Throughout my career I’ve developed a heap (more specifically about 30) courses and workshops about design, and have taught them (and others) in and out of Australia. Big ups to me, huh. But actually the point is more that lots of people want to know about design, and it’s not something to be scared of, knowledge of your industry is something to encourage. And as a person, I think teaching people, and telling people are two really different things. This post is about the value of designers, which is important from the client perspective as well as all of us belonging to that category. I'm pretty passionate about this one, so it'll just be the tip of the iceberg today.
My intention for design goes beyond doing individual houses or workplaces (which I love). It’s also about being a part of a community (cringe) and supporting each other through education. There’s a place for everyone – clients, suppliers, trades, governing bodies and especially other designers. To appreciate good designers we need to have a culture of understanding what good design is. And we can really only do that by talking it through, teaching and appreciating each other.
And as a designer, if we promote the education of design then we increase its value. Because when people learn about it, they start to understand it’s just another art. Some people are better at art than others, and that’s what makes it an industry.
As an interior designer I’m a big believer in the industry, as say a lawyer believes in the justice system, a doctor believes in the medical system or a politician believes in themself.
We’re governed by laws (building codes and regulations) as well as long-standing principles and methodologies, and parameters as set by clients with resources like money, time and various degrees of taste. Then there’s history that brings us movements, styles and trends. And all the while we’re aiming to achieve creative freedom to allow us to produce authentic, good and ethical outcomes. It’s quite literally not as easy or beautiful as it looks. There’s a lot of BTS that goes into making the scenes seem seamless (near the seashore).
It's a fairly easy jibe to say how hard can it be to design and decorate, but really, the answer is simple: fairly. It’s like saying how hard could it be to do the plumbing? Or maybe I should just do my own lighting. Or it’s not that hard to knock up an Ikea kitchen. Which is usually to the sound of plumbers, electricians and carpenters in unison “sweet, give it a shot and then call me” (when you need me to fix it for double the cost, plus hospital”).
In short, yes you could sling everything together in your home/office/shop/whatever, but it is a guarantee it will take you at least four times as long as a professional and will look at least a quarter of outcome. Because, we know what we’re doing; can do it quicker; you pay us to do that; you go to work and earn money in the way that you know how to do better than us. We're just another part of economy, as summed up nice and tight and cheerily by Creative Industries Innovation Centre here