Have you ever been enticed by a house from the outside only to walk through it and be utterly disappointed that whoever built the house didn’t take the time to hire an architect and/or a designer to make it actually functional? Great craftsmanship is always appreciated but if the space doesn't FUNCTION properly, it was all waste of time and money.
Functionality is always first on the mind of each (good) designer. Then comes the fact of making it “look pretty” with colors and shapes and patterns. Design is about how things function, and then about how they look.
I used an example of a house (architects, kitchen & bath designers, interior designers), but the profession now extends into just about every business – industrial, urban planning, landscaping, lighting, software, floral, fashion, user experience, etc etc. Designer is not a dirty word! There is a stigma attached to that title: designer=expensive. Well, I respectfully disagree and here is why: failing to plan is planning to fail. Imagine cars being built without being designed; shipping boxes being manufactured without considering products to accommodate; jewelry (rings, bracelets) being crafted without proper sizing…
If you invest in services from a qualified designer at the start of your project, then you can actually save money by avoiding costly mistakes later. Master Architect Frank Lloyd Wright once said “You can either use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledge-hammer on the construction site” Every dollar spent on the design stage potentially saves thousands at the construction stage of a project.
Designers have to get through some pretty serious professional training and testing before being able to attach such title to their names. And there is a reason for it! There are standards and guidelines to be learned and followed – sizes & shapes, distances, lengths & heights, work triangles, universal design principles … designers are, by nature and training, problem-solvers. We excel at seeing the big picture and incorporating all the elements of the puzzle, and communicate how to piece them altogether. We listen to and collaborate with our clients.
Please do not get me wrong – I have a great respect for all the craftsmen and workers that bring our designs to life! And it should be imperative for the designers to know and understand what goes into the actual project production process, to appreciate everybody’s efforts. But does it really mean that architects are better prospects for mastering construction than builders are for learning how to design?
I’d love to hear your opinion! And I’m interested to know, what does the word “designer” mean to you.