*Lyrics from S.O.S. in Bel Air by Pheonix from their album Bankrupt!. Since we’re definitely still in summer-music-mode, and I’m looking for new exercise music, I poked around the recent releases and discovered that Phoenix had a new, very catchy album, perfect for summer ears, and running (ok, trotting) feet. And even though my clients moved into their house in late June, they needed some time to settle in before I could take proper pictures. You other homeowners know that it takes quite a bit of time after a move to feel at home, so I didn’t want to rush my clients into being ‘done’ before they were ready. Hoping to get some final after photos in the fall. Until then, more summer, please!
Every designer starts out with the best intentions: make something beautiful that functions really well, and keep it within a reasonable budget. Ok, I guess some people don’t have to worry about budgets, but I don’t know them, and I doubt I’d want to. We all have to work within realistic parameters, while keeping our eye on the big picture. Problem is, when those parameters are constantly changing, it’s harder to grab ahold of that vision and steer toward it. Sometimes, as with driving a car in a winter storm, you need to steer into the skid to keep from crashing, despite the fact that you won’t end up where you wanted in the first place.
Inevitably, due to situations outside of my control, I had to dramatically re-think a design concept for my clients on Project W. Despite my best intentions, and my rigorous adherence to my initial budget, my budget dollars were suddenly diverted toward other things, and I was left to scramble to come up with a new plan. Unpleasant, yes. Impossible, no. It’s how the cookie crumbles, and is a good exercise in adapting, going with the flow, and remaining fluid. I wrote about my first (and most painful) lesson in that here, and this was nowhere near that experience (thankfully), but not unrelated. There are times when someone will rip apart your idea, and your only course of action is to shift your perspective.
So, because of that harrowing initial experience I had in school, and because I believe that a good designer should be able to come up with solutions at any price point, I pivoted, and came up with a pretty decent alternative to the first plan. Is it my favorite idea? Certainly not. Is it a workable, reasonable, and big picture-friendly idea? It sure is.
You can’t control everything. Hell, you can’t really control anything, except for maybe how you react to things (and even then, I’m pretty sure some of your reactions are inborn). But you can adapt. You can re-imagine. You can keep moving. In the end, getting there in one piece is all that really matters.