Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa, "Creating Water as Art."™

Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa, "Creating Water as Art."™
Pools as an art form - the way it should be!

Monday, April 6, 2009

What's best for you? Devotion, loyalty, & uniqueness!

Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa
Paolo Benedetti

As an aquatic designer, first & foremost, my job is to educate the client. To inform them of their options, glass tile mosaic swimming pools or stone lined, sloped spa bench seats & backs or square, what final touches will make the finished project "theirs." But I must always keep in mind, "What is really best for the client?" More times than not, designs reflect the personality & biases of the designer. For example, we can all identify buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Gehry, Antonio Gaudi, or Le Corbusier.

Many designers deliver projects with the same "feeling." Almost every architect, artist, fashion designer, etc. - people in every type of design field - end up in what I call a "design rut." It is human nature, to do what one is comfortable with. It is easy to "repeat" elements and features that one has already "figured out." After a while, this style actually comes to define the designer, further reinforcing this "design rut."

While the individual designers may disagree, I argue that if a someone can look at a building, clothing line, landscape design, swimming pool, etc. and name the designer, then that designer has found their way into the dreaded "design rut."

Being able to deliver a design, based upon the client's lifestyle & needs, the architectural style of the site, the period of the buildings, and the natural surroundings, requires a broad education. It is easy to specialize in a particular design style.... but a real "renaissance designer" can create an appropriate design regardless of the project influences.

If clients wanted the "same old thing," then they'd commission the construction of the duplicate of an existing design. But clients desire something uniquely theirs, not a rehash of something that's been done before.

Sometimes there are financial interests that motivate a designer or architect. An example: there is a S.F. Bay Area landscape designer who always designs in a french country theme. Little known to the clients, the fountains and architectural elements that he specifies in his plans, are from a firm owned by his wife. The designers wife travels to France, buying architectural artifacts for her business, only to be specified by his landscape design firm. Ethical?? NO WAY! But, until a client calls him on it, it will continue.... This is his motivation to only refer contractors, who "buy into his self-promoting supply-line program." This also places limits on the design styles that this individual can deliver. He is destined to forever create & deliver one design style... a single faceted diamond that will never shine!

Another motivation for a design, is that the designer receives a financial incentive from the vendors of components that they specify. Some incentives are in the form of discounts for personal use materials, invoice discounts or credits, or year-end volume rebates. Most of these are legal marketing programs available to everyone in the industry. A form of legal "kick-back." Wouldn't you rather hire a specifier who chose the best products, materials and equipment for your project based upon what is the best for you, and not so they can earn that free trip to Cancun?

What a clients really needs is a designer who is devoted to creating what is in their absolute best interest. Sometimes this is even in direct conflict with the client's desires. Other times it is in direct conflict with other design fields in the client's employ (architects, general contractors, interior designers, landscape architects, etc.).

A premier designer is the one who can first admit that they have personal biases and are aware of them. Secondly, the premier designer will keep these biases in mind, and allow themselves to rise above their desires and biases.

Only after rising to this point of consciousness, can the premier designer deliver what is in the best interest of the client, their lifestyle and the site. Versatility, is the sign of a true design genius! A unique multi-faceted fancy colored diamond that will sparkle forever!

...and not a rehash of the same old thing!

Paolo Benedetti - Aquatic Artist
"Creating water as art."™
Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa