Inchbald was founded in 1960 to educate, to inspire and to stabilize what is now a flourishing and universally respected profession of English Interior Designers and Decorators.
At this time the profession had no formal recognition in the UK, either from the public or from the architectural fraternity. Nor was there any formalized education for Interior designers who wished to practice at the top level of achievement.
Inchbald entered the field of education with the explicit intention of identifying Interior Design and Decoration in the UK as a viable and serious career, bringing it into line with the many well regarded practitioners in New York and the USA, who had already enjoyed the benefit of top schools for half a century.
In 1931, over 30 years before the foundation of Inchbald, a number of leading American designers had themselves formed the renowned American Institute of Designers, now well-known as the American Society of Interior Designers. The influence of two major New York Schools, in conjunction with an established professional organization (ASID) established the fact that interior design in the USA was a respected and rewarding career.
Given this example, the impetus behind the foundation of Inchbald was quite simply to train professional designers who would prove competent to work in both the private and commercial sector, who would command respect for their talent and skills and who would form the matrix of what would become the recognized profession in England.
Again with an eye on New York, an emergent group of dedicated Inchbald students made it obvious that in order to support the status of the profession, it was necessary to form a professional organization. In 1962 I held the first meeting of leading designers, namely Michael Inchbald, David Hicks, John Siddeley and Jon Bannenberg and persuaded them to inaugurate such a society.
Nothing happens overnight, but in due course, the Interior Designers and Decorators Association was finally established in 1966.
At last, we had a structure and this structure would, in turn, lead into the reality of the professional status of English designers and decorators.
Inchbald was founded to educate, to inspire and to stabilize what is now a flourishing and universally respected profession of English Interior Designers and Decorators. In achieving this aim the School has created public interest and engendered respect for those practitioners whose talents and skills do so much for the development of the personal environment.