As a child I remember “helping” my dad with a project. He asked me to stir the can of paint he just opened so I grabbed a nearby screwdriver and began to stir. My father (the left-brained engineer) was horrified and the look on his face was so dire that I jumped away from the paint can thinking it would most likely explode. “Why would you use a screwdriver instead of a stir stick?” he asked (still in shock). My answer: “Because it was nearby and it will do the same thing.” My father adamantly explained that a screwdriver would NOT do the same thing as a stir stick and that I had, in fact, made a mess of a perfectly good screwdriver. At this point the screwdriver had been swallowed by the paint and was hiding somewhere in the can. “You should always, ALWAYS use the right tool for the job,” he told me.
This was not the first OR the last time that my father would provide left-brain wisdom to his right-brained child. He was right, of course, and his lesson has stayed with me.
As a designer, I know that just as you need the right tool for a job, you also need to hire the right PERSON for a job. This mix-up happens frequently in my profession. I’ve been hired after clients asked their tile installer to pick out their tile. I’ve been hired after clients assumed their painter could pick out their paint color. I’ve been hired after clients trusted a furniture salesperson to design their living room. I’ve even been hired when clients discovered that their builder is not a designer. This surprises a lot of people because everyone believes that their builder WANTS to design. In my experience builders are passionate and knowledgeable about construction so it’s unfair to ask them to design interiors and even more unfair to be upset when the results are lackluster. Conversely, a designer’s ideas are only as good as the implementation. Hiring the right person for the job is essential.
My dad taught me, you can’t expect a screwdriver to do the job of a stir stick.
Have a well-designed day,