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What is ASID?

What is ASID?

If you ever watch design TV, you will notice that many interior designers have the letters ASID after their names.  But, if you aren’t a designer, you may not know what that means.

ASID is the acronym for the American Society of Interior Designers.  The organization was founded in 1975 and supports designers by offering local seminars, business tools, advocacy and networking.  For consumers, however, “ASID” can be a tool to help you choose a designer for your project.


ASID offers memberships to qualified members of the interior design trade.  What does that mean?  It means a designer must have a minimum combination of education and experience to become a member.  Seeing the letters “ASID” after a designer shows that they have completed those requirements, and you can expect that they have some level of professionalism and design skill.

Both commercial and residential designers can become members, although many members are residential designers.

Members of ASID have also agreed to adhere to a code of ethics in dealing with their clients, suppliers and other designers.

There are different levels of ASID memberships, and each has its own educational and experience requirements.

A Professional Member of ASID has passed the rigorous 2-day exam given by NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification).  This is the highest level of professional design achievement – the gold standard for designers.  The exam tests knowledge of materials, space planning, building codes and more.  Designers who have passed the exam and have become a Professional Member of ASID show their achievement by using the following appellation:  Teri Larsen, ASID.

An Allied Member of ASID has met the requirements of experience and education for admittance to the Society, but they have not yet taken or passed the NCIDQ exam.  Sometimes, these designers are younger and less-experienced (a designer must have a minimum number of years of experience and education before they can take the exam).  Other times, they are very experienced designers who have simply decided not to sit for the NCIDQ exam.  An Allied Member always shows their membership in this way:  Teri Larsen, Allied ASID.

The newest membership category is Associate Member of ASID.  This category allows designers who have at least 6 years of experience in the field, but no formal design degree, to become members of the Society.  Associate Members show their status in this way:  Teri Larsen, Associate ASID.

Interior design students, professors and suppliers of design-related products can also be members of ASID, and each has their own membership category.

While a designer’s ASID membership status is not the only factor in determining their ability, professionalism or experience, you can use it as a gauge to help you narrow your choices when you are selecting a designer for your project.

You can find more information about ASID at their website.  If you are searching for a qualified interior designer in your area, take advantage of their Designer Referral service, as well.  It is a great starting point!


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