Tips for working with interior designers
Bennett Design Group served as the interior designer for the St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Sugar Land, Texas, elevator lobby with post-mounted glass art from 3form USA, New York City.
"Know who your customers are and what they want." You hear that at every business seminar. This holds true in design and construction.
As a glass company, it is valuable to think of yourself and services as an extension of the design team. Taking on that attitude will give you the advantage over your competitors. In commercial design especially, where designers bill for their time only, designers rely heavily on your expertise to help design creative glass solutions, and to do it quickly. The more information you offer, the more likely the design team will turn to you and rely on your expertise.
Following are some tips on how to become more involved in the commercial design community, how to create those relationships and how to become an integral part of the design team.
Get involved with the design community.
Sponsor and attend events. If you have a showroom, open it to events. Develop a continuing education unit for designers. Make sales calls, or host a mill trip to teach designers about the manufacturing process.
Establish a presence in the architectural and design community.
Make your showroom a working showroom, with correct lighting and layout space. Host events, including fundraisers for the community. Donate materials for charity and promotions.
Be part of the design team.
Know the right questions when you’re on a project:
o What is the project type?
o What codes apply?
o What is the application?
o What are the performance issues?
o What is the budget goal?
o What is the time frame?
o What are the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design project goals?
Demonstrate knowledge during the schematic design phase.
Help set budget allowances, and help select appropriate glass for the application.
Be able to provide solutions during the design development phase.
Designers need your expertise. Know your hardware, lighting applications, critical installation considerations (weight, etc.) and technical specifications for Section 08810 of commercial project manuals that instructs the contractor how to store, install, order and handle products.
Make it stick during the construction phase.
Stay in close communication with the general contractor. Notify the team of lead times and any deposits.
Go the extra mile.
Help photograph the space, and enter the project into design competitions.