When “Designer” Becomes a Four Letter Word

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An interesting story this week from David Womack over at Metropolis. It’s about a recent law that Romania is trying to pass that makes it a legal requirement for designers to register themselves and make certain that they have the credentials to back up their “designer” title. And the “real, absolutely confirmed-as-such designers” are fighting back:

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.”