Setting New Standards: A Conversation with PIID’s Outgoing President Ivy Almario
In 2024, the Philippine Institute of Interior Design (PIID) marks a significant milestone, celebrating 60 years as the sole recognized professional organization for interior designers in the country. Established with the goal of strengthening interior design as a distinct profession, the PIID plays a pivotal role in advocating for the recognition of interior design separate from architecture.
During the PIID’s six-decade journey, one of the organization’s pivotal achievements was to legalize the interior design profession through the Republic Act No. 8534 in 1998 and Republic Act No. 10350 in 2012. It regulates the practice of the interior design profession and establishes the Professional Regulatory Board of Interior Design under the supervision of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). As the first organization in Asia recognized by the government as a professional service, the PIID paves the way for the industry’s growth and recognition in the region.
The PIID operates within a tripartite structure, collaborating with the PRC for legislative matters, the Council of Interior Design Educators (CIDE) for education-related initiatives, and maintaining a member-centric focus within the PIID itself. Newly licensed interior designers automatically become members, fostering a sense of community and professional support.
For the past two years, the PIID has been led by one of the country’s sought after Interior Designer Ivy Almario as the National President. During her term, she has set new standards and truly elevated the experience of the members with the help and support of the rest of the board.
The recent achievements of the organization includes the acquisition of the new PIID Headquarters, a significant endeavor led by Interior Designer Marcelo Alonzo during the pandemic. The headquarters, which the fitting out completed during the 59th year (2023), symbolizes the organization’s commitment to its members.
Reflecting on the design of the new headquarters, Almario highlighted the collaboration with local suppliers and the incorporation of Filipino-made furniture. The thoughtful design, including a glass-intensive approach for natural lighting and a room named in honor of the late Marcelo Alonzo, signifies a commitment to excellence in both function and aesthetics. The office also has the “Ideation room” that members can use if they need a space to meet and present to clients.
Another achievement of the current board was the successful hosting of the first Manila Interior Design Summit (MIDS), a platform that brings together regional and international design leaders to engage in a meaningful dialogue, elevating the standards of professional organizations.
Under Almario’s leadership, the PIID has also enhanced its Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program, ensuring that members engage in meaningful learning experiences rather than mere compliance.
Moreover, Almario emphasized the importance of immersion in interior spaces, highlighting the role of interior designers in placemaking. With a focus on upgrading the CPD program and promoting collaboration among members, the PIID aims to ensure that interior designers are not only compliant but continuously developing their skills.
In response to the evolving digital landscape, the PIID introduced an app that connects members, allowing them to share portfolios, check dues, and stay updated on events. This platform also promotes collaboration and networking among members, fostering a sense of community.
The organization’s achievements extend beyond national boundaries. By proving to the Asia-Pacific Space Designers Association (APSDA) that Manila is a metropolis destination when the organization hosted the launch party of the APSDA Design Competition, the PIID invests in positive public relations and reinforces the appreciation of Filipino designers on a global scale. Additionally, collaborations with Indonesia through Mutual Recognition Understanding (MRU) and Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) contribute to the vision of borderless practice within ASEAN.
As the PIID looks toward the future, there is an expectation for the next board to follow the best practices of the current leadership. A call for selfless service to members, dedication to assigned tasks, and a focus on the organization’s agenda rather than personal interests sets the standard for future endeavors.
The PIID’s 60th anniversary is not just a celebration of the past but a testament to its continued commitment to advancing the interior design profession, fostering a supportive community, and shaping the future of design in the Philippines and beyond.