What are buildings if there is no art to inspire them? Like any artist, workplace designers and architects are the masters of their concepts. From the initial point of ideation to the finish line, when a gleaming new workplace is delivered to the happy client who commissioned it, a project is like a baby to designers. They put their hearts and minds into every inch of every corner. However, like any profession, there can be hurdles in the path of “getting the work done” for these folks too.
We asked Zyeta’s design team about what common challenges they have faced over the years in the course of delivering award-winning projects for which the company is known. They provided a top five list of nightmares every designer faces, but can be easily avoided by following best practices.
1. The Goods for Construction Conundrum
In any interior design and build operation, the basic and foremost step is to get the right Goods For Construction delivered to the job site at the right time. It can become a horror story for the Goods For Construction to arrive at the construction site too late (or too early if space is constrained), to have the wrong Goods For Construction delivered, or to compound both of these possibilities, by having the wrong Goods For Construction delivered at the wrong time. Any of these scenarios not only introduces an unnecessary delay into the entire project, but often creates added overhead and cost. Having the design team working seamlessly with the construction team and having a strong project manager orchestrating the entire process greatly mitigates these undesirable situations.
2. Site Measurements Gone Wrong
After conceptualising the finished workplace; taking a series of crucial measurements; and collecting organizational design layouts, demographic considerations and other technical parameters; a designer finally shapes a project. But all this effort can be in vain if there are inaccuracies with the site measurements. This can result in seemingly endless plan reviews and site visits until each is aligned, congruent, and consistent with the other. Validating plans with onsite measurements throughout the design process reduces, if not eliminated, this is often painful and time-consuming process.
3. The Coordination Gap
Not just among designers, any project can lead to failure when there is no clear leader, resulting in poor communication between stakeholders. Zyeta’s design team reports that the key to a successful project is the right balance of coordination not just among the design team, but also with the construction project managers, Goods For Construction vendors, and the client as well. This very important factor often gets overlooked during the project lifecycle. A communication vacuum almost always impacts an overall project’s success. Again, best practices dictate maintaining one project manager whose responsibility extends across the project, from womb to tomb. Tight integration between the design team and the construction team also helps to reduce or eliminate the coordination gap.
4. A Confused Client State
Nothing scares a designer more than a client who is not sure about what the finished project should be. While a designer endeavors to comprehend a client’s vision and incorporate that vision into the project, an ill-defined vision can be horrifying for any designer – and to the client as well, when the finished project does not meet or exceed expectations. Confusion not only extends the journey of the project, but also impacts its final outcome. Experienced and successful design-build firms spend much time and effort with the client upfront, to tease out important information well in advance of any design being finalized, must less before any construction begins. A formalized and organized ideation process helps clients consider project aspects that would otherwise not be contemplated, until they become too costly to consider or revise.
5. Design Flaws
The last nightmare for any designer is simply a design flaw. Sometimes there can be blemishes in a perfectly conceptualized design. For example, a summery naturally lit workplace design might not be sufficiently bright in the winter. Humans make mistakes, which can be reduced or eliminated by the use of technology as well as enforcing a formalized approval process. Zyeta’s utilization of cutting-edge visualization tools, artificial intelligence technologies, and a deep, experienced team of designers who work collaboratively keep this possibility remote at best for its clientele.
Hence, designing a project is not just about carving the imaginations but also so much about communicating, understanding, and leveraging technology. And while we are awed with the masterpieces they come up with, we appreciate it takes designers more than just measurements and drawings. It requires a coordinated effort involving people, process, and technology developed over years of experience and expressed as a set of best practices.