Singapore 3rd September 2010
There is a crucial link in the overall process of design called “approvals”. We engage with our fellow project consultants, develop lighting concepts, present our lighting ideas, develop design details, issue technical documentation, but if we fail to integrate approvals in the process we (and others) may end up doing a lot of abortive work. Today I spent agonizing with my team about how to proceed with a few projects in which the client does not seem to understand the process of design.
The design process follows a logical sequence but relies on receiving the necessary input from our fellow project consultants in terms of design to progress in time. Design coordination, as blogged about before, is crucial. But if the client fails to provide consolidated comments and feedback on the design we end up following individual comments and as we find out time and again contradicting directives. It is crucial for our own team and the client to understand and agree on the process which requires approvals along the way of each major key design stage.
The projects (by the same client) frustrating us have a client pushing us to issue final documentation without having approved the actual design. We in return are reluctant and unwilling to issue anything as we have yet to coordinate major parts of our design with the main lead consultants (interior designer, architect and landscape consultant). Meanwhile the contractor is on site is progressing with construction works missing the vital information in regards to electrical requirements for the lighting. So under pressure we are forced to issue partial information on which site can move to work, even though we know that it is incomplete and that changes will inevitably happen after coordination and when the client finally give their feedback.
This could have all been avoided by agreeing right from the start on the design process with steps built in along the way to obtain the approvals before moving on to the next stage of design work. Unfortunately this did not happen as we came in late into the project and were hoping to settle this along the way. We have been playing catch up and fire-fighting ever since. A project in which we can’t seem to win. Another lesson learned…