Formal Industrial Designer Accreditation through professional associations, enforced by law…
- yea (yes)
- nay (no)
disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with/do not represent ACIDO, I’m actually a student at Carleton School of ID
Did you know that ACIDO (Association of Chartered Industrial Designers of Ontario) is the only organization in the Americas (to my knowledge) that has an official legal accreditation of Industrial Designers?
The legislature (provincial government) has made “Chartered Industrial Designer” a legal title in Ontario, akin to a chartered accountant. The idea being to prevent just anybody with a portfolio from claiming to be an industrial designer, although the real prerogative is on industry to refuse to contract anyone who isn’t certified (and vetted by ACIDO, involving tests and membership fees). It is a lesser version of the laws against claiming to be a lawyer, doctor, engineer, or architect without official accreditation.
ACIDO finds this to be a necessary step for the interests of members because the situation in Canada is that due to lack of jobs in permanent design departments, the majority of IDers freelance, or work in companies with less than 5 employees. This means it is hard to differentiate at face value from self-styled low-bidding “designers” that have no education, no knowledge of business or mass production techniques, and offering no real ROI to their employers.
This is especially true for young designers and design graduates who cannot point to a long list of former clients to prove they’re the “real Mccoy.” Even worse is that these ID imposters propagate the myth that industrial designers are mere “stylists” to be called in at the end to give a product a facelift (and it should cost nothing!). This is a major obstacle to developing a culture of design in Canada among industry, consumers, and the government. It hurts ID in Canada, and circularly ensures Canadian industry remains behind it’s design-driven competitors.
Fact is, only 80 people are design professionals under this pedigree and Canadian designers/design students/industries/government/consumers are largely unaware of it. Also, it only has jurisdiction in Ontario.
My question to you, especially those of you who are trained industrial designers, is whether you think this kind of thing is a good idea?
Carroll Gantz seems to think so…
…And for my neighbours to the south: should the IDSA do something like this? Do you have the same problems?