Last week I had a great opportunity to shadow Director of Interior Design, Charlie Turner at Chambers USA.

I had a chance to see the scope of work for the most recent projects they work on and get a feel of the industry in most boiling, productive and very statically creative environment.

Conclusions after lunch conversation about profession choices, decision making process and hospitality influences with Charlie Turner (Director of Interior Design, ChambersUSA) and Robert Hickman (Chairman of the Board, ChambersUSA) and the whole day in general are:

  • Words of wisdom: work + passion = happy individual.
  • Degree does make a difference
  • Auto CAD > Rivet. It was also my greatest pleasure to find out that there are still people out there who enjoy manual drafting and use it still. (Manual drafting = butterflies in my stomach)
  • Even Hospitality (the perfect world for me to be at – if I could put a heart I would, but that would spoil the blog – so no hearts) has a room for improvement

Actually, let me elaborate on the last point. Couple of weeks ago I was reading about recent projects of Vincent Wolf and out of curiosity got a chance to see some of his recent interviews about his design process. Besides the fact that it was quite fascinating that his clients questionnaire consists of 16 pages and the fascinating part of it is not the page number but the fact that most of the questions are not for him to get to know what client wants but for the client himself to get an idea and conceptualize what he/she is trying to get out of the design (Brilliant!!!). But also the fact that when he was asked if he follows up with any of his clients after the project is over.  His answer was no, he said that he could visit them as a friend but not as a designer. So the question that we talked about over lunch was “why not?” Most likely the reason is that as a business we might get a feedback of “Everything is great BUT…”. And that is where I got to think that if we take the feedback that comes after “BUT” and wrap it around into work agreement we can make money and make this world even a better place. Obviously there is scope of work, different approach and different attitude. But here we would be talking quality, reputation and personal approach to business of any size.

My general impression of the company as a whole – the atmosphere has a family touch to it. And even for a day I was its member. Great company, wonderful team and very creative high quality work. Again, it was my greatest pleasure to be a part of it all even just for one day.