Join the Retail Design Institute

Professional Membership Criteria

This membership type is for designers employed by retailers or contract design firms. If you are employed by a manufacturer or distributor of products specified into retail environments, please see Trade Membership application.

Only “Professional” members may utilize the appellation “RDI” after their names to denote accreditation. Professional Members are individuals who meet at least one of the following three requirements and must provide professional* references:

  1. Engaged on a full-time basis in the profession of store environments and design for a minimum of eight years, and shall be professionally competent in five or more of the following areas of endeavor: Store Planning | Retail Design | Architecture | Fixture Design | Merchandising | Lighting | Colors & Materials | Specification Writing | Project/Construction Administration | Brand Strategy And, as certified by two sponsors who are ‘Professional Members’ in good standing of the Retail Design Institute. The Retail Design Institute Chapter will contact the sponsors by email and ask them to complete a reference form regarding your qualifications.
  2. Same as 1, with minimum of eight years experience for any applicant presenting a four-year degree in Architecture, Interior Design or Engineering from an accredited college or university.
  3. Same as 1, with minimum of four years experience for any applicant presenting a college degree and either NCIDQ or NCARB certification (or international equivalent).              *Two Professional member sponsors must attest that application is accurate to the best of their knowledge. If an applicant cannot obtain two Retail Design Institute Professional Member sponsors, he/she can substitute other professionals from the design or architectural fields. Applicant must also submit a signed statement listing store projects worked on and their specific contributions thereto; together with documentation sufficient to satisfy the Retail Design Institute International Executive of the candidate’s professional experience.

Associate Membership Criteria

A person on a career track to becoming a Professional Member who is still fulfilling educational, tenure or certification requirements as described above. Upon the fifth and subsequent renewal, the Member shall be reviewed by their local Chapter for fulfillment of requirements and upgrade to ‘Professional’ status.

Allied Membership Criteria

Essential member of the design and customer experience team who are specialists in their own right.

This includes Visual Merchandisers, Graphic Designers, Lighting Consultants, In-Store Digital/Technology experts, Draftsmen & Detailers, Marketing Professionals supporting Retail Design, and other specialists.

Trade Membership Criteria

Primary Trade Membership Criteria

(Individual & Supplier) Individual or supplier representing a company that provides products or services to the customer and branded environment/product profession.

Additional Trade Company Reps Criteria

(Individual & Supplier) Additional Individuals or suppliers representing a Primary Trade Member company that provides products or services to the customer and branded environment/product profession.

Educator Membership Criteria

You must be an educator and not qualify for any of the other membership types.

Student Membership Criteria

You must be a student and not qualify for any of the other membership types.

Media Membership Criteria

For working journalists, writers and editors reporting on the field of branded environments.

You may qualify for up to one year's complimentary membership!* In support of retail professionals everywhere

Due to the novel coronavirus/Covid-19, the Retail Design Institute has waived membership fees and dues through May 31, 2021 for new members. Stay informed, stay connected and receive all the benefits of Retail Design Institute membership through May 31, 2021. Please use discount code 2020free when signing up. *All prospective members will be vetted according to the Institute's stated membership criteria.