INTERIOR DESIGNERS: a matter of recognition
At present, some 1000 Interior Designers are engaged in their profession following the criteria defined by the CFAI (French Council of Interior Designers).
Who are the CFAI Interior Designers ?
Some of them come from Higher Educational Institutions, either private or public, approved by the CFAI (the list is updated every year). Following a review of their works, the other independent practicing professionals were recognized by independent juries comprising architects, interior designers, and external personalities, related to the conception of design.
Beyond the title, there is an identity.
In 1977, the CNOA (The Architects' National Council) then in charge of implementing the architectural Act, opposed using the name interior designer, as its uncontrolled use was according to them likely to degrade the title« architect » as protected by law.
It took the SNAI (The Architects national trade union, 400 members at the time) 4 years to impose its arguments.
An agreement was eventually concluded in 1981 : the SNAI committed itself to the CNOA by proving the authenticity of the profession and its ability to provide services in its particular field, on an equal level with architects, in terms of creativity, technique and professional deontology. The OPQAI (Professional Service of Interior Designers’ Qualification), in which the CNOA is an official member, was assigned the role. That was the first step towards the official recognition of Interior Designers in France.
In 2000, convinced that the Interior Designer profession had reached maturity, the CNOA decided to withdraw from the OPQAI, which then became the CFAI (French Council of Interior Designers).