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Design Project Confusion


Think back to when you originally made the decision to build a new house, renovate or construct your new commercial space. Chances are you were envisioning the new spaces improving your life. You might have even gone so far as tell friends and family that you were embarking on this exciting journey and how it would help you fix those annoying things that were preventing you from having the lifestyle you wanted.

But as you look around you, that journey may not be proceeding according to plan. Bags of samples, clippings from magazines strewn about and bookmarks and Pinterest boards filled with images. Its confusing and not how it was supposed to be, right?

It happens to all of us but we’ve found is that some clients have done something that helps them to overcome their confusion on their design projects, which enables them to build successful projects that live up to their initial vision!

The problem is that you are likely trying to do too much with the vast resources available to you. Given the number of sites and publications within easy access its no wonder that you wanted to download one more image or clip that next article from a magazine.

What likely happens is that each additional image or article stimulates new possibilities but also creates new questions that have to be solved which may or may not be relevant to your situation. And as I’ve alluded before it happens to everyone these days with the explosion of new websites like Houzz and Pinterest.

The root cause is that none of these images or articles describing other projects is tailored to your unique situation. And in fact we’ve often found that what clients initially believe is their priority list changes dramatically in as little as one hour once we help them get connected to what they really want. It is difficult to extract one or more aspects from someone else’s project to apply to your situation without understanding the overall impact of those design decisions.

What also causes frustration is something that everyone does on a daily basis to cope with millions of mental stimuli. We use mental shortcuts (or judgment heuristics) to make us efficient at decision-making but also can cause us to be susceptible to different sorts of biases. For example confirmation bias can cause us to choose images or articles that support our beliefs but doesn’t get us closer to solving those problems we can’t see.

After collecting all these images and going to design shows and talking to friends how can you break through this confusion that’s stopping you from confidently moving forward on your project? From talking to many clients what we’ve found helps them move to successful projects is working with a third party expert. They can work with you reviewing your unique situation to help break this mental roadblock. Because they can go back to some of the causes of your current problems they can work through a process that helps uncover solutions rather than picking something off of a picture that might actually put you in reverse.

Don’t get me wrong: looking at images and articles can really help you get an idea of what’s possible and expand your design language but it might not be something that you want to use as a solution to your situation without understanding some of the implications first.

Well if it is so hard to get to a solution on your own what are the steps to doing it right? Just as you would see a Doctor or a Lawyer if you had a medical or legal situation an Architect can help with your unique design situation assessing what your needs are and prioritizing them to help you get the best value for your time and money. And getting an idea of the process can also assist you in understanding what happens when and who will be involved as your project moves forward.

But collaboration is key throughout the process. Things will come up and working together with your team is the best way to develop solutions. The whole process might not be easy, but in the end it can be very rewarding.

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What do you think? Have you found solutions to your design problems? Share them below!

So, what do you think ?