February 18, 2015

IIDA NY Joins Be Original Americas in the Fight Against Counterfeit Design

IIDA Be Original Togo Lifestyle Gold

Ligne Roset’s Togo seating by Michel Ducaroy (1974) is often copied. Photo courtesy of Ligne Roset.


New York Chapter

of the

International Interior Design Association

(IIDA NY) has joined

Be Original Americas

, an association created by the likes of



Herman Miller


Ligne Roset

to support and protect original, authentic design.

According to the International Chamber of Commerce, counterfeiting is one of the fastest growing economic crimes of modern times, an epidemic that devalues brands, hinders investment, drains $1 trillion from the global economy, and costs more than 2.5 million jobs.

IIDA NY and Be Original Americas want to eliminate these statistics by establishing a set of industry standards that will help identify original design, and encourage consumers to learn more about what they’re purchasing. Education is at the core of the mission—teaching everyone about the research, manufacturing processes, and intellectual property that is involved in bringing an original product to market.

“Supporting this organization in its effort to educate designers about this issue was something we truly wanted to get involved in,” says Rebecca Dorris Steiger, IIDA NY chapter president. “When I introduced Be Original Americas to the IIDA New York Board of Directors, board members were jumping out of their seats in support.”

Together IIDA NY and Be Original Americas are creating a program to educate and inform professionals on the moral, environmental, and economic value of genuine design, says Steiger. This program will be open to IIDA members, non-members and the larger A&D community beginning in April.

“I believe that educating our members about authentic design and supporting creativity and innovation will help us cultivate a community of inspired, talented designers,” says Steiger, who hopes to extend this education beyond IIDA membership to clients, project management firms, vendors, and consumers, giving everyone the tools and language to validate why they should purchase original products instead of knockoffs.

IIDA Be Original ARCO LED Lifestyle 1

FLOS’s Arco lamp by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni (1962) is often copied. Photo courtesy of FLOS.

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