Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Designers gets Honoured :)

First Lady honours designers at the White House. 'You are scientists and artists....'

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

IDEO : Lessons on Creativity

A 3 part clip of how IDEO taught everyone on the Process of Creativity. Although this was some time ago, the lessons involved still applies to all design work being done today.

Designers: If you're being sidetracked in your workplace, this might help straighten you out.

Clients/Clients-to-be: This is how designers work. Dont try and be the designer. Let them work their magic. You hired them for that very sole purpose.

Thank you IDEO.




Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Every house and space tells a Story. It has to. If not, it shouldnt exist.

Apart of formal and contextual issues, it is the characteristics of domestic life that underpins most residential projects. Design ideas are are born from initial discussions and brainstorming with the client(s) and from getting a feel of the talked about 'space'. The first design sketches happen really quickly because its the best way of communication between designer and client. Its an act of conversation and translation.

There is a very obvious line between designing houses and decorating them. I recently flip through this magazine titled 'Designers of the Year', a Malaysian publication, and I found it appalling. It should've been titled 'Decorators of the Year'. Even that, those in it fail to make the cut. At least for me.

I've always wanted to design houses that respond to a certain characteristics of landscape and context and yet is an accurate interpretation of the client's brief and requirements. The design must engage directly with the complexities of the domestic family life. Many architects / designers are pretty strict and orthodoxed which results in their client becoming totally subsumed, requiring them to live in a certain way and conform to a rules set by the architect / designer's design agenda.

In contrast, my endeavour is to find the theatricalities of the occupants existence, issues of socialbility and what dynamics are apparent withing the occupants. The story of the house then emerges out of that mix and its complexities.

If a house has no story, it should cease to exist.

Monday, June 8, 2009

What is your Design Process?

In our work place, bogged down with tons of work and never ending deadlines, we tend to lose ourselves and the way we work. While having a multi-tasking skill in a design environment is vital, how often do we skip the design process? Which results in designs being rejected, and never ending amendments. Most of them ridiculous.

While my methods are not perfect, each time i find myself being sidetracked, i got back to my roots. We all should remember this, each time we get lost, recall back the fundamentals that has been thought to us. Even if it seems like we're back in school, there's nothing like Back to Basics.

Design Brief - How do you approach it?
- Design is a methodology to solve problems. Every brief is an oppurtunity to solve one. By using basics steps, list down the things that need to be solved One by One.
Ie: Fixed requirements, limitations, budget, etc. This will automatically create a framework in which you are going to work in.

BrainStorming Sessions
- The most vital of all. Which most of us fail to do - properly. What may seem unimportant / trivial is what will get us closest to the finish line.
- Spend more time BrainStorming. I do that a lot. A good BrainStorming session should be about 1 hour. 1.5 hours max. Anything after that is just a repetition of the past hour.
- Whether you do it in a group or alone. Do it.

Research Methods
- Internet!; it would be ridiculous not to use the internet as ur first tool for research.
- Create ur own mockups and do tests. Dont be lazy!
- Approach people who can help you. Nothing beats first hand communication. But be sure to ask the right questions.
- Watch a movie! I do that to get ideas/inspirations.

How do you prove Ideas that come from your BrainStorming session?
- I do fast sketches, quick rough mock-ups. A whole wall of mindmaps will easily be beaten by a 3d object in front of you.
- Sketches give more dimension to words. Even if its a rough sketch. It works.

Design Development
- Proper Research and Brainstorming would lead you to have development ur findings further. Here you would start to explore ur ideas in 3d softwares. As i use a lot of 3dS max, my sketches are very rough and usually straight into 3d. My design developments methods usually cross between sketching and 3d modelling.

Design Refinement
- This is where the magic happens. Designs are being realize realistically in 3D. You almost see the final product. At this point, junior designers are usually in awe that the renderings are so kick ass they forget to re-evaluate the 'methodology' that is supposed to solve the problem. The line between the answer and aesthetics become a little too fine.
- We should have checklist and check them out one-by-one. See if all requirements/problems have been met and solved. And if any improvements can be done about it.

- Designers should always be present in delivering the idea to the client. If you let anyone present them for you, its a 50-50. Some points are sure to be missed and you will not be there to explain/defend your work. Its almost like a sitting duck waiting to be shot at.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dinner w SmashPop

Had dinner with smashpOp yesterday at Canton-i, Gardens.

Good food, nice environment, crazy siao buddy. :P

We then later went and sibuk the camera section in Mid V and left some not so good comments...but certain brands did deserve it.

Bai Bai...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Beautiful with Mandalay


Just a video/song which i found calming and freeing the mind of all sorts.

You can depend
On certainty
Count it out and weigh it up again
You can be sure
You've reached the end
And still you don't feel

You know about anything

Do you know you're beautiful
Do you know you're beautiful
Do you know you're beautiful
You are, yes you are

You can ignore
What you've become
Take it out and see it die again
You can be here
For who's a friend
And still you don't feel

You know about anything


Innermost thoughts
Will be understood and
You can have all you need


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Advertising's Corporate Inferiority Complex

'Many agencies train their people to think, 'Whatever the client wants. Just make them happy.' We are trained professionals with considerable expertise, but when we're faced with even the hint of reservation, we roll over like dogs. We're in a service business and we service our clients out the ass. The amount of crap we have to do – (and we do!) - is outrageous.

Bankers, lawyers, accountants, consultants and advertising executives are all in the service business. Yet, only we in the advertising are held in such low regard by both the public and the client we service. Bankers, lawyers, accountants, and consultants are not called upon to perform the extra toady things we are. They're supposed to build a client's business; we're supposed to perform personal services. And we, as an industry, do.

We shouldn't, and have to try very hard not to. The best people don't bow and scrape. It's not that they are arrogant; they provide a service for you and don't feel compelled to put cookies on top.

If I have a vendor who is trying too hard, beyond the service he's supposed to be giving me, I wonder why.'

Taken from : Often Wrong, Never in Doubt - Donny Deutsch w Peter Knobler

As i read that few paragraphs, I realized that how stereotyped this industry has become, and how it doesn't have to be that way. I just need to fight it somehow. Working in an exhibition design company, things are no different. I, and the rest of the designers are regularly plastered by ridiculous requests from clients who, sometimes have no form of imagination, can think they are better at OUR jobs than we are.

How unprofessional of clients to demean our professionalism in such a way. I'm not saying all, but most. (Or maybe Malaysia functions that way and thats why in the international design arena, we're no more than a speck of dust.) Designers seem to be at the bottom on the food chain in the world of exhibition. Or maybe its just the executives succumbing to the 'Standard Operative' this industry has set itself. And we designers suffer from ridiculous and clashing deadlines. All because, execs want to kiss and lick clean the clients' arses.

While i hear execs 'client says cannot, it has to be....etc.' I think to myself 'what? if u're better than me in design, how come u're not here sitting in my chair? Instead of mere a messenger boy/girl for the client, your job is to negotiate whats good for the business. When i say business, i mean as a whole, not to protect your own ass. Clashing deadlines causes rushed work which equates to sloppy, half-arse results.

To many of that and morale goes downhill. The business suffers, cos employees won't give a fuck cos no one gives a fuck about them.

'I dont know, dont care, you figure it out and give me the designs by tomorrow...the client needs it' Familiar phrase?

If we are as good as we think, we must know how to draw the line. In terms of time, price, etc. Many execs fail to do so, their legs quiver when client pushes forward. What does that mean and why?

I'll read it as being weak, being able to be pushed around. If i was the client, i'd l say 'gosh they're easy to push, i wonder if their work is as weak too....' This situation only begs further abuse. Why? Because its allowed. Especially if they're afraid to lose the client. If you are firm, the client will respect you. Cos you've got the balls to say NO and will most probably produce some fine work.

If we're willing to discount time, are we willing to discount our price too?. And if discount our price, how valuable is our service if we're willing to discount its value? Think about it.

At some point, clients need to be controlled if they're being baboons. We are the pros in this game. Not the other way around. In business, there has to a balance, meeting in the middle. If its unbalanced, its time to walk. No point taking the abuse. This is Business 101.