From l to r: Randy Fiser, ASID; Marsha Turner, IALD; Barbara Horton, IALD; Dan Salinas, IES
Wanda Lau From l to r: Randy Fiser, ASID; Marsha Turner, IALD; Barbara Horton, IALD; Dan Salinas, IES

When interior designers and lighting designers engage each other, the result can be an inspiring environment with glare-free lighting that gives users a sense of security and comfort while enhancing productivity. And while collaboration between the interior design and lighting design disciplines has occurred, the three professional organizations representing these fields officially came together on June 17 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to formalize their working partnerships. The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) signed two friendship agreements; one with the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and one with the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD).

Randy Fiser, ASID executive vice president and CEO, read the two identical agreements, which are between the ASID and IES, and the ASID and IALD, at the June 17 press conference. The agreements state that the “areas of friendship, cooperation, and collaboration that [the organizations] may undertake” include: the exchange of ideas relating to technical, legislative, or policy issues; the sharing of key concerns and activities through mediums such as newsletters; greater cross-membership participation at organization-sponsored conferences, exhibitions, and seminars; increased discussion between members on committee and cooperative activities; cross-referencing of membership names to identify common affiliations; and joint-planning and sponsorship of activities at each society’s conferences or events.

Interior design and architectural lighting have many parallels and complements, Fiser says, and the ASID aims to highlight the impact of design on humans, in which lighting has a significant role. “A lot of what we are doing can be redundant,” but with the organizations working together, “we [can] bring value to members … and do the best possible work.”

IES president Daniel Salinas notes that the organizations are often “in sync” already. “What we do in each of our disciplines affects the other more than we realize, so what better way to find success than to work together and learn from each other at the same time?”

Two particular areas that the organizations’ leaders hope will benefit are in policy and member education. At a time when energy codes and regulations have substantial roles in projects, “it’s important that the interior design community understand the relevant services that we have to offer to the team,” IALD president Barbara Horner says.

Salinas says that the organizations will “target issues that require the research and practice from members to assist those in positions of legislative authority … understand the human element in design, and the importance to ensure their decisions don't adversely affect people while trying to achieve a goal.”

Fiser, Turner, and Salinas sign and exchange the friendship agreements.
Wanda Lau Fiser, Turner, and Salinas sign and exchange the friendship agreements.

IALD CEO Marsha Turner says that the friendship agreement will help bolster the voice of the IALD, whose membership recently surpassed 1,000. “It’s exciting to be signing this friendship agreement with the ASID, with its 28,000 members. … It is an amplifier to the IALD voice.” She adds that the IALD and IES, which has more than 8,000 members, will continue working together—though the relationship remains informal for now. “We’ve been long partners with the IES, so it’s a nice synergy, and a very nice occasion.”

During the press conference Q+A, an audience member asked the organization leaders what the next steps will be. Fiser said that the organizations will continue encouraging members to exchange information, such as presentations at each other’s meetings. IES public policy director Robert Horner added that the organizations will begin planning cross-discipline training sessions at the IES’ annual conference this November.

Another audience question was whether the organization’s members will have reciprocity in accessing or purchasing the publications and guidelines of others. “We’re looking into areas for opportunities for where it makes sense,” Fiser said.

Questions on the friendship agreements may be directed to Robert Horner at