In a recent discussion surrounding the year-end review of what had and had not worked, the principals of WPL Interior Design observed that designers who had practiced in the field longer and had engaged in all aspects of the design process were more likely to successfully take command of a design project to completion. That seemed logical but what exactly were the junior staff missing, it wasn’t repeating the design process hundreds of times that made the senior staff better.
A correlation was made between the game of chess and an interior design project. One principal stated that he was quite good at it as a child and that what chess had taught him was to think six steps ahead, to anticipate every move, to analyze every possible variation, to foresee every possible roadblock. He said one needed to visualize, calculate one’s moves, plan tactics, plan a strategy, adapt to varying conditions, evaluate your plan, and discard tactics and strategies that no longer work. All these thinking skills are not strictly design decisions. These are skills applicable to everyday life.
The point is that the more senior staff had developed strong skills in analyzing and strategizing. These skills were necessary to manage the entire design process smoothly and successfully. This was the largest variation between the junior and senior staff, and without these skills, the junior staff couldn’t become senior staff.
These extra skills allowed the senior staff to gather all the information available, to analyze it, to prioritize it, to understand how to use it, how it would affect the budget, how the clients would react to this information, how to determine what was and wasn’t important, to know how to adapt mid-process and to always keep the end goal and client in mind. This is what creates successful design projects, not just selecting pretty thing. Knowing this helps the principals manage the design team so we can all grow together as a team, and therefore based on the US Chess Federation Ten Tips to Winning Chess, we give you WPL’s Ten Tips to Winning Interior Design.
US Chess Federation
Ten Tips to Winning Chess
- Look at your opponent’s move.
- Make the best possible move.
- Have a plan.
- Know what the pieces are worth.
- Develop quickly and well.
- Control the center.
- Keep your king safe.
- Know when to trade pieces.
- Think about the endgame.
- Always be alert.
WPL’s Ten Tips to
Winning Interior Design
- Gather as much information as possible.
- Make the best possible decisions based on the information you gathered.
- Have a plan.
- Know where to spend and where to save.
- Develop the ability to adjust quickly to changing conditions.
- Control the project.
- Keep your budget safe.
- Know what you can give up.
- Think about the outcome and goal intended.
- Always know what is going on in the project.