AN UNUSUAL award to a set of guidelines has been made by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Potomac Chapter. The award, an acrylic sculpture by Jeffrey Bigelow, was to be given Friday night at the City Tavern Club at the ASID awards dinner. Jayne Spain, vice chairman of the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, planned to accept the honor.

Milo Hoots, president of the Potomac Chapter, said the award marked the publication of the newly revised "American National Standard A117," which spells out a long list of complicated but essential facts for helping make buildings accessible to the physically handicapped. It takes up such questions as how wide slope of ramps and the location of grab bars.

"It answers a need evident for many years for more sophisticated and technical criteria to meet the problem of architectural and environmental barriers," Hoots said. The standard, developed in five years of research, was funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and executed at the School of Architecture, Syracuse University. The President's Committee and the National Easter Seal Society had overseen the new standard, which replaces the 1961 rules. ASID was a participant together with 55 other organizations.

Edward C. Plyler, who heads his own Alexandria design firm, was named "designer of the year." Plyler, a graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York, has designed a great many Washington-area public and private spaces. He is especially interested in historical preservation and the interior design of early structures. His own house in Alexandria (the Jennings-Lee house) was once owned by the Lee family, from whom he is descended. Plyler has worked on, among others: Gadsby's Tavern and the Robert E. Lee Boyhood Home in Alexandria, a bedroom at the Valentine Museum in Richmond, Gunston Hall Plantation in Virginia, and Evermay in Georgetown.

Gail Biddison of Reston, Va., received an award for a gift shop in the Frederick Memorial Hospital, Frederick, Md. The jury noted that the "color scheme is fresh and well done. The furnishings are modest in cost. The shop accommodates a number of people simultaneously including persons in wheelchairs."