Whenever I face the challenge of designing a new project, I really enjoy the early stages of the process. First, meeting with clients and discovering what they want, sometimes even discovering it before they do, then siting in front of my computer and researching about the topic, and finally the most fun and exciting part: capturing on paper all these ideas that have been getting shape from the first contact with the client.
But there is a particular stage that had always seemed a little less fun to me, at least until now (I will tell you why later). I am referring to the stage in which we have to define architectural finishes and design elements to place in the building.
In the early stages of the design of the project, the research process is quite specific; I mean, if I am going to design a house, I research on houses; if I am going to design an office tower, I research on office towers; if I am going to design a shopping mall, I research on shopping malls, and so; this stages require a clearly defined research, in which steps are clearly defined. This, of course, in addition to a subjective research done to analyze what the client wants and needs.
Instead, when I have to start defining materials, finishes and architectural products, everything gets a little bit complicated. There are so many large issues on which we must investigate, besides the fact that we need to be updated since design trends are constantly changing, that sometimes I feel that my head begins to weave an intricate web of elements that, depending on the complexity of the project may end up collapsing. I guess that is why I studied architecture and not interior design.
Recently, I was designing a residential project and just when I came to this not-so-fun stage, in one of those days where the spider in my head was about to finish building its masterpiece, I discovered archiproducts, a search engine for Architecture and Design products published in 11 languages. They have information on about 15,000 design products with catalogs, photo and video gallery, press releases, manufacturers, dealers lists, designers, projects, CAD details and even prices. It is a great tool that can save us a lot of time when designing.
I know there are other search engines of this type, but this one seemed very well organized with lots of information about all project types and for all areas of each of these projects, and that is why I wanted to share it.
I am the type of person that do not spend too much time when making design decisions; most of the time I go by what my intuition tells me, so for me, the design process does not take too long. In addition, I enjoy the speed with which I work, since it allows me to devote time to other important parts of my life. Until now, I was not enjoying that last stage because I had to slow down, patiently, to look for suppliers and make decisions.
At a time when with each passing day the minutes seem to go faster, something like this, that allows us to address multiple needs in one place, is appreciated. This discovery, thanks to the time that has made me save, has begun to change my way of thinking, to the point that I feel that this last stage of the design process has been going up on the scale of my tastes and now I am able to enjoy it almost as much as I enjoy the others.
We have so many paradigms telling us that it is not good to shorten distances, that we must learn to enjoy the processes even if they seem too long, but today I think that it does not have to be so; we just have to be able to seize the opportunities standing in front of us, so we can accelerate the pace in order to reach life that is passing by.