Singapore, 16th November 2012
This is not the first time I have ranted about value engineering. Today was another frustrating day in staying calm and politely, and politically correctly, explaining to the client the value of doing a proper mock up in order to evaluate mood, ambience, quality, performance and plainly the overall design intent.
Time and again in the hospitality industry, when you get to do mock up room with new clients, we find ourselves fighting the same battles. Clients who have no clue what design is about and just have a “QS” view on budget. You don’t expect all cars to be the same price, right? Somehow people do know this but when it comes to design, this notion seems to disappear. A 5-6 star hotel room does not have the same price as a 3-4 star room. And even within each star level you can have many different levels of sophistication and features, all depending on what client and operator want. It all has a price tag!
So the idea of a mock up room is to represent the design intent as close as possible to what the designer had in mind. Only then can you truly appreciate the value and impact of the design. There is no point in “value engineer” the design on forehand as you will then have no means of comparing what the design could or should have been. In the scheme of the total project costs, the mock up room is really a tiny blip, expensive or not, but the problem is that the cost is automatically extrapolated by QS number crunchers into the total project costs, which then create a little panic reaction. I am talking lighting here, but my reflection applies to all facets of design of course.
The thing is that design is a process of fine-tuning a concept into a workable and affordable end solution. The definition of “workable” and affordable” may have different meanings to different people, from client to project manager, from designer to QS. The point is that we need to let the process crystalize itself into something that everyone can identify and agree with…that takes time and shortcuts generally result in a half-baked solution!
Light Watch 3-177: Hotel rooms can be oh-so different, some are simple and elegant, some are luxury and elaborate, some come with views, some are city hide-outs, some out in the desert. Some look the same, yet they are different…here are a few