ASID: Decades of Interior Design

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) has been a key organization throughout the years for those involved in and committed to the industry of interior design. ASID is a community in itself, comprised of interior designers, educators, students, and industry reps, who all share a common goal - to further and harness the passion for design. Since its inception in 1975, ASID has worked to advance the profession of interior design. Through sharing knowledge, industry events, networking, education, and advocacy, ASID’s dedication to outreach and building a community for interior design has truly paved the way for the continued success and appreciation for this industry. Overall, ASID strives to celebrate the power of design and the potential it has to positively affect people’s lives. Whether it is in the private home, or a beautiful library built for many to enjoy, the beauty and variety within the realm of interior design is something to be appreciated. Each person is drawn to a different aesthetic, and without nurturing the creative community behind design in general, daily life would be much less colorful or vibrant.

With over 30 years under its belt, ASID is the leading professional organization for interior designers, and offers numerous benefits for interior designers considering the potential to make connections, professionally grow, and learn. Further, ASID is the oldest and largest community of its kind. Currently, there are over 30,000 members of ASID across a network of 48 chapters throughout the United States and Canada. There are also 325 student chapters, focusing on the sharing of knowledge and growth towards becoming a professional designer. Members are constantly provided with the opportunity to engage in various professional programs, attend events, and enjoy activities with members of the same community they love. In this way, ASID is a crucial component to the thriving success of interior design in North America.


History & Beginnings

Before ASID existed in its current state as the American Society of Interior Designers, the organization has a rich, full history behind its predecessor organizations - the American Institute of Interior Designers (AID) and the National Society of Interior Designers (NSID). The first national association of interior designers was established in 1931, and known as the American Institute of Decorators. This would later be called the American Institute of Interior Designers, although the professional acronym remained the same. By 1975, the National Society of Interior Designers merged with AID to form the ASID as we know today. Since its founding, ASID has continued to inspire and motivate those working in interior design while enriching the experiences of its members. By creating various outlets for its members to build relationships and gain knowledge regarding the value of interior design throughout history and in our modern world, the society formed a large community which truly embraces interior design’s worth.

Exceptional Standards: Membership Facts

The majority of practicing interior designers in the society work in all areas of both commercial and residential design. Interior design does not solely apply to or benefit the wealthy and elite. From corporate buildings to your home office nook, master bedrooms to hotel penthouse suites, hospitals to schools - all aspects of modern civilization in North America is impacted and influenced in some way by design. With that said, in order to become a member of the renowned ASID, prospective members must first pass various acceptance standards that are both rigorous and set with the expectation for exceptional ability. The standards include a combination of accredited education in design and/or significant full-time work experience. Those who wish to join ASID must also pass a two-day accreditation examination that is administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).

Members must adhere to a strict code of professionalism and exemplify strong work and moral ethics. ASID has six different membership categories. All ASID members have the opportunity for involvement in their local chapter, regardless of their membership level. There is the Professional Membership, Allied Membership, Educator Membership, Student Advancement Membership, Student Members, and Industry Partner Membership. ASID Industry Partners join ASID to connect trade with interior design and gain access to this large community of designers and students. The Industry Partners of ASID are comprised of more than 2,200 member firms including industry manufacturers and their representatives and related trade associations. This is an interesting partnership, as it facilitates connections between the interior designers and manufacturers of design-related products to create mutually beneficial professional relationships.

There are many benefits to being a part of the ASID community as a student or professional interior designer. With annual events, a weekly industry newsletter and an award-winning magazine, there are numerous outlets for professional interior designers within the society.

From 1975-Present: ASID Today

Some of the best known ASID interior designers and contributors include Lori Dennis, Hollywood designer Kari Whitman, Barbara Barry, and Vicente Wolf. Barbara Barry’s interior design work for the 12,000 sq. foot Piedmont House in the San Francisco Bay completely exemplify her Bay Area Esprit and the joie de vivre and passion that exists in the world of design.

The overall vision of ASID is to empower the profession of interior design and to cultivate creative ideas so that innovative and unparalleled design can thrive. ASID interior designers view rooms of houses and buildings, public or residential, as blank canvases that need to be touched with their artistry and distinctive brush.