Any design project could be compared to a huge, complex tapestry consisting of hundreds of threads, colors, textures and techniques that must be woven with precision to result in the desired finished product. When viewed in that way, it is easy to see why addressing a perceived irregularity or investigating an inconsistency (or departure from an agreed plan or decision) is important enough for a pause. That moment taken to re-check, consult, make a phone call or temporarily stop an activity is worth the temporary inconvenience. It is a part of the insurance that keeps the “weave” true.
Sometimes a client may not mention a concern that is troubling them because they may think it is just not important enough. Sometimes a client “doesn’t want to rock the boat!” They may even feel reluctant to question or challenge the professional they have hired. They may not want to seem like a pest! Conclusions and hesitations like those could throw your project off track! Your team can’t remedy what they don’t know may be bothering you.
Your design team wants to know what’s on your mind and needs to hear about your concerns. One mark of a professional is their ability to hear and understand the concerns and criticisms of their clients, without taking offense. The very concept of teamwork implies that all issues must be laid on the table and solutions found for problems and challenges; it is about the project, after all!
Compromise, consensus, substitution, re-consideration and re-calculation are just a few of the communication and “reasoning” tools that successfully address most concerns that may surface in the course of a project. In many ways, a project’s “critical path” is a challenge in motion; it is almost inevitable that this-or-that might need a tweak. It doesn’t mean that something is wrong!
Many professional services have tools in place for addressing concerns in an ongoing manner. Micro-meetings with the crew on a daily basis help keep everyone on the same page in their particular aspect. Distribution of notes following regular team meetings gives all a chance to review what was discussed as well as the actions decided. It is an excellent fail-safe. It gives all attendees the opportunity to re-clarify or correct.
Your “team” may consist of one client (you) and one designer, and your project may be way smaller than the Taj Mahal; but the same importance applies. Bring your concerns to your designer – they are all worthwhile!
Robert Boccabella, B.F.A., Certified Interior Designer
RED goes with everything! Read my blog and find out why.
Collaboration & Writing: Ms. Zoe Tummillo