We are not alone. As designers, we are so fortunate for our resources… our mentors, our fellow designers, our contractors, our installers, our representatives and even our competition.
It is impossible to be experts in every area and we don’t have to be. We may be the face of the project but we couldn’t succeed without the ‘force’ behind us. We rely on our relationships, our communities and our resources for project success and those successes are products of all of us.
(Solid) Legs to Stand On
The relationships we build throughout our design careers are pillars of project navigation. We are guided by expert sources and we can take pride in the (design) force we have organically created, ‘step by step’ along the way.
We (designers) truly are jacks of all trades (masters of none). It would be impossible for us to have the answers to everything, but what we do have are the resources to find the (design) solutions we need.
Every project is different and we are constantly learning as we go. New technologies are available to us daily and we have the ‘tools’ we need at our fingertips. Resources to provide the research so we move in the right direction for us so that our time is spent where it is most useful – creation.
A previous Director of Architecture of mine once told me that “You don’t have to know everything, but it is imperative you know how to manage it”. This has resonated deeply with me throughout my career. There have been times I have felt out of my comfort zone for sure. Times that I have come across an issue that I had no historic precedence to use as guidance. But in times of anxiety, as I searched for solutions, what has provided me comfort is remembering I am not alone. As we become experienced (project managers), our bandwidth expands. Our bank of resources grows and relationships deepen. Trust develops.
One thing that designers get a bad rap for is ego and some of them are certainly deserving of the title. These ‘design’ narcissists are just assholes and there is no changing their personalities… They love… Themselves. It’s true, their end products have given them fame in the industry, and they have made a name for themselves based on good design (or luck, or affiliation) but they really are pricks and they carry that name in the design community too… and some of these assholes are even proud of it –
Our industry is incestuous (as is any industry) and our community “pool” is full of back scratchers, life guards on duty – not just crayons. Our resources are willing to help. They should be respected and appreciated for their immense design, product, trade, engineering knowledge (whatever it may be). They are specialists. And without them, we (designers) would be drowning.
One of the best things about a career in design truly is this community… I have never met more beautiful people (with the exception of the assholes). Not only are they full of creativity and design intellect, but they are also gracious, humble and kind. They teach me every day… and boy do I have a lot to learn. They make me proud. Proud of my roots, proud of my passage, proud of my product and proud of my wings.
So, to the #STRONG, as you continue to design your master plans, be as humble as your force… for they are a force to be reckoned with… and I am eager to continue to reckon with them…
and I.AM. (forever) grateful to them for making me believe in (the opposite):