An outstanding project is founded on a thorough understanding of goals.
Every project is based on the understanding of the client and their project goals. The Interior Designer needs to understand a client’s image and desired perception, mission, budget, job functions and challenges, workflow, adjacency requirements, and employee and equipment projections.
This understanding is gained through constant professional research, interviews with team management and key personnel, and site visits to evaluate current facilities. Discoveries are summarized into a programming document with spatial requirements and adjacencies which serves as a guideline for effective space planning implementation.
An outstanding project has good design “bones.”
Space planning is the sketching and layout phase combining the programming requirements with the confines of the physical facility being considered to produce an optimized physical arrangement of a client’s organization. This phase is highly interactive, requiring review and input from the client’s team and may require several adjustments ranging from major to fine tuning. The Interior Designer will incorporate an in depth knowledge of codes (ADA, Life Safety, and Building) as well as environmental, technical and sustainability issues and all the programming knowledge of the client’s organizational culture to produce an optimum solution for the client in the form of a space plan.
An outstanding project has a strong concept.
After the big picture “bones” are established in a space plan, some fine tuning of the layout may continue in individual spaces as the functional adjacencies and workflows are finalized. The team’s ideas about the organization’s culture, identity and branding are brought to the table and the big picture concept for the aesthetics of the project begin to emerge through major materials selections, development of plans and ceiling plans and key elevations of focal areas.
An outstanding project is well understood.
As plans are finalized and the design concept is explored and developed, the finish palette is completed and the details emerge, giving the team a complete overview of the architectural envelope and the materials applications. Plans and elevations will be finalized in this phase and sections and details will be developed. The materials palette will be completed to give the client the vision for the entire interior. Drawings will be set up and preliminary pricing may be obtained. Renderings are often requested to complete the client’s understanding of the project in three dimension.
An outstanding project is well detailed and documented.
The Interior Designer’s role may vary per project just as projects may vary in size, scope and detail, but all projects require a set of detailed documents to be successfully constructed. Drawings and specifications instruct your contractor and the subcontractors and establish the level of quality for construction expected by the client.
Whether the Interior Designer is the prime design professional organizing the entire project or a team member offering specific expertise, thorough documentation is the language necessary to communicate to the contractor your expectations and requirements for a successful built environment.
This stage of the project may be less interactive between Client and Interior Designer as the production of drawings and specifications from the approved design development phase is drawing and coordination intensive for all the project team members. This phase culminates in a review and approval by the client prior to distribution of the documents for permit or construction bidding.
An outstanding project is completely coordinated.
The Interior Designer may specify furnishings as a standalone service or as an integral part of interior design and is a resource for the client’s best value for furnishings. There is a separate and detailed programming exercise required to ensure the optimum furniture solution is specified. The Interior Designer will review and recommend appropriate furniture solutions based on education and experience with manufacturers and products or may guide a user group in actively reviewing and selecting a basis of product for specifications. Product review and preliminary budget development usually inform each other and assist in the final selection of preferred product, furniture finishes, and fabrics. Specifications are a tool not only for initial furniture purchases, but for facilities maintenance, ongoing, and should be thorough and complete.
The Interior Designer should properly review the furniture specifications with the owner in the context of the overall interior design for approval and may coordinate with the facilities purchasing agent on the placement of orders, with recommended dealerships or successful bidder.
An outstanding project needs client advocacy and objective service.
Ramski and Company does not purchase furniture and generates no revenue from the sale of furniture. As a specifying interior design firm, we are uniquely qualified to serve as client advocate to assist in navigating bidding and procurement of furniture for your facility. We will suggest the best furniture solution for your project with no prejudicial considerations.
In a small project scenario, we may work with your preferred vendor/ dealership or recommend one, tailoring your furniture solutions to product within their network – still best satisfying the parameters of your project – including budget. Typically at a minimum, the Interior Designer will select product, coordinate finishes and fabrics on specifications, review quotes from dealerships for the client, and punch list furniture upon delivery.
In a large project scenario, specifications may be designed in a spreadsheet format to facilitate preparation of purchase orders, ordering, delivery, maintenance, reorder, and ongoing asset management. The Interior Designer may prepare purchase orders, check order acknowledgements, organize installations with single or multiple vendors, punch list furnishings, and review invoices for payment.
An outstanding project requires a knowledgeable owner’s advocate to guide specialized construction.
No matter how well documented a project is, there is still a requirement for continued input during construction. Routine construction administration services consist of the processing of the interior finish submittals from the contractor, attendance at the construction team meetings, field visits to routinely check progress and conformance of construction and the performance of the punch list and follow up.
It is important that the contractor feel free to ask for clarifications as unforeseen conditions and events unfold during construction. The Interior Designer is the client’s advocate for quality in this phase and should assist the client by employing expertise, insights and problem solving skills at timely intervals to produce optimum results and prevent costly construction mistakes.
A variety of services may be performed by Interior Designers as standalone studies or integral parts of a larger scope of work. These services may involve searches and research, and may not be easily quantified up front. Often these services are performed hourly. Some examples of requested studies include:
- A programming/space analysis document may be developed to assist a client in “shopping” for space. It involves interviews with key personnel and ultimately shows space required.
- A code compliance review and analysis may be performed to assist in determining improvements required in an existing or a prospective space.
- Comparative space plans based on the programming document to assist client in analyzing and comparing multiple spaces.
- Area optimization – Study for a particular area or department to optimize work flow, equipment requirements or layouts.
- Way finding/signage programs – Design solutions that may involve finishes as well as signage elements to assist guests in effectively navigating a space.
- Post occupancy evaluation – Some organizations find review of occupant satisfaction an excellent tool to value-add on future projects. An Interior Designer may assist with post occupancy reports assisting clients with facilities maintenance or lessons learned for future projects.
- Art and/or accessory programs – Research, specification or commission of or shopping for art objects and accessories that finalize an interior design.