- "From students looking for help starting their career to full members needing more detailed or specific advice, the IA offers resources to all."
- "For industry professionals working within the interior architecture and interior design community in Ireland, the Interiors Association offers essential support in terms of up-to-date industry information as well as CPDS for training in all relevant areas"
Here, Jackie Carton, President of The Interiors Association talks to Emer Kelly.
Build & Renovate: How did you become involved with The Interiors Association?
Jackie Carton: The IA is a voluntary association which started about 16 years ago with eight founding members. I joined in 2015, however, I wasn’t really an active member until I joined the committee in 2019 and took on the role of marketing with a view to rebranding the organisation and redeveloping the website. It was during this time that I really came to respect what the IA offered and I believed that this message deserved to reach a wider audience within the design community. I became President in December 2020.
JC: Founded in 2006, the Interiors Association (IA) supports professional accredited members of the interior design community. My initial role was to collate all the information for the rebranding of the IA and the setup of a new website. Launched in 2020, the website has given IA members a platform for promotion whilst allowing potential customers to search through the members listing and source a qualified designer for their project.
With clearly defined categories for all our membership types, participation continues to grow and my main objective is to increase our membership base whilst meeting the needs of members at every level. From students looking for help starting their career to full members needing more detailed or specific advice, the IA offers resources to all. I am supported by a strong committee of volunteers that assist with everything from event organisation to industry specific training.
JC: Any appropriately trained professional interior designers, interior design architects or Architects can easily join as a Full member or Associate member via the website (https://www.theinteriorsassociation.ie/sign-up-to-the-ia). We also accept student and graduate members and there is an option for commercial bodies such as manufacturers or suppliers of interior related products to join as Industry Partners of the Association.
B&R: As an Interior Design Architect, what do you find most useful about The Interiors Association?
JC: For industry professionals working within the interior architecture and interior design community in Ireland, the Interiors Association offers essential support in terms of up-to-date industry information as well as continuing CPS for training in all relevant areas. There are workshops covering everything from changes in legislation and construction methods to new trends and invaluable business advice. There is also the ability to network with other industry professionals and find strength in a collective grouping rather than just as one individual.
B&R: What would some of the short term plans/ goals for The Interiors Association be?
JC: The main aim of the Association is to elevate the professionalism of the Irish interiors industry, demonstrating both the positive impact of design on peopleʼs lives and the value of engaging an interior design professional.
We plan to begin a marketing campaign to increase awareness of the Association and all it offers. Meaningful design of our surroundings, be it a home, workplace or a social environment has a huge impact on well being and productivity. We want to ensure that these environments are created by qualified design professionals who have the right skill set and have been trained for the job.