the intern diaries {week three}…

week three & i haven’t been fired yet, so i take that as a good sign!

i’m exhausted, but appreciative for the lessons learned…

if nothing else, i’m wondering if, from a learning perspective, a smaller studio might be a better fit for me in the longer term: here the design process is, broadly speaking, split across two teams: architecture & design and furniture, fittings & equipment {ff&e}… as i’ve mentioned before, i’m in the latter group, so my current exposure to the design process is limited therein… we’re not greatly involved with the initial planning of the spaces, instead we work from an already populated plan {ie, one with the key pieces already plotted… a chair here, a table there, a lamp or two for good measure, etc, etc..}

so fabrics, finishes, furnishings, lighting, colour & texture are our thing {not such a bad start in the design world afterall}

day 11: now we’re talkin’

well, don’t i feel all grown up… i was left to my own devices today to devise a whole room’s furnishings and amazingly it seemed to pass muster… no changes, no “you’re going down completely the wrong line” as i was fully expecting to hear in light of the events of previous weeks… i’d even mentally prepared a retaliation in the event that i needed to whip out a cheeky retort:

“criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” frank a. clark

like it? i’ll save it for another day, as it’s sure to be needed!

anyways, maybe it’s a trick and this room isn’t really going to get used at all, but i don’t care… my work passed muster for the first time and i’m clicking my heels jiminy cricket style! & how did i master this, until now, elusive task? i threw together about a dozen items that no person in their right mind would ever instinctively think actually went together! if nothing else, i’m learning to broaden my horizons & vary my design approach!

after today’s major victory, the afternoon ended with a team meeting {the first since i started}… it’s truly amazing to hear how many projects are on the go here & i honestly don’t know how people can stay across so many schedules at once, but i intend to learn!

onwards & upwards…

day 12: panning for gold…

every now and then a teeny, tiny nugget of invaluable information rises to the surface…

and so it was today: whilst having our furniture boards reviewed, a wee gem of an observation emerged relating to the furnishings we had chosen & why the look wasn’t ‘working’… it’s amazing, but the phrase ‘too many legs’ hadn’t really entered my stream of conscience before, but now here it was, the simplest of concepts giving way to a genuine ‘light bulb’ moment…

& this is one lesson i intend to burn into the deep & dark recesses of my memory banks to pull out time & time again on future projects…

but what does it all mean? well you may ask…

i look back at our furnishing board now and it’s obvious: way too many legs for any one room… every where i look, there they are: naked legs… on the tables we’ve selected, the bed, the desk, the ottoman & sofa… exposed legs here, there & everywhere… now, i’m not a total prude, but i have to agree, some coverage is required… and so it is we set about reworking our room scape & incorporating a mix of styles so that the space is not completely over-run with spindly, curvy, turned & cabriole-esque legs at each & every turn…

instead plinths, skirts & boxy bottoms start to take their place, and a less ‘busy’ scheme emerges… simples… job done!

day 13: not the new girl anymore

so there’s a new girl in town… another intern starts today in our team & it takes the pressure off for sure… that makes a minimum of 3 interns in the office at present & it makes me wonder how many businesses out there supplement their permanent workforce with a revolving door of ‘volunteer’ staff…

don’t get me wrong, when i first took on this role i was under no illusions about the chances this would turn into a permanent, paid role… & so i’m not wildly disillusioned to see so many other new faces {or ‘competition’} coming through the door on a weekly basis, but it has given me pause for thought…

from a personal stance, i’m ok with the notion of internships as long as there is a fair exchange of learning for labour… whilst my colleagues are open to explaining, guiding, coaching & passing on some of their skills & tips, then i for one am in… and there are legitimate lessons to be extracted from even some of the more mundane tasks, if you’re willing to learn…

but there would certainly be situations in which i was less effusive about such roles… those companies {and i’m sure they exist} who see interns as little more than unpaid office juniors: so not cool!

anyhows, on the subject of learning, there’s another meeting today with the head designer to run through our latest boards… & this is a much bigger meeting than usual involving the whole project team: it’s a real collaborative effort to make sure we’re all on the same page, so to speak… & it would appear on this occasion that the flow of information got a little intercepted along the way as, dishearteningly, a fair chunk of our work is scrapped {it falls outside the brief}… so it’s back to the drawing board on a few of our rooms…

no time to brood though, later this afternoon it’s time for a catch-up on the commercial project i’ve been helping out with, & it looks like they’re happy to go ahead with some of the pieces i’ve selected… i’m giddy to think i might one day see some of the furnishings i personally sourced appear in a public space… & i’m impressed with how quick the decision process is {once again, i’m assuming this process becomes easier & more instinctual with practise}

next on the agenda: i need to reserve some of the items i’ve sourced… this involves ringing/emailing shops from which i’ve sourced items & asking them to hold various pieces for a few weeks until we finalise our selections… it’s hit & miss: some places let us reserve stock, whilst others insist they raise an invoice for it before they’ll take it off the shop floor {which means we’ve effectively bought it, but they won’t charge us until we decide to go ahead with it &, if not, the invoice will be reversed}… apparently that’s standard industry practise!

day 14: crash & burn

another friday already {weeks go by super quickly here} & we’re back to the drawing board today, reworking the designs that got scrapped in yesterday’s meeting…

& i decide a change of tack is in order: this time around i’m going to invest my time in revisiting the inspirational imagery the client has already seen & approved & use this as my jump-off point {as any detour from this seems to be wasted effort at this stage}…

hours & hours of sourcing later & at last it’s home time… i’ve been putting in a fair bit of overtime lately, but today i’m sprinting out the door: this goose is cooked!

image by tim walker via: runway 411

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