| Aug 6, 2014 |
Six design industry organizations and associations decoded
Boh staff
By Staff

Whether it’s continuing education, increased visibility, networking, or extra credentials, many design organizations and associations exist to meet the needs of designers and manufacturers. In an effort to make sense of them all, Editor at Large has broken down six of the top interior design organizations—ASID, DFA, IIDA, IFDA, LMNOP and SFC—in terms of number of members, membership fees, special benefits, requirements and how to join. Read on for a breakdown.

Number of members: 24,000

Membership fees: $470 per year for a Local Industry Partner, $810 for a Regional Industry Partner and $7,000 for a National Industry Partners. Student members are able to join ASID at a graduated dues scale—one year $60; two years $114; three years $162; and four years $201.

Special benefits for members:

•    Use of the ASID appellation on title

•    Access to a national network that includes Industry Partners, media partners and consumer-focused communication to market the value of interior design

•    Significant member savings on contract documents, education, publications, research, and ASID merchandise

•    Access to "My ASID," a custom public profile on the ASID website to showcase designers' portfolios in the ASID designer referral service, connect with Industry Partners, job listings and more

•    Automatic membership in a local chapter, including access to chapter events, learning resources and networking opportunities

•    An annual subscription to ASID’s award-winning publication, ASID ICON

•    Multiple opportunities to engage as a leader and mentor from the chapter level to the national board

•    Legislative advocacy for the legal recognition of our profession and the development of laws favorable to the interior design industry

Schooling/CEU requirements: ASID requires practitioner members to complete 0.6 CEUs every two years to maintain their membership.

To become a member: Membership applications can be completed online. Applications may also be printed and mailed/faxed in.

Number of members: 33 corporations representing some of the most well know companies in the industry. Members include media organizations, design centers, affiliated organizations, showrooms, editors and manufacturers of product.

Membership fees: Fees range from $1,000 to $5,000 depending on the size and turnover of each company.

Special benefits for members:

•    Access to DFA website including “How to hire and expectations from designers” and suggested sources to find designers

•    Recognition as a DFA primary member

•    Access to industry news and insight via email blasts

•    Inclusion in DFA Advertising Campaign: Directing consumers on how to find and
hire designers through DFA (over $300K value in media impressions)

•    Participation in thought provoking forums targeting best practices, education and growth

•    Access to affiliated organizations: Dering Hall, ASID, AIA, Houzz, 1st Dibs etc. 

•    Discounts from Dering Hall on a dedicated storefront

•    Member listing on the DFA website

Schooling/CEU requirements: The only requirement to join the DFA is that each member (company) must predominantly conduct business “to the trade,” and be interested in keeping the interior design industry healthy and growing.

To become a member: Anyone interested in joining is encouraged to email info@decorativefurnishingsassociation.com for additional information.

Number of members: 13,500

Membership fees: $488 for a Professional; $247 for an Inactive Professional; $203 for a Retired Professional. 

Special benefits for members:

•    Membership appellation

•    Access to Perspective, the IIDA journal; DesignMatters, a bimonthly electronic newsletter about happenings across the country; Contract, a leading monthly magazine for the design industry; Interiors & Sources, a leading monthly building industry and interiors publication; HD Boutique magazine, a bi-monthly e-magazine that covers hospitality trends; and What Clients Want, the first in a series of books published by IIDA. A collection of conversations between designers and their clients about how significant projects were conceived, how they have defined culture, demonstrated value and shifted business models

Schooling/CEU requirements: IIDA professional interior designers must have completed 2-4 years of coursework resulting in an interior design degree and must have passed the NCIDQ exam. IIDA professional architects must have completed 4-5 years of coursework resulting in an architectural degree and must have passed the ARE exam.

To become a member: Fill out an application online and send the necessary prerequisites, including copies of the NCIDQ and ARE certificates.

Number of members: Hundreds of members across 15 chapters (Specific data not available) 

Membership fees: Professional Members $350; Associate Members $150; Student Members $45; Retired Members $75

Special benefits for members:

•    Personal connections with other member professionals

•    Continuing education with emphasis on trends in the furnishings and design industries, business management, marketing and social networking skills

•    Programs that are low or no cost (sometimes open to guests for a fee)

•    Educational and philanthropic activities through the 501C3 IFDA Educational Foundation (IFDAEF.org), as well as a variety of scholarship and grant opportunities for both students and professional members and non-members, educational institutions and other organizations

Schooling/CEU requirements: IFDA is open to all professionals in the furnishings and design industry with no education/certification or CEU requirements for membership. 

To become a member: Fill out an application online or with one of the local chapters.

Number of members: 1,010 “Friends of LMNOP”

Membership fees: There is no cost to a "friend" level of membership. To be called a member is a level that requires designers be committed to volunteering for the functioning of the organization by taking on a task or function.

Special benefits for members:

•    Build a stronger connection and network within the A&D community by working with other members of the community in volunteer positions, access to other like-minded people and events in the industry

•    Promote further professional development, growth and expansion

•    Access to great practical knowledge through the workshops, mentoring and volunteering opportunities

•    Connections and partnerships with other community organizations such as IIDA NY, SMPS, LACREA, and AIA for networking, workshops and volunteer activities in the NYC community

Schooling/CEU requirements: Volunteering requirements put LMNOP apart from other organizations that only require a fee to be a member. The organization is an NYC-only organization with emphasis on this market and community. It is not exclusive but inclusive and requires no certifications or degrees. The "friends" and members must be a working professional or business member in the A&D industry.

To become a member: Designers can become members by taking on a role in the organization and attending events. This inspires people to growth, stretch and add an additional level of connection and professionalism. Contact the LMNOP directly to get involved.

Number of members: 350 companies, including suppliers of materials, manufacturers of furnishings products, stores, interior design firms

Membership fees: Varies depending on the size of the business, from $250 for 12 months for the smallest companies, to $3,000 for the largest

Special benefits for members:

•    Education and marketing

•    Guidance, resources, education, networking and marketing support

•    Commitment to sustainability, to transparency, and to continuous improvement

•    Access to CEU courses and a certificate course, GREENleaders, which teaches about sustainability issues as they relate to home furnishings and provides insight on what consumer concerns and priorities are and teaches what questions to ask and answers to look for while producing or specifying furnishings products, and making decisions about operations

Schooling/CEU requirements: None

To become a member: Fill out an online application, which involves signing a pledge that the company aligns with SFC values, and going through the “Best Practices” list to indicate which measures are being implemented now, which are in process of being adopted, and which are not applicable to the company's operations.

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