Professionalization of Interior Design: a Framework Proposal for Kenya
Interior Design as a multifaceted profession in which creative, technical and business solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants, and are aesthetically attractive. Professionalization is the process of developing an activity into a generally recognized profession, through the setting up of professional organisations, the articulation and monitoring of standards and codes of conduct, the institution of clear educational routes and means of assessment, networking and gate-keeping Interior design is important to Kenya’s journey of actualising vision 2030. Chapter 4 of the vision document features Tourism whose to increase hotel beds from 40,000 to at least 65,000. The plan is to achieve this through creation of Three (3) resort cities – two new resorts cities at the coast and a third one in Isiolo. An expert in the use of interior spaces and space planning will be required to design the appropriate hotel room environments. Currently interior designers are not able to successfully lobby for these jobs because of lack of government recognition. A professional body called IDAK was set up in 2013 to professioanlise interior design but lack of a clear framework has led to a slow and unstructured progress in the professionalisation process. This research seeks to come up with an appropriate framework that could be used to professionalise interior design in Kenya. The literature review of this research comprises of a study on the theory of professions, elements of professionalization and case studies of professionalisation frameworks followed by Britain, USA, Australia and Brazil. The nature of this research was both qualitative and quantitative. Both purposive and snowball sampling methods were used. Face to face interviews, questionnaires and telephone interviews were the data collection methods used. The sample was comprised of IDAK officials (4), Interior designers (20), Interior design educators (5, Interior design students (10) and clients (5). v According to 94.6 % and 94% of the interviewed respondents respectively, interior design in Kenya should be regulated and the regulation should be done by a professional body.
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