Are interior designers too diverse to pull together?

It is no surprise to find the British Institute of Interior Design seeking links with the wider design community. The interiors crew has long tried to draw together as a group outside the confines of bodies such as the Design Business Association and the Chartered Society of Designers, though both include interiors interests in their membership.

A few years ago, Callum Lumsden, then of Lumsden Design Partnership, created such a group, the Interiors Forum, with some success. But the pressures of running a consultancy and lack of funding took its toll and the forum was disbanded.

Meanwhile, a growing number of websites seek to create an interiors network online. Only this week, The Designers Platform and The Editor at Large – for journalists – were launched.

The need is patently there, but will it happen? The problem people like BIID president Iris Dunbar face is the disparity of the interiors community.

There are overlaps with architecture and inevitable spats – take the rumpus at the Royal College of Art when interiors was dropped by architectural head Nigel Coates. The discipline is to be reinstated at the RCA (DW 29 July), but we don’t yet know where it will sit.

There is too the rivalry between ‘commercial’ interiors folk and the decorators traditionally represented by the likes of the BIID. TV makeover shows are generally scorned by the former, but the two areas often overlap on hotels and other hospitality projects.

College tutors seem to have had more success in galvanising their efforts in that Interiors Educators, chaired by Andrew Stone of London Metropolitan University, represents some 25 specialist courses. But IE’s mission is apparently more about pulling in resources and jobs for interiors graduates than being a forum for practitioners.

It will be interesting to see what happens to BIID’s bid – particularly its dealings with the CSD. But perhaps interiors is too diverse for common interests to be identified formally.

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  • Dave November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Have you taken a look at the newly launched interior design venue called Premiere Designers? http://www.premieredesigners.com

    It is US based, but, the site is set up to be international and could easily expand to handle a group of Designers from the UK and UK products.

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