The Design Professional
When looking for a design professional there are several points that you should research, as below.
The Designer “must have” list:
Professional Recognition: Ensure your Designer is associated with a governing body, such as ADNZ, NZIA or DINZ, as this membership qualifies the type of designer/design practice that you are dealing with. For example the ADNZ group I belong to, have performance standards far and above the NZ minimum standard requirement for an LBP designer, which does directly translate into better experiences and results for the client.
Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP): Ensure that your Designer is legally allowed to do the work you require them to do. You’d be surprised to find out how many so called “Designers” are out there who are not registered. If they are getting someone else to sign off their work (yes that happens) – question what other corners are they cutting or secrets are they hiding in their service offer?
Insurance: Just because they are LBP in NZ, doesn’t mean they have to be insured. Strange but true! Ask to sight and confirm that the Designer/Design Practice has the correct Professional Indemnity, Public Liability and Statutory insurances in place prior to engaging them, which would be appropriate for your project.
Portfolio: Allow to investigate and read through the previous work completed by the Designer to see if their work is reflective of what you want to achieve. Although no two projects are the same, most Designers/Design Practices have a natural talent to a type of Architecture. At Pure Design we are comfortable with organic modernist design philosophies, we can do other styles, but this is where our passion lies, so this is where we get our best results. Don’t go to a Designer promoting Minimalism to do a Gothic Revival restoration piece. A good Designer/ Design Practice will inform you honestly whether your brief fits within the practice methodology and if not will advise you to try elsewhere, and usually will give you referrals to Designers/Practices that specialise in your preferred design philosophies to your chosen project.
Interaction: The last, but possibly the most important aspect of the Designer/Design Practice engagement. The personal interaction! This is the personal connection between you as the client and the designer providing the design solution for your situation, which is paramount in achieving the best results and solutions for each and every project. If you do not feel an affinity or an intellectual connection to the Designer's thoughts, recommendations and conversation, you are fighting an uphill battle. Good Designers are generally very passionate about what they do, and who have very passionate ideas and methodology on how to do it for you. These passions must be in alignment with your own desires and goals to ensure that the solution you are both striving for is in tune.
We’ll talk about what to avoid when choosing a designer…. remember art for living.
PS: Finally, just saw a great new book if you’re in the house designing process at the moment, that I think is very good reading.
“Passive House for New Zealand” The warm healthy homes we need by Jason Quinn.
Jason is also the only “Passive House” certifier in the country, I urge you to have a look at his enlightening book to see how you could save money by building with greater knowledge.