July 1986 the law was changed by the legislature to prevent interior designers from submitting plans for building permits on commercial construction and restrict this privilege to architects and engineers.
Georgia Alliance of Interior Design Professionals, Inc. (GAIDP) was founded early in 1989 and incorporated March 20, 1989. The original President was Mary B. Duke, ASID with board members Susan Bradford, ASID, Margo Jones, FIBD and John Black, IBD. GAIDP’S original stated purpose was “to develop the industry and to promote the welfare of its members.”
With the help of long standing members and others in the interior design community, GAIDP has reconstructed the following history:
GAIDP President Janace Harding, ASID, and our consultant Brian Hudson and GAIDP were able to pass with much help by members and supporters and legislators, a major revision to the registered interior designer law that was initiated by AIA and refined and adapted in collaboration with them and the legislators so that for the first time, Registered Interior Designers in Georgia have a seal and can submit sealed drawings for permit for nonloadbearing construction.
GAIDP attempted to make a one word amendment to the law to remove the word “office.” This was causing code officials in Atlanta to deny applications for building permits by interior designers for occupancy classifications other than “business.” This received strong pushback and it failed to pass. General Contractor registration law did pass.
GAIDP tried once more to effect coverage of interior designers for equal work to architects on residential and commercial projects. John Guest served on a committee tasked with drafting amendments to the law and proposed amendments and testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee but the amendments were not included in the modified law.
The revised law passed that included for the first time that Registered Interior Designers can submit their plans for non-loadbearing construction to be permitted with a letter from the registered interior designer/principal stating that the drawings comply with applicable codes.
This year John Wyle submitted a re-write and update to the architectural law. It was extremely important as it was the first re-write of the law since the interior design law passed in 1992. Among other positive things in the bill it changed the name to the Board of Architects and Interior Designers and permitted designers to vote on more than interior design related issues. GAIDP worked with our designers on the board and helped craft the new language which further defined architecture, interior design and had other language protecting registered interior designers rights to practice in Georgia.
The law was passed in the 2000 session. At the national level, ASID dissolved its support for the accord on title acts signed by ASID, IBD, ISID and AIA since AIA was not honoring the agreement not to oppose title legislation and IBD and ISID were now a new organization, IIDA.
Legislative Consultant Freddi Hagan was changed from Bob Short to save funds. Freddi worked with IIDA managing their association services and also did legislative consulting.
A bill attempting to deregulate several professions from registration, including interior designers but leaving architectural registration intact was introduced in the Georgia legislature and GAIDP fought it and in the end was able to defeat it with much help from other regulated organizations facing the same fate. Senator Fort of Atlanta submitted legislation to closer regulate “Home improvements” by requiring written contracts, lien language, bonds and other regulations. This would have been a burden on designers among others and this was eventually defeated.
Legislation was introduced and later defeated attempting to place a sales tax on several professional services including architecture and interior design. This was defeated by a broad coalition of those affected.
Continued Registration education effort across the state. Also worked to educate code officials on the new law. As of July, 131 applications for registration had been received by the Board.
Our new mission statement was developed as follows, “The purpose of Georgia Alliance of Interior Design Professionals (GAIDP) is to act as a single voice in legislative and regulatory matters to protect and promote the right to practice the interior design profession in the State of Georgia.” A newsletter started called the “GAIDP Register”.
Representative Michelle Henson petitioned the State Attorney General Mike Bowers for a clarification ruling as to whether or not interior designers are covered by the present lien statute. He ruled they are not covered by it. John Guest testified before the Judiciary committee but the amendments were not accepted.
This was a year of organization, the board of Architects developing the rules to govern registration and registered interior designers and GAIDP held seminars across the state on how to become registered under the new law that went into effect July 1, 1992. GAIDP first tried to get equal coverage for interior designers under the Lien Law.
This time period was the session when the first law was passed. Rita Guest, FASID was elected president of GAIDP. With the help of John Guest, Mary Duke, ASID, Margo Jones, FIBD, Camille Puckett, ASID, Andrea Hubbard, ASID, Stuart Nimmons, IBD, and many other designers and corporate friends such as Custer Mayo built support by holding meetings across the state with every design organization. Several hundred designers and hundreds of interior design students worked to educate the legislators. With the guidance of our Lobbyist Bob Short, they refined and were able to pass the substitute to Senate Bill 168 into law. For the first time Georgia law recognized the professional practice of interior design as a profession with a body of knowledge based on education and experience.
The new law set the conditions for registration, provided a very brief description of interior design services, established that the board of architects would administer the provisions of the law, provided for appointment by the Governor with confirmation by the Senate of two interior designers to the board of architects. Their duties were initially limited to only issues concerning interior designers and architects could vote on interior design as well as architecture issues. Interior designers could not have a seal but they could have an architect seal their drawings for permit submission. This was a big step at the time since though it required commercial interior designers to add the expense of an architectural review, it allowed them to practice independently in commercial interior design again, without requiring an architect to be a member or director of their firm.
Governor Zell Miller signed this law which took effect July 1, 1992. He appointed Rita Guest, FASID and Camille Puckett, ASID as the first two registered interior designers in Georgia and the first interior designers to serve on the Board of Architects.
One important reason the bill passed the House was that it had the support of Tom Murphy, the Speaker of the House. He was then the longest serving State Speaker in the United States’ history and very powerful. His support was crucial. His God Daughter, Andrea Hubbard, ASID had his ear. She was an important influence for us in helping him understand the need for this law which encouraged more open markets and allowed Georgians to choose between qualified professionals. The law was careful not to exclude or restrict competition or deny any currently existing rights of practice to others.
GAIDP, with its designers from Atlanta and around Georgia was working for Interior Designer registration so that interior designers could once again continue independently in business and obtain building permits based on professional interior designers’ plans.
Mary Duke, ASID was the first President and Margo Jones FIBD was one of the first organizers. The first year an effort was made to change the law but it fell short. There had been a national agreement signed by the presidents of AIA, ASID, IBD and ISID that stated the organizations would agree to a Title Act but no practice act.
However, in actual practice AIA was adamantly against recognition of any sort for interior designers and lobbied the Georgia legislature heavily, gaining the support of the then Secretary of State, Max Cleland to block the legislation. Bob Short was hired as a lobbyist with funds raised through donations by ASID, IBD, members and others.