals based on your areas of common interest  and location. And you can continue your growth and education in the profession and industry through various educational opportunities, such as webinars and podcasts.

9. IFI (International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers

IFI acts as a global forum for the exchange and development of knowledge and experience in worldwide education, research and practice. It connects the international community to further the impact, influence and application of interior design; promote global social responsibility; and raise the status of the profession worldwide. World Interiors Day (IFI WID) is a long-standing annual program that engages a broad range of people and communities around the world. Design professionals, students, enthusiasts, institutions, agencies and members of the public are invited to organize activities that explore the theme for that year. IFI also has a portfolio of publications offering a global perspective on the interior architecture/design profession. Topics range from historic landmark design projects to breakthrough intellectual inquiries related to the practice of design.

10. WCAA (Window Coverings Association of America)

The Window Coverings Association of America is the only national nonprofit trade association dedicated to the retail window coverings industry and its dealers, decorators, designers and workrooms who are members. It was founded in 1986 as a division of the National Decorating Products Association. In 1993, the association left and became the Window Coverings Association of America. Today the WCAA has nearly 1,000 members in North America, Europe and the Caribbean. Its goals  are to make available educational and networking opportunities for home professionals, to encourage a code of ethics for fair practices in the home industry and to work for the betterment of the window coverings industry. The WCAA is committed to providing professional networking opportunities virtually and locally, along with educational opportunities that support the code of ethics and best business practices. It also works to promote the value and visibility of its professional members.

Conclusion 

Being part of an interior design community at every stage of your career has many benefits. Having a space where you can share ideas, learn and connect with other interior designers can help advance your career in ways you never knew were possible.   

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Comments (1)

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  • PRO
    Design Alliance
    9 months ago

    Council for Certified Interior Designers should be on your list, in my opinion #1

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