the intern diaries {week 11}…

with a client meeting looming, the week begins & ends at break-neck speed… thankfully it’s a short one {3 days on, 2 days off} as i’m running about like a mad hen sourcing, painting, haggling & generally wheeling & dealing to get samples in on time… only problem being, the samples we need seem to change on an hour-to-hour basis…

week 11: learning to paddle…

it is fair to say that most design processes are, by nature, fluid… they are formulated upon so many elements, most of which are variables {whims & fancy, practicalities, planning constraints, budget, deadlines & lead times}, that it is inevitable that there will be a certain amount of chop & change, push & pull… indeed it’s imperative that this is part of the process in order to ensure the very best of outcomes…

but instead of being like a meandering stream gently steering its course around the various obstacles it encounters, the design process i’m involved in more resembles a merciless torrent careering frantically onwards & crushing whatever lies in its path: & there i am, desperately bobbing up & down & trying to stay afloat…

if nothing else, i can say i’m at least learning the art of navigating the direction of the flow… & it’s a fine balance: knowing where to put my time & energies {both of which are limited}, which aspects to prioritise & what to hang fire on… only after many, many false starts am i beginning to gain some intuition on this front…

case in point: last friday i was charged with pulling together various samples to show to the client as part of the the upcoming concept presentation…

included in the mix were no less than 3 paint samples {two different paint companies}, an as-yet unspecified mix of outdoor fabrics, a specific curtain fabric {the only sample of which i could find through my research was vintage}, two types of floor tiles {one to match a randomly-sourced photo, no less, & the other to match a “found” sample which had no identifying details attached}, several leathers & various contract fabrics {the requirements for which are quite specific & limiting}…

i was also asked to prepare two wood samples: one to be hand-painted in a sleek, high-gloss finish & the second a piece of panelling to be stripped of its current colour, roughened up {for texture}, painted {colour to be determined} & then stripped back to achieve a distressed look… not a five minute job, i think you’ll agree!

all of this whilst finalising the imagery for 5 separate concept boards {some of which couldn’t be completed until the actual samples had been sourced}…

where to start? i figured i’d lob a few feelers out to try & get the ball rolling on sourcing some of the less obvious pieces & then start gathering some of the easier pieces so as to at least have something to present: this was the quickest part of the process & involved firing off a few emails & bombing it around various suppliers & pulling a slew of options to throw into the mix {no time to make decisions or fantasise about schemes… just pulling possibilities & hoping the opportunity to play would come later: it didn’t}

experience told me to hang fire on the samples that needed to be prepped & painted: the fact that the team hadn’t even verbalised a paint colour was a huge red flag &, worst come to worst, stripping wood & painting was something i could do out of business hours…

regardless of how organised i was, time was always going to be against me… indeed, once i’d sprinted to the paint merchants, followed by a trip to the hardware store, raced through a few fabric shops & spent some unproductive hours online trying to research & locate the more elusive items the first day was gone…

the second & third days came & went in a similar fashion blur…

& sure enough, by the time the morning of the presentation arrived i was once again racing to the local hardware {this was the third trip in as many days} & queuing up with the local tradies to procure a high gloss varnish to apply to the wood panelling {oh yes, you remember… that’s the one which was going to be distressed}…

image by tim walker via: odd stuff magazine

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