On a plane ride from Los Angeles to Dallas, I tasked myself with reading, The Collaborative Habit, Life Lessons for Working Together, by Twyla Tharp.
I wanted to know what others creative types had to say about collaboration, and how I could apply it to interior design. What I realized is that collaboration is an integral part of my daily life.
Many of us may not realize it, but we collaborate with others every day. For instance, I was planning an evening out with a couple of friends with our final destination being The Wallis Annenberg Centre for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills to see Love Letters. We knew we had to be at the theater at 8:00 PM. Where would we have dinner? Would we meet for drinks before-hand? What would we do after the show? Who would drive? All these questions lead to a collaboration of friends to create the perfect evening out on the town. You see, we collaborate with one another each day - without realizing it - we create.
For me, interior design is creating the built environment along with a cast of co-collaborators. First and foremost, my client is the number one collaborator. I want to know how they intend to use a space. How do they live?
- Who will be using a space and what will they be using it for?
- What aspects are important to them?
- When do you spend the majority of your time in the space?
- How do they define luxury?
The list of questions we might engage in any project is as varied as our client list.
I only surround myself with the BEST! Over time, I have assembled a team of architects, landscape designers, art consultants, vendors, and showrooms that I prefer to work with based on the size and scope of each project. Once I have an idea of what the project entails, I assemble this team to help me carry out the design. It is truly a collaborative effort from inception to completion with the client interacting every step of the way.
This method has proven to be successful for me. Everyone is engaged in the process and feels they have invested in the outcome. Passion and commitment are important. It is the best of the best - in whatever field that might be - bringing the greatest solutions to achieve our client's expectations.