“It’s just furniture”. Oh, is it? This phrase could not frustrate me more. I came from a hospitality background where there was a great understanding of the complexity of FFE (furniture, fixtures and equipment – for Suzie’s clarification).
In the hotel business, everything is custom. Every venue operator wanted something no one else had. Something that hadn’t been seen before. Something ‘uncommon’.
You don’t find ‘uncommon’ in a vignette on the showroom floor at RC Willey. ‘Uncommon’ has to be created. ‘Uncommon’ has to be designed. Interior design isn’t about filling a box with ‘furniture’ and lamps and carpet. The environment is reactionary because the elements are custom, not common. They are designed along with the environment… simultaneously… they too are part of the vision.
Sorry, it’s Proprietary
At the resort design department, we would often receive requests from tourists asking where they could get the chair they sat in in venue ‘x’ or the nightstand from their hotel room. The response, was… you can’t. These items are custom. The design is proprietary. It’s one of a kind.
These elements began on trace paper just as our space allocations did. They developed into CAD paste-ups for CD issuance. They were approved via shop drawing and often traveled by boat through customs to their final design destination so your ‘tourist’ (end user) could slam their vacation cocktail on top of them before closing their black out shades (which were also proprietary) for the evening.
Scroll and Order?
“I saw that on Pinterest”, “I saw that on HGTeaV“… That’s nice.
The fight we, design professionals, continue to face is in this day and age, is that everyone (including these ‘tourists’) is a designer. They’re not. They’re naive. They didn’t study brick and mortar and they certainly never “erected” it.
They study scroll and order. They can’t envision design until they see it… and then all they do is purchase and replicate (and maybe change the wall color).
They are clueless and they should be provided stickers as ‘freebies’ with their Wayfair orders so they can continue to decorate… or at least a hand signal (from design professionals) at check out.
(Design) Energy is measured in Kelvin
It is exhausting to constantly defend our worth as designers. Bur, the reality is, the Suzie’s of the world won’t ever be in our shoes nor do we want to invite her to wear them. Our design shoes actually have to meet OSHA requirements. Hers do not.
We need to save our energy and frustrations (for those who erect nothing but middle fingers in this industry)… for our projects. For this energy is far more useful implemented there, with intent.
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