the intern diaries {week two}…

well, this second week has flown by as quickly as the first & my head has been in a perpetual spin… so far i’m finding this whole intern process much like the proverbial rollercoaster ride… one day i’m on a high & buzzing from all the new things i’m learning, & the next i’m feeling hopelessly overwhelmed & pulled in every direction…

day six: reboot & start again…

so, i’m quickly appreciating the need to unlearn much of what i spent 2 1/4 years actively learning during the course of my interior design studies… uhuh… when it comes down to reality, all of my artsy fartsy preconceived notions of interior design are being sorely tested…

firstly, the conceptual imagery process would appear to be somewhat of an urban myth… all those hours back at school where i feverishly searched for just the right abstract image to convey a mood, a colour palette or a suggested finish… it just doesn’t happen like that {at least not here or not on this project}… got to say, i’m a little bummed as that was one of my favourite parts of the process!

instead, images of existing properties with a similar look & feel to that desired get pulled as inspiration… these form the beginnings of a design language of sorts that can then be adopted, tweaked & revised for the latest project…

secondly, the notion of finding the perfect this or that is also seemingly somewhat redundant {at least at the early stages of the project, like this one is}… can’t get that gorgeous silk sample until sometime next week? no time to wait so consider it scrapped & start the search again…

schemes get sourced, composed & deconstructed, then reconstructed from scratch in the time it takes to bat an eyelid! the process is not only intuitive, but a formulaic and an opportunistic one to boot… it’s as much about what is to hand & what is known to work as it is trying new & unknown materials… {observe your favourite designers and you’ll soon see patterns emerging where fabrics, furnishings and/or suppliers are used & reused repeatedly for different projects}

day seven: the mind is willing, but the body ain’t…

just when this week was going so swimmingly… and bham! i guess it was inevitable that with all the flying around like such a mad hen a migraine was sure to onset… and so it was!

despite my best efforts, what began with a dull drumming of the forehead upon awaking this morning progressively worsened throughout the day… 3 tablets & 9 hours later and i made it to 3pm before succumbing and limping home to take refuge on my couch… i know interns are meant to be superhuman and never get sick, but…

at least i didn’t succumb before i got to spend the latter part of the morning in my favourite part of the studio {the library} to sit in on another design masterclass with the head designer {these are my favourite moments in the week by far}… i try desperately to concentrate & absorb the goings on, furiously taking note of any key words uttered which might throw some enlightenment on the process or the progress of the design itself… i also scribble down any instructions that a raised eyebrow in my direction suggest are for me to action!

there’s a lot of reading between the lines & second guessing at this stage of the internship… i find myself just having to be resourceful, keep my ear to the ground and try and piece things together by gleaning snippets of information here & there… there’s not much time or opportunity to have a proper catch-up & ask many questions… and sometimes i think they forget that i’ve only been here a handful of days & consequently don’t know what the hell i’m actually doing… but i keep my head down, my eyes & ears open & my pen & paper at the ready!

day eight: suck it up sister…

bad day today… you know the kind…

i spent the day so desperately wanting to feel like i was becoming a part of the team, but ultimately feeling instead like a bit of a doormat… it never ceases to amaze me how some people treat ‘temporary’ team members {be they temps, contractors or, it would appear, interns}…

sometimes i just want to give people a good ol’ shake… every team member has something to contribute, regardless of their status, and if you only asked a few questions about someone’s interests & life story you may just discover a whole wealth of ways in which your temporary hire could improve your working day… think beyond getting them to do the complete skivvy work, you never know, they may just have some valuable skill sets to contribute!

rant over…

i spend the afternoon scanning inspirational imagery from a series of design books… the images are to be used in a brainstorming session for an upcoming pitch… i actually don’t really mind this task as it gives me a bit more insight into the head designer’s thought processes… whilst the selected imagery seems initially unrelated in content, once compiled together the result is a compelling design vision…

day nine: by jove, i think she’s got it!

a better day today, praise be! i’m off the scanner {to which i was beginning to think i was surgically attached} and today is pretty much dedicated to sourcing: hours & hours & hours spent scouring website after website for fixtures & furnishings… i confess i don’t quite have a handle on what it is exactly i’m looking for… the style seems quite loose & some of the previously sourced pieces by fellow team members seem so unrelated i find it hard to hone in on any one ‘look’…

but no time to procrastinate as this afternoon i’m pulled into an impromptu meeting to run through my finds and potentially allocate them to relevant rooms… because this particular residential project is so large, i find it easier to source general pieces that might work in various areas, rather than specific pieces for specific rooms…

in these initial design stages practical considerations like budget & dimensions don’t appear to matter… it’s a look & feel we’re going for at this time…

to my delight & surprise a good handful or so of the pieces i sourced are bang on & they go into the mix, ready to be put on boards for a further review process further up the design chain…

today feels like progress!

day ten: and strrrrrrrrike…

it’s another day of sourcing today… & it’s easy come, easy go… just when i thought i was finally ‘getting’ it with my selection progress, today proves me different…

again i’m utilising the internet and scouring websites for ‘found’ items… i rely on my gut instinct for most of this… so sometimes i find myself scrolling through dozens upon dozens of images wherein nothing jumps out at me… and then, like panning for gold, i find it… that elusive piece! all the time i’m conscious of mixing materials & shapes, colours & finishes… versatility is the name of this game… the more options i can come up with, the more chances of success!

but i’m missing the target more than hitting it… i think i have the computer equivalent of white line fever… i wonder if there’s ever time to source externally, pound the streets looking for one-off pieces or new finds, or is that a dinosaur in this day & age of design?

ho hum… at least it’s friday & that means team drinks… a big ol’ vino for me thanks!

image by tim walker via: coil house

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6 thoughts on “the intern diaries {week two}…

  1. Aww, you sound like you could do with a hug, too! When I interned some years ago, I had days that would begin on such a high. I’d feel indispensable and part of things and in the next two hours or so I’d be yelled at for something trivial. It was, as you say, like being on a rollercoaster ride.

    Hang in there, Sue.

    Don’t let anyone’s attitude or treatment of you make you lose sight of just how talented and capable you are. xoxo

    • thanks again love! i refuse to let the turkeys get me down! haha… fortunately most moments are good ones, and i’m mainly head down & bum up just trying to learn! but every now and then somebody says something so thoroughly scurrilous that i want to do something equally outlandish like poke them in the eye with a blunt stick! hahaha… where kind of internship did you do?

  2. Oh brilliant photo to illustrate your post!

    I can’t believe you’ve got through another week before I’ve even commented on your first post! I’m loving this series so much, they’re possibly my favourite blog posts in the blogosphere at the moment!

    So fascinating. I don’t know whether to be relieved or terrified. It’s kind of half good (phew, they cut corners and don’t do mood boards), half disappointing (they just re-hash previous designs and don’t do all the fun stuff) and half scary (the speed, the split decisions, the pressure they put you under). I know that’s three halves. Oh well.

    You must be learning to so much though, think how long it would have taken you to pick up all of these tricks!

    Please keep writing your diary, I’m loving it! And you lady very much deserve a huge glass of wine xx

    • haha… yes, feel like drinking most nights lately… funny that! yes, i’m going to wait a few more weeks & see (if i get the chance) what the processes are like on other projects before i erase my memory banks of everything i learned… though it’s definitely insightful seeing how a very, very busy design office operates on a daily basis… & i thought banking was hectic!

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