The Design Whisperer

Our times are blessed and cursed by HGTV and Pinterest boards…which can be helpful means of giving voice and direction to ideas and abstractions that are difficult to express.images

But along with these resources, it seems many clients now have a “trusted advisor” (Design Whisperer) who is the person missing at the table when we have design or construction meetings and is frequently bcc’d on emails. With the benefit of second-guessing and partial knowledge and semi-advice- they wreak havoc in our ability to move projects along.  They’ll act as the invisible “bad cop” in the classic good cop-bad cop repartee.

We welcome, without question, having discussion and insight from various people who are acquainted with design and construction.  We welcome them-that is to the table- in a forthright and accountable manner to express their ideas and concerns to the benefit of the project.  With the ease of newer technology, however, the shadow “2nd opinion” model that has crept into the client-professional dynamic has harmed relationships.  If they don’t have time to come to a “place” at the table, or are suddenly too busy to continue commenting -sometimes our clients will even back-track on decisions until its been blessed by the design whisper…arghh.

From -Aunt Sally, the HGTV fan;  neighbor-down-the-street Ron, the fulltime school teacher and weekend contractor, and don’t forget Brother-in-law Tim who used to be a plumber’s apprentice, the design whisperer has their own point of view.  Which is fine, but they did not hire us, nor in most cases were we alerted about their pending involvement. POW!

When design whisperer folks start thinking that their 20 minute Google search is equal to my 25 years of experience- we have a “situation”. Although we are obligated to be tactful, as designers we have to be mindful that we are spending clients money and our time potentially serving somebodies subjective whims that are not stakeholders in the project. POW!images

So dear readers, if you want to have a design whisperer on our projects- please make sure they are at every meeting, fully accountable, designated from the onset,  and identified in any agreement letter we may be signing- otherwise it’s gonna create a “situation” that’s costly.

Have your design whisperer give Steve a call 914 980 5532.


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