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Pakistan is a diverse country. It’s full-of-life, colors, and faith. Coming from a truck art point of view, which is only apparent in our weddings. In reality, we are in fact scared of colors and the use of them, in our surroundings and interiors. The truth is we are a black, white, grey & beige nation. For an Interior designer, this is a crippling scenario.
This is not the only thing that is sad about the Interior Design Industry. The harsh truth is that it is not even a developed industry in Pakistan. It has rivals and competitors of all shapes and sizes. In a broader perspective and the flow of the process the identity of the Interior Designers is lost in a vast array of diluted professions, starting from Architects to accessory designers, cushion makers, furniture shops, house and building material companies, the handcrafters, our local curtain guy, interior decoration people, candle makers, painters and to the least the flower arrangers. Pakistanis as a whole, lack the understanding of professional description and the total of the work.
What and How?
An interior designer is a person who gives you the best solution, outcome, and utilization as a whole in any given space.
Now the point to understand here is, where do they begin?
Well in the planning phase alongside the architect, practically, the customer is to coordinate with the interior designer for all their “internal and very personal needs and wants”, further teaming up with architecture specialists and then the architect takes up the technical and outer design details. They keep teaming up with the civil specialists and so on.
They all work together to complete the building and eventually everyone leaves. Now the interior designer starts the physical work on your personal living, soft area and furthermore. Do keep in mind that the planning and involvement of the interior designer were from Phase I, so here nothing is to be redone or scraped or broken. Work keeps going on smoothly. This is an ideal scenario for making residential or personalized commercial spaces.
But how is this happening on the ground?
The customer makes a somewhat standard building with no special needs and vision in mind. They complete a space according to what the contractor standards are and the building norms. Now after using and abusing the space, if they decide to do something creative they call their local furniture guy throw some random ideas and try making a specialized place with the help of amateur or slightly experienced labor. The conclusion is eventually ending up spending double the money half the efficiency, quarter the comfort and almost no style. What we need to realize here, is we lack trust in general, the understanding of responsibilities and the professional role of the Interior Designer.
Traits of Interior Designers
A good Interior Designer has to be a good “project manager” as well as the “art director” of the project. They should be able to handle a crisis, call-offs, accidents, pressure, research work, coordination, accounts and budgeting, difficult tastes and choosy clients. Additionally, they should be upfront, sharp at reading body-language, be able to say No’s loud and clear, not over commit and should be able to draw the line where ever needed. Furthermore, they should be open minded and ready for disasters such as being compared to the flower arrangement personnel.
The students in this field should be ready for all of the above before entering in this field. They should let go the imaginary life of an interior designer where they just make color combinations and thematic details. More than 80 percent of the color will be squeezed out of the project by the time it ends, and for the ‘accessories phase,’ the budget is almost all gone.
There are developed industries and there are underdeveloped industries, unfortunately, this is a confused industry. On one hand, it is not thriving in the masses as it has been “stereotyped” to be something for the elite only. On the other hand, the tiers within the working fraternity have a large amount of friction. The Upper tier that is the Architecture professionals view it as a simple task and just a few more furniture additions, while the lower tier going right down to the client itself almost always think they can do it themselves. Obviously, in both cases, the outcome is not the desired one at all.
The current trend, however, has picked up the pace, as the common man is more exposed to theme and storytelling. Yet it is still a long way to go for the interior designers, who tend to work with their full heart and create the desired impact. Identity building and recognition are still in the unfolding process. We need to water it with patience and the utmost care and creativity.