Archive for January, 2010
by Nicole Shen
As an experienced designer who has ventured into the world of hotels, homes, offices, restaurants, clubs, spas…understanding the value of having the right team in place from the beginning of the project is crucial. The right team can make the project a big success, and the wrong team can literally break the project! I recently read a quote that says “Begin with the end in mind.” and those words cannot be more true. I am not sure why clients feel a designer should be brought in once the building is built and everything is ready to go and we are given only a few months to complete the entire design of a hotel when we could have come on board before the drywall was put in. I am not exaggerating when I say that the client literraly realizes the need for the designer when all of a sudden the shower needs to be placed and they haven’t allocated any room for it in the bathroom! I kid you not!
Team spirit not only involves the architect, hotel management or owner, interior designer, landscape designer and contractor. To me, a strong team hits a little closer to home. I have built my company, Futura Interiors, around designers whom I am proud to not only have as part of FI, but also people whom I am proud to call friends. Without a strong team who comes together when deadlines and projects needs it most, the completion of a successful project would not be possible. When you have a client that understands this, then you have a project that will end up beautifully designed.
So don’t stop cheering! Keep that team spirit in you!
by Erline M. Altamira
Designers, have you ever heard any comments like, “Oooh, you’ve traveled to Asia or the Caribbean for work. You’re so lucky and must have had tons to fun.”
If you are a true designer traveling to exotic on-site projects/properties, you probably either smile or enlighten people of the realities of our glamorous design world of traveling for work. The harsh reality of being on site usually involves multiple site meetings with clients, architects, contractors, landscaping & lighting designers, operation managers, GM, GE, the list goes on depending on the nature for your travel. Every hours is scheduled for project related issues and of course no time for the “tons of fun”, which is fine because we knew what we were getting into.
On-site work isn’t from 9-5pm, it goes beyond work into the world of politics. After long days of coordination meetings be prepared for dinner meetings or work excursions that leave you about five hours+ of sleep which may not help with your jet lag. During construction be prepared to walk through dirt, debris, high fumes, etc while you take notes and point out countless issues that will need to be resolved. When installing you are “lucky” if the air conditioning is up and working, while you discover that the millwork housing the mini guestroom fridges have not been built according to your shop drawings. Yikes, all the fridge units are over heating so you and your team bolt through the corridors opening all cabinets to save the equipment! Oh and that feature detail you discussed with the contractor two months ago…yes was totally ignored. Such is life!!
So as previously stated, design is not for the faint hearted. We hope that my quick preview into the glamour of design has not jaded you. With that said, I thank my other team members for bearing the minus 30 degree weather at recent non-heated site meetings. The cable design shows do show the joys we can bring to a client and the content feeling a designer can feel when a project is completed. Just remember most large projects usually are completed within 3-7 years and not 30 minutes.
by Erline M. Altamira
FI wishes everyone a fresh and prosperous new year. Our team is planning great things for 2010. We will keep you all posted. Stay positive and true to yourselves.
Happy New Year!!