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Entry no.: 11

13 Nov 2006, 1:27 AM

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Design International echoes (III)

Metropolis Magazine USA about “the design law”

Titled Design and the State – A law in Romania requiring designers to be registered could push its best practitioners underground, a leading design and arhitecture magazine from The United States of America — Metropolis Magazine — publishes David Womack's article about SDPR's initiative for regularization of the design practice.

Here's an excerpt:

And you call yourself a designer? A law likely to come before the Romanian parliament in the next year would restrict use of the term—be it graphic, interactive, or product—to members of the country’s official design association, the Society of Professional Designers in RomaniaSDPR. “Unfortunately the term design is used by anyone and anyhow just because it sounds exotic and it is the ‘in’ trend,” complains Alexandru Ghildus, a founder of the SDPR and professor of art and design at the National Art University, in Bucharest. To be eligible for “designer” status, one would need a degree from a recognized institution and to have completed a one- to two-year internship under the guidance of an SDPR member. Ghildus hopes that the law will prevent “counterfeit” design, which he says is flooding the Romanian market.

The proposed law has set off a furious debate within the Romanian design community and beyond. Almost a thousand people have signed an online petition opposing its passage, among them famous outsiders such as Stefan Sagmeister and James Victore. Local designers including Cristian “Kit” Paul and Ovidiu Hrin, who do not have diplomas but nevertheless have managed to build successful practices since the collapse of the Ceausescu dictatorship, in 1989, are leading the opposition. For them the law is disturbingly reminiscent of Romania’s Communist past, when regulation often served as a thin disguise for corruption. “These guys are not altruistically concerned about the well-being of the design industry,” Paul says. “They’re relentlessly pursuing their own self-serving agenda.”

Have a look also on the whole protest coverage list.

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