Tips for architects, decorators and other design entrepreneurs


Open communication with clients is crucial

“We have to always communicate with the client to make sure that we are on the same page.  A project does not depend only on the architect.  It greatly involves the client who will be the only one living in the house at the end of the day

“In designing their houses, it is important to combine what the client wants and what will work.  As architect, you have to tell them what design is possible and what is impossible.”

          Quincy de los Reyes, Architect


Create your own look

“Where before I compromised and let my designs to  be dictated by buyers,  I have created my own look that is  very  “me.”  It has been described as an admixture of the linear simplicity of the west and the wabi-sabi complexity of the east.

“Design is our competitive edge.  My designs are tedious and intricate, the better to keep the copy-cats at bay

“I am in charge of production systems as well as design.  It makes me know exactly how a given design will run, how much  materials it will require, how much it will cost, exactly how it will finally look.

          Debbie Palao, Furniture Designer

Being professional

“One crucial thing  in the (fashion) industry is that you have to be very  professional.  Meet the deadlines of your clients, make sure that your materials are complete, and that deliveries are on time.  You have to be up-to-date with your customers (so mobile technology is central to this line of work).

“It is not enough to settle on what you already know.  You have to research. You just have to fuel your passion and keep the fire burning.”

Noel Llave, Fashion designer 

(From Entrepreneur, September, 2011)

Prototyping is crucial

No matter how well you visualize, until you see that first hyper-real rendering of the product or the prototype, it’s just an idea—it sits around, and it gestates in your head, but it doesn’t become tangible until you make it real…IDEO’s Tom Hulme said, ‘Talk – Action = Shit.’ I don’t know how many times I’ve sat in meetings where people just talk, talk, talk and show renderings that just don’t sell the idea until they put this physical thing on the table.”

–Scott Wilson, founder of MINIMAL


Responsibility of designers

We’ve definitely crossed over a threshold in the startup world, where it’s an assumption that it’s a good idea to pay attention to design from the very beginning. But there’s still a big gap in understanding what that means and how to find designers who can contribute in a meaningful way to the early stage of product design. We have a responsibility as designers to step up to the plate here. We’re invited to the table now–we need to bring something to it.”

–Wilson Miner, designer at Facebook

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