Sometimes I feel a little like a yo-yo going back and forth, always changing direction, constantly changing my mind on certain projects.
This isn't because I’m off experimenting with ideas right in the middle of things (which, btw, comes before I present anything to the client) or that I’m undecided about design itself. In fact, I’m very decided in my design directions.
When given a set of boundaries, or a program that includes must-haves, budget considerations, and the overall look or feel a client is trying to achieve within the space they have, I’m really sure about the direction we should go, the decisions we’ll make, how far to take the design. (Usually a bit further than the client first had in mind.)
It's just that sometimes clients are unsure about what they want. Sometimes the parameters change; budgets grow or shrink; directions given are reconsidered. Sometimes clients just like to see what they could have without so many givens. You know— "what if we did this".
When this happens—when the parameters change—the outcome, the design, the solution will almost always be different.
And it’s not that a designer is waffling or changing their mind because they aren't quite sure what to do—it’s because: whenever the circumstances or boundaries change, they open up new opportunities to explore other options. Or, perhaps, with more parameters added they'll place bigger limits on what is possible.
The result: The solution will not be the same.
Much like changing the equation in a math problem, or changing the ingredients in a recipe, your outcome will change. It should change. Design is a very fluid thing, and each element influences the other, because...
When you change one item, or throw one thing out the door, a whole new world of possibilities emerges.
An additional 6” of space in a room can perhaps change the entire layout. The introduction of a new color might precipitate a rethink of the palette. The new piece purchased on a whim might necessitate a reevaluation of a combination of furnishings.
So, while designers love clients with a sense of adventure and a desire to explore options, you’ll get your project done faster if you have your project parameters fixed from the start. Otherwise, be prepared to allow us time to explore...