Sunday, 30 May 2010

Unification of Services

l noticed whilst deciding which events l want to attend during the impending London Festival of Architecture - sponsored by the Arts Council of England, Land Securities, London Development Agency, The Architecture Foundation, NLA and RIBA - that no mention was made of any interiors, nor had the Festival received the backing of any of the 4 professional bodies purporting to represent interior design. Interior design appears to be divorced from architecture when in fact the two really go hand in hand. Whilst it is generally accepted that architects are responsible for everything integral to the structure and included in the builder's contract and interior designers are responsible for everything movable there are important areas of overlap: lighting, bath and kitchen fittings, hardware, wood species and finishes for floors and cabinetry, paint colours and special wall and ceiling treatments.

Last week l had a long discussion with a prospective client whose solution to coping with the confusion, threatening lawsuits and general stress of realising a highly ambitious residential building project was to look for someone to employ as a mediator. Architects, project managers and surveyors had all fallen by the wayside before the first trench had been dug. The interior designers were not planned to enter the arena until the construction work had been completed. The client was looking for someone to carry the burden of the project. Unrealistic and too late. Why l wonder do we keep the professions apart? Shouldn't they be working together?

Wouldn't it be best from the outset to facilitate collaboration between all the professionals involved? Outlining the scope for each service, highlighting tasks that require collaboration and stipulating start and completion dates would give any project a much better chance of being successful, reduce stress and ultimately better serve the interest of our clients as well as ourselves.

In: collaboration between all the professional services involved.
Out: working in isolation and paPublish Postssing the buck.