In-depth News: IDA merges with BIID

‘One leading body for interior design’ is the aim of the merger.

By Sarah Brownlee
November 2013

BIID_New LogotypeThe British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) has announced its merger with the Interior Design Association (IDA). The move’s aim is to create ‘one leading body for interior design’.

‘Both the IDA and BIID felt that the interior design industry and the individuals who work within it will be better served, represented and supported by the strength of one unified voice,’ explains IDA chair Charles Leon, who will now take his position on the BIID Council of Directors.
It is hoped merging the two bodies’ members and expertise will create greater opportunities to champion the values of interior design – both nationally and internationally – set professional standards, promote best practice, and stimulate learning and debate.

As a member of the Construction Industry Council, the BIID already takes part in government consultations, advising on new policy and legislation. Earlier this year it introduced its Professional Pathway qualification, in an effort to ‘offer a more structured route from interior design education to professional practice’. The Pathway is made up of five modules: Design Process; Communication and Presentation; Construction and Materials; Professional Practice and Final Project, all to be completed while candidates are working as interior designers.

BIID crop 300 x 300Leon cites the launch of the Professional Pathway as the ‘catalyst’ for the merger. ‘The IDA had already agreed to endorse the Professional Pathway as it would set a benchmark of professionalism in the industry,’ Leon confirms. ‘We realised that we were already effectively working together, so a merger seemed to be the most sensible and logical next step forward.’

The BIID, which is the government-recognised institute for professionals working in the interior design industry, has around 2,000 members. They will now combine with the current IDA membership made up of companies rather than individual designers.

The IDA launched in 2009 as a business association to represent designers working in the commercial sector, while the roots of the BIID go back to 1966 and the establishment of the Interior Decorators and Designers Association. It became known as the British Interior Design Association (BIDA) in 2001 and, in 2009, changed its name again to the British Institute of Interior Design to reflect its newly awarded Institute status, granted by the Secretary of State. There have been 12 presidents since 2000, with Sue Timney currently at the helm.

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