An artist has just visited our offices. He was so enthusiastic about his work that he filled our conference room with seemingly millions of his pictures – it took him half an hour to arrange them… I actually liked his portfolio and certainly his style would fit into a hotel environment since its positive approach would be appealing to the majority of guests. Now it is likely that he expects we will try to put hundreds of his pictures into all the hotels we design. But I know at least a dozen other artists whom I also like, and in our library there are at least 10 professional galleries that provide hotel art consultation.
And it’s not just the artist who might end up disappointed by our possible “cooperation.” There are millions of manufacturers of furniture, hundreds of carpet weavers, thousands of specialist hotel reps from billions of suppliers – and everyone wants to see me and do business with our company. Again, they all want their chairs, fabrics, wallcoverings to be seen in our latest projects.
But, of course, we can’t actually specify each product that comes along – for every supplier that is happy we have to disappoint hundreds of their colleagues. Yet I still believe it is necessary for me to meet with some of these companies to find interesting new materials, as well as innovative furniture and stylish fabrics.
At the same time, I receive hundreds of newsletters about architecture, design and hotels (as you are currently reading) and every day in the post we get tons of catalogues and flyers from companies I have never heard of. And since I am enthusiastic about my job, I have also subscribed to a handful of professional journals – in addition to the hundreds of publications we receive for free.
But then again, a designer who doesn’t keep on top of what is happening in the scene, who doesn’t learn about new inventions and possibilities will soon be “out.”
Plus I finally discovered Facebook, Plaxo, LinkedIn and Xing – with the intention, of course, of gaining greater recognition of our office by collecting existing and new “friends” and business partners. On the one hand, this new “social” source of information can renew old contacts and, indeed, even introduce some interesting connections. Yet at the same time, I continue to feel a bit like the little sorcerer’s apprentice who can’t get rid of the ghosts he has summoned.
My only problem seems to be that my brain is too small to store all this information – and also that my desk is at its maximum capacity and simply cannot hold any additional journals!
So while I welcome the new contacts I make, whether they are social media friends or enthusiastic artists, they expect me to care about them, specify their products and keep them informed about our projects. I’m afraid the reality is that I might end up disappointing some of them!