Monday, 30 January 2012

Enter IDAN, association for interior decor artists

By Tajudeen Sowole
(First published Tuesday, December 09, 2008)       
VISUAL artists, architects and others who have found love in interior decoration sub-section of art and design, may heave a sigh of relief as an umbrella for professionals of that breed makes its entry.
 On Thursday, December 4, at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, some professionals in the field of interior decoration came together to launch what they called, Interior Designers Association of Nigeria (IDAN). The new group, they said, came as a result of the need to regulate the practice of interior decoration in the country.
  Under the theme, Focus On Interior Design, 2008, the event also included what could be described as Nigeria's first interior design and decoration magazine, Essential Interiors.
  The group must have been attracting attention and getting recognition at the international level, even before its take off here. This much was seen as the president of the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers, IFI, Mr. Shrikant Nivasarkar was present at the event.
  And before anyone concluded that IDAN could be just another group of people seeking relevance, just for the sake of it, one of the conveners, Titi Ogunfere stated that the basic reason for the formation of the association was to help provide a platform for the "regulation" of design profession in the country.
   She explained earlier before the event: "IDAN was established to promote the value of professional design by providing the appropriate platform for design professionals to lend a collective voice to government and industry initiative. The association also engendered the highest standards of practice through providing professional and educational training and networking for design practitioners."
Representatives of IDAN, Titi Ogunfere (left) and Moni Shonibare during a briefing, in Lagos

  Sandwiched between visual arts and architecture, really, this new association could have crisis on its hand, for example, in recommending standards for non-IDAN members such as visual artists and architects who do interior decoration. Also, codes of practice of each of these other older professional bodies such as Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) and others, which deal with areas of interior design, could bring about conflict of interests.
  Responding to this possible fear of identity crisis, the Chairperson of IDAN, Mrs. Moni Shonibare argued that artists and architects, who feel that there is something to benefit being a member, would rather belong. The bottom line, she explained, "is to gain credibility, which is what every professional would not compromise."
  Ogunfere who is also the Editor of Interior Essential, stressed that before the emergence of IDAN, there was no professionalism in the practice of design, noting that the situation was compounded by lack of regulation and legal frame works to enhance the profession. She also decried lack of interests by higher institutions of learning in the country towards interior design professions.
  To make the profession more attractive, a national network, Ogunfere said, is part of the group's priorities. "IDAN therefore stands to network the designers and decorators in each state of the federation while advocating support for the design community. IDAN also acts as a corporate contact point between the design profession and government to facilitate industry-wide initiatives. It fulfils other functions such as providing an organisational structure for networking of designers, linking Nigerian design professionals with international design organisations. And supporting the mentoring of students and new designers to create a solid foundation for the future strength of the profession"

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