Photo by Hillary Ehlen
This year North Dakota Interior Designers (NDID) celebrate their 15th anniversary. Over these years, what began as a group of about 15 passionate designers has grown to over 150 individuals in related fields, coming together to celebrate design and expand their skillsets. This group is made up of designers, industry professionals. educators, students
NDID defines its mission as being an organization formed to educate the public on the services offered by interior designers. This multifaceted profession strives for the creation of interior environments that are functional, efficient and aesthetically pleasing while meeting the project goals of the client and code and regulatory requirements. NDID strives to provide service to their communities as well as a social and educational network for designers throughout the state of North Dakota.
A Need for Organization
According to founding NDID member Joan Maring Nelson, 15 years ago there were not that many interior designers in Fargo.
“Many didn’t know what an interior designer was. It took a long time to educate the community,” said Donna Wiger, interior designer at T.L. Stroh Architects and Interior Design. Many people think that interior designer and interior decorator are interchangeable, but this is not true. Interior designers differentiate themselves, having gone to an accredited school for the profession and have taken and passed their NCIDQ Certification. In founding this organization, this credibility is something the group’s members wanted to present to the public.
From understanding building codes to functionality to collaboration with architects to ADA compliance, interior designers ensure a whole project is holistic and complete, with no details overlooked.
Nelson said, “We started out as almost a social organization. It didn’t last as a social organization for very long. I think as soon as people decided we were going to get together and do things, it became a service organization and educational organization…more professional-based. After we started, everything erupted and it just didn’t stop.”
Bettering Beyond Design
The passion NDID members have for their craft is echoed in their efforts to better the public, more than just aesthetically. Beyond social and profession-building aspects of the organization, part of NDID’s mission is to support the community.
One way they do this is by supporting up-and-coming designers and providing scholarships to NDSU interior design students. Part of their ongoing list of goals for future growth is to be able to put more money in their endowment fund to support more of these scholarships at NDSU.
When they are not supporting emerging interior design talent, NDID is visible in the community in charitable endeavors. In the past, members have participated in Habitat for Humanity Events, aided in decorating for Ronald McDonald House Charities and sponsored Christmas projects for families in need with YWCA and Churches United for the Homeless.
Most visible of their charitable endeavors is their annual production of”CANstruction.” Local architects, interior designers and construction managers get together to build structures out of canned goods at West Acres Mall. Trading in steel beams and shiplap, these professionals artfully built structures out of canned goods instead. The building materials are then donated to the Great Plains Food Bank.
“The designers now have an organization and a platform to draw inspiration from each other and ask each other questions. They can get together and become better at their profession,” said Treasurer Dominick Hammer. Members of NDID continually want to learn, get better at their craft and stay on top of design trends. Hammer added, “NDID gives them a platform and the ability to do that. It’s grown and it’s only gotten better every year for the last 15 years.”
As design trends have evolved over the years NDID has been active, so have its members. Having an organization such as this to promote public awareness of the interior design profession has helped the market for the field grow. While providing a forum for continuing education, networking, social interaction and support from other interior designers in close proximity to where we live and work, this group strives to continuously reach bigger goals and further enrich the beauty of our spaces, both residential and commercial. Here’s to the next 15 years, and beyond!