Futura Interiors

The World of Design at Your Fingertips

Design: Not for the Faint Hearted

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.


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