The perfect project
Goa, 26th November 2009
To place today in context..it is exactly one year ago that terrorists attacked major landmarks in Mumbai in which many people were brutally killed. During my last visit to Mumbai I visited the famous Leopold Café (of Shantaram fame) where the bullet holes can still be seen in the windows inside the café! Just a scary reminder of the crazy world we live (and work) in at times.
This morning at breakfast the project manager, having read my blog, asked me if I had ever done a perfect project…an obvious and burning question as in our world of design we always look out and crave to be involved in that perfect project. My answer was short…NO. I had a few very satisfying projects, but perfect…no. I guess as designers we are never satisfied. We always see things that could have been done better. They may not be obvious to the general public, but it is our job and most of all we know the history of the project…
What is the definition of perfect anyway? “Perfectly satisfying”? Or “perfectly complying to specifications”? For the company CFO it may be “perfectly realized within the budget”. Or does perfect mean you have a total free hand and “carte blanche” in designing and executing your project? Then there is the fact that specifications are only as good as the experience of the person specifying them. Specifying the lighting is one thing but knowing how these lighting specifications will work out in practice is really a matter of experience…a lot of experience. Visual mock ups will help but do we always have the opportunity to do that? Do we control step by step the process of procurement and installation? The reality is… no we don’t. I have had some very satisfying projects, with very happy clients and where the end result was very close to what I imagined when developing the concept. So I would like to venture that the perfect project does not exist…but satisfying projects do.