UNDERSTANDING DESIGN FEES

Post 713 -by Gautam Shah

.

Designers often help their clients to acquire or dispose off entities in their completely prepared form. When the transaction originates at producers’ end, it is little above the cost, at a price. Price, reflects the value a producer attaches to an entity. Later transactions may not in any manner relate to an entity’s cost.

1 auction-black-and-white-character China-260933

For a thing to have a value, it must be transferable. A latent value becomes potent when it is perceived that someone needs the entity in some time and space, for a utilitarian or hypothetical purpose. A demand for a perishable commodity, if it, does not occur within the life span, is irrelevant. Similarly demand for something in a far off place cannot be satisfied, due to transportation hazards and handling problems. Air has a lot of utility but is not scarce. Rotten eggs may be scarce, but hardly have any utility. Friendship is very useful and scarce, but is not transferable or marketable.

Historic cost of creating a painting may be few drops of colour, a canvas and artists’ few moments. But once the fact is accomplished, the painting gains a very high value due to its extra ordinarily high relevance to the society. Relevance of a product in terms of its utility is (more) likely to degenerate over a period of time, but its value may appreciate or depreciate depending on its relevance to the owner or the society.

2 Design Practice vs trade fish-835597_1280

Prices are effected in money. Prices go up or down depending on the fall or rise in the (universal) value of the money. Any change in money (monetary value) affects the prices of all things across the board. Value of a thing, however, is specific. There cannot be a general fall or rise in value of all things. Value of a thing goes up, when we can acquire or aspire for more or superior things in exchange. Value of a thing goes down, when we can acquire or hope for less or inferior things in exchange. Value is relative, referred in terms of something else.

Value of a thing, cannot be always measured in money. Value has many different connotations, typically, it has relevance in terms of, emotions, remembrances, associations, ageing, maturity, heritage, rarity, ecological, environmental, social, etc.

639px-Microcosm_of_London_Plate_006_-_Auction_Room,_Christie's

Valuation, in functional sense, is done to determine what one would gain by acquiring, or forgo by disposing the item, but not necessarily doing so. Value of a product means an addition or deduction to wealth, Cost at the moment of transfer may or may not reflect the value of an item, but it helps in a better judgement of the value.

A rare painting or an antique may have an indeterminable cost, but will have a probable value. Value could be several times more or less than the actual cost of the item. Value is considered to be the true worth of an item, more lasting, but not necessarily reliable. Cost and price are very realistic and reliable, but not always representative of the true worth of the item. Both, perhaps, are required to gain a full insight of the situation.

640px-Antonio_stradivari

Monetary versus Non-Monetary Valuations

Valuations are of two types: Monetary and Non-Monetary. Monetary valuations are not very different from costing exercises. Value of a thing, cannot be always measured in money. Though here utility, desirability, scarcity, availability and marketability etc. of an item are assessed in monetary terms rather than market equivalent costs of such items.

Valuations of non-monetary type are made to check adherence to values, customs, traditions, ethos, rules regulations, laws, etc. Greater adherence to these issues results into higher value realization for the product. Often negative or repulsive aspects of an entity, such as Hitler’s memorabilia, black magic tools, due to their rarity, invite a connoisseur’s favour. Non-monetary valuations have a relevance only to people who are concerned with it in some way. Non-monetary valuations based on one aspect or few concerns are not very useful, desirable, or even reliable. Non-monetary valuations based on too many aspects are not comparable, so must be scaled into some economic or monetary component. These makes, a valuation, very complicated process.

1023518main_ISS and AMS_S134E007532

Costing versus Valuation

Costing is a logical (mathematical) process, and any technically proficient person can carry it out. Costing process must always remain justifiable, and requires many exact inputs, including latest market costs etc. Valuations, however, involve many hypothetical judgments, are very subjective, and so may not seem rational. It is the experience of the valuer that imparts some degree of objectivity and also reliability to the valuation. Valuation on the other hand is a subjective judgment, and no explanations may be asked for.

Costing helps a designer in planning, budgeting and auditing the expenditures. Valuation is used to confirm or justify expenditures, indicate non monetary savings, and to convince a client for quandary options.

 

640px-KABULCITYMAP

Design Practice and Cost Determination Methods

Designers choose entities, increase or decrease their usage by predicting the costs. Designers develop their own cost determination methods, appropriate for the jobs they handle, and for types of items specified in their projects. Input data like market rates for materials, parts, components, labour etc. are continuously updated or sought as and when estimates are to be prepared. Updating feedback is also available through the historic estimates conducted on completion of a project.

In design offices predictive cost analysis is made through Rate analysis. Average prices of all commonly used materials, operations, etc., are collected routinely, reformatted and stored. These are presumed as standard rates, and form the basis for the cost analysis. To simplify the process of cost analysis, number of items and their individual rates or prices are reduced by approximation (through definition of a factor for variation) in quantity and quality.

Screenshot_2020-02-29 Bo-Kaap Neighborhood

Routine jobs and jobs with substantial intellectual effort

Routine jobs have a determinable cost (and by adding a customary margin of profit, etc. one can derive the price). However, jobs with substantial intellectual effort accomplish more than the cost of implementation. So, dilemmas occur, should one charge a professional fee on the total cost of the job, or value accruing out of the job? Authors of creative efforts must know how to value their accomplishments, and thereby demand a fair compensation for it. Designers need to know both the cost and value of their professional services.

Cost versus Value for Designers

The understanding of Cost versus Value of an entity helps a designer at TWO distinct levels:

1 Determination of Fees: Cost-based and Value-based

2 Helping a client for the value-assessment of their possessions.

Screenshot_2020-02-29 Mares and foals with an unfigured background (England,1762) - George Stubbs (1724 - 1806)

Cost-based Fees

Design practice follows age-old traditions of Architectural practice. Jobs are generally executed by appointed contractors or selected vendors. These third party (away from the Architect and the Client) business entities present an invoice, which reflects the nearly true cost of the job. Architects base their fees on this foundation after adding certain percentage amount to account for miscellaneous expenses, (such as on power, water, etc.). Substantial part of Designer’s work follows a similar path.

facade_renovation_architecture_city_frame_europe-548959.jpg!d

Value-based Fees

Value-based Fees are charged for jobs like renovation, extension, addition, conservation, etc. that make substantial change to the existing environment, upgrading the commercial value, or advantages deriving out of it. A unique concept that costs very little to implement, provides a substantial benefit to the client. Should one charge a fee on the cost of a job or on the value of the completed job? Here determining an appropriate cost base for fees is very difficult.

Value Assessment of Possessions

On some sites there are pre-existing structures which are to be only reformed or reused. The design cost of continuing or protecting such structures is difficult to compute, and so must be value-based. Cost of works or supplies by third party vendors and contractors are accountable, but items supplied by the Clients from the existing stock are difficult to document. Cost of Retained Structures, Antiques, Curios, used in a project are often indeterminable, instead their values, if available need to be used. On sites where several Professionals operate simultaneously, exclusive authorship to a creation is disputable, so cost of a patent idea is disputable.

640px-Falkirk_wheel

Cost Plus Fees

Fees for very complex jobs, or jobs that are unique, and without any precedents are very difficult to predefine. A Client wishes to see the job properly done, and the Professional wants a guaranteed, but a fair amount of income. Such jobs are executed on Cost Plus Basis.

The office work of the professional and the site work of the project, both are executed in a very transparent setup. All the expenses at the Processional’s Office (salaries, stationary, conveyance, rents, service charges for equipments, etc.) and at the Project Site (on raw materials (stationary), wages, and salaries, rents for equipments, conveyance, postal and telecommunication charges, taxes, etc.) are well monitored, documented and audited. The Professional is then allowed a percentage over the Audited Costs.

.

LIST of BLOGS on DESIGN PRACTICE

.

Post 637 –by Gautam Shah

This is a random selection of BLOGS on Design Practice (Professional Practice) from several of my blogs on the subject.

4884992_a5be18f6aa_z

Flickr Image by Denis Jacquerye

  • INTERIOR DESIGN and CLIENTS>>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/interior-design-and-clients/

  • CLIENT and DESIGN PROFESSIONAL -Relationship >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/client-and-design-professional-relationship/

  • FEES NEGOTIATIONS WITH A CLIENT >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/01/02/fees-negotiations-with-a-client/

  • PROFILING CLIENTS >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/profiling-clients/

  • DETERMINATION of PROFESSIONAL FEES >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/determination-of-professional-fees/

  • CONTRACT and ENFORCEMENT >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/contract-and-enforcement/

  • A PROFESSIONAL and PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOUR >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/a-professional-and-professional-behaviour/

  • Differentiating COST from VALUE -Interior Design Practice >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/differentiating-cost-from-value-interior-design-practice/

  • DESIGNERS DILEMMA – RIGHT FEES >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/designers-dilemma-right-fees/

  • DATA for PROFESSIONALS >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/data-for-professionals/

  • PROJECT REPORT OR PROJECT PROFILE REPORT >>

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/project-report-or-project-profile-report/

  • INTERIOR DESIGNER – the role

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/interior-designer-the-role/

  • QUALITY CONSCIENCE and COMPLIANCE in DESIGN PRACTICE

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/quality-conscience-and-compliance-in-design-practice/

  • INTERIOR DESIGN PRACTICE > FEES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/interior-design-practice-fees/

  • MANAGING FEES -for Building Design practices PART – III

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/21/managing-fees-for-building-design-practices-part-iii/

  • MANAGING FEES -for Building Design practices PART – IV

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/09/05/managing-fees-for-building-design-practices-part-iv/

  • MANAGING FEES -for Building Design practices PART – II

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/managing-fees-for-building-design-practices-part-ii/

  • MANAGING FEES -for Building Design practices PART – I

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/managing-fees-for-building-design-practices-part-i/

  • PROFESSIONAL FEES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/professional-fees/

  • SPECIFICATIONS CONTENTS (Design Practice)

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/specifications-contents-design-practice/

  • DESIGN PRACTICES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/design-practices/

  • DESIGN PRACTICE and CONSCIENCE

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/design-practice-and-conscience/

  • WRITING SPECIFICATIONS in DESIGN PRACTICE

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/writing-specifications-in-design-practice/

  • COMMITTING a CLIENT for JOB

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/committing-a-client-for-job/

yellow-metal-design-decoration

Pexels Image by Kaboompics // Karolina > http://www.kaboompics.com/

A set of articles on DESIGN IMPLEMENTATION PROCESSES that were offered as PG Level course are also available at >

.

01 Organizations
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/08/08/organizations-1/

02 Essentials of Design Organizations
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/08/11/essentials-of-organizations-02/

03 Design Organizations
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/08/14/design-organizations-03/

04 Projects of Design
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/projects-of-design-04/

05 Job or Assignment Handling in Design Organizations
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/jobs-or-assignment-handling-in-design-organizations-05/

06 Deliverables from Design Organizations
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/08/23/deliverables-from-design-organizations-06/

07 Dealing with a Client in a Design Organization
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/09/06/dealing-with-a-client-in-a-design-organization-7/

08 Specifications
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/specifications-08/

09 History of Specifications
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/history-of-specifications-09/

10 Standards
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/08/06/standards-10/

11 Liabilities
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/liabilities-11-design-implementation-processes/

12 Bureau of Indian Standards BIS
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/10/03/bureau-of-indian-standards-bis-12/

13 International Standards Organization ISO
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/international-standards-organization-iso-13/

14 ISO 9000 and other Management Standards
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/10/09/iso-9000-and-other-management-standards-14/

15 Quality for Designers
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/quality-for-designers-15/

16 Quality Conscience
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/quality-conscience-16/

17 Consumerism
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/consumerism-for-designers-17/

18 Human Resources
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/human-resources-18-design-implementation-processes/

19 Leadership in Design Organizations
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/leadership-in-design-organizations-19/

20 Data, Information and Knowledge
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/data-information-and-knowledge-20-design-implementation-processes/

21 Design Processes 21-1 to 21-4
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/design-processes-21-1-design-handling/

22 Decision Making and Problem Solving
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/decision-making-and-problem-solving-22-design-implementation-processes/

23 Systems Thinking
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/systems-thinking-23-design-implementation-processes/

24 Risk Management
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/risk-management-24-design-implementation-processes/

25 Guarantees and Warranties
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/guarantees-and-warranties-25-design-implementation-processes/

26 Finance
https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/finance-26-design-implementation-processes/

.

BLOG LINKS for articles on DESIGN IMPLEMENTATION PROCESSES

Post 632 –by Gautam Shah

.

pexels-photo

 

These Blogs formed the course for Masters level Design students at Faculty of Design, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India. The course was initially planned for Entrepreneurship for Designers. Design graduates were expected to professionally operate in the role of Designers, Producers or Services providers. For this purpose, it was decided to include Design creation, Management of design organizations, Design processes, Standards and specifications, ISO management systems, Risk management, Human resources, Basics of finance, etc. The course was offered as two lectures per week over a semester of 16 weeks. It could perhaps include many other modules, but it was not possible in the time schedule of a semester. — Gautam Shah (contact@gautamshah.in)

Blog Site: https://designacademics.wordpress.com/

INTERNET LINKS to BLOG articles

1 Organizations

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/08/08/organizations-1/

2 Essentials of Design Organizations

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/08/11/essentials-of-organizations-02/

3 Design Organizations

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/08/14/design-organizations-03/

4 Projects of Design

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/projects-of-design-04/

5 Job or Assignment Handling in Design Organizations

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/jobs-or-assignment-handling-in-design-organizations-05/

6 Deliverables from Design Organizations

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/08/23/deliverables-from-design-organizations-06/

7 Dealing with a Client in a Design Organization

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/09/06/dealing-with-a-client-in-a-design-organization-7/

8 Specifications

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/specifications-08/

9 History of Specifications

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/history-of-specifications-09/

10 Standards

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/08/06/standards-10/

11 Liabilities

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/liabilities-11-design-implementation-processes/

12 Bureau of Indian Standards BIS

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/10/03/bureau-of-indian-standards-bis-12/

13 International Standards Organization ISO

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/international-standards-organization-iso-13/

14 ISO 9000 and other Management Standards

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/10/09/iso-9000-and-other-management-standards-14/

15 Quality for Designers

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/quality-for-designers-15/

16 Quality Conscience

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/quality-conscience-16/

17 Consumerism

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/consumerism-for-designers-17/

18 Human Resources

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/human-resources-18-design-implementation-processes/

 

19 Leadership in Design Organizations

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/leadership-in-design-organizations-19/

20 Data, Information and Knowledge

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/data-information-and-knowledge-20-design-implementation-processes/

21 Design Processes 21-1 to 21-4

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/design-processes-21-1-design-handling/

22 Decision Making and Problem Solving

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/decision-making-and-problem-solving-22-design-implementation-processes/

23 Systems Thinking

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/systems-thinking-23-design-implementation-processes/

24 Risk Management

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/risk-management-24-design-implementation-processes/

25 Guarantees and Warranties

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/guarantees-and-warranties-25-design-implementation-processes/

26 Finance

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/finance-26-design-implementation-processes/

. a combined *.pdf file may be available to few genuine users.

 

DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS

Post 615 –by Gautam Shah

.

640px-BASF_Werk_Ludwigshafen_1881

Primary instinct for a human effort is to create a Recipe or Process. We tend to perceive an item by hypothetically enacting its process. First step is compilation of a list of physical inputs (ingredients). Second step is forming lists of things to do, how to do and not to do (human interventions). Third step is planning the sequences in time. Fourth step is readying tools required for various processes. A fair mix of all FOUR steps can offer an object, but not a desired entity. The end result is conjectural. In real design work intentions are additionally transmitted through drawing documents and other forms of surrogates.

1024px-Boullée,_Etienne-Louis_-_Project_for_a_library

499px-jean-franc3a7ois_millet_28ii29_005

Oven Cooking > ART by Jean-Francois Miller (1814-1875)

Item or design specifications have been used for execution, manufacturing, fabricating, erecting, for procuring ready-made objects, and also for effecting various services. The term Design here means any scheme, as such orally conveyed, written, drawn, or otherwise implied.

14847544245_47568fe056_c

A Design or Scheme specifies aspects like : constituents, processes of combining, synthesizing a coherent entity or system, method of care and handling the men, materials, tools, equipment and the entity itself as it is being created.

639px-konrad_kyeser2c_bellifortis2c_clm_301502c_tafel_092c_blatt_38v_28ausschnitt29

Elevator Design by German Engineer Konrad Kyeser (1405) Wikipedia image

When a design (recipe) is specified for a product, and once readied (with reasonable sincerity), a client has to pay even if it fails on acceptability count. As a result, writing Item or Design Requirements is not an assuring process, unless the specifiers have had recent experience, at designing nearly Identical Items, and fully comprehends all aspects of the design problem.

640px-design_management_in_brief

Design confusions > Image attribution: Wiki4des at English Wikipedia

Specifications for a Designed Object

A Designer prepares design specifications, (materials + procedures + conditions of origin), so that the contractor or vendor can provide the stated item. The contractor or vendor gets very exact data, but little freedom to use alternative materials or execute it differently. If there is an uncommon item, the contractor will invariably charge more for the extraordinary effort or customization. This process does not assure that in spite of a sincere execution and diligent supervision a functional product will be delivered. The Item specifications specify ‘physical adequacy of the item while seeking a hypothetical performance’.

shipelevator-shipyard-yard-structure-workshop-repairs-niederfinow-germany

A contractor or vendor is better aware of latest materials, processes, technologies and their costing as available in the market, In comparison to any specification formulator like a designer. A contractor or vendor, if allowed to provide, can offer an item that surpasses the one conceived in the ‘item or design specifications’. This cause was identified by US Air-force and made it mandatory to procure entities by PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS, through the ITEM or DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS. A performance specification states the exact requirements of performance of an entity, and no materials + procedures + conditions of origin are given. This is an appreciable method but very difficult to implement. Performance of some of entities cannot be checked-validated over a longer time span (e.g. Operative suitability of a submarine beyond 20 years).

Performance specifications are partially used in many works with item specifications. For example, 6/7 decades back many builders were asked to refer to Standards for Cement, Sand, Aggregates, Water, Mixing procedures and testing methods for quality to be achieved. This is now replaced by pre-mix cement concretes of assured quality. This a way of relying on the performance, than Materials+Processes methods.

640px-mercedes-benz_axor_based_cement_mixer_truck

Ready-mix Concrete > Wikipedia image by High Contrast

Specifications for acquiring some ready-made objects can be Performance specifications but tend to be even more restrictive. A specifier (buyer-acquirer) of a ready-made item of the market shelves has no way of verifying a product, so relies on average standards followed by the Industry, or match with some ‘super’ supplier’s (top product in the market) specifications. Failing either of the conditions, one, has to pay the extra cost of customizing a regular or standard item. In the later case the assurance nominally available for the regular or standard item are unlikely to be offered for the altered form.

iran-isfahan-art-mosque

.

CORE COMPETENCE and SPECIALIZATION

Post 595 by Gautam Shah

.

640px-Ilja_Jefimowitsch_Repin_-_Reply_of_the_Zaporozhian_Cossacks_-_Yorck

Design organizations are initiated, by an individual who has some expertise or keen interest in a specific field, or by group of people who share similar or parallel interests. This founding expertise or keen interest must form the formal goal of the design organization. The formality must occur as a declared policy. Design Organizations must work intensively in areas that are analogous to their goals.

640px-sales_office3

Wikipedia image by Injeongwon

Design organizations have a noble desire to cultivate an acute or very exclusive knowledge system over years of professional practice. This is often not attended to adequately in design organizations, but when the need arises, they hire specific expertise through new employees or by retaining consultants. Organization, however, cannot have core competence just by intent, facilities or expertise. Core competence results from expertise with hands-on experience on real projects.

tainted_blue_studios_control_room

Acute Specialization > Wikipedia image by tainted blue

Organizations need opportunities to build up the core competence. Such opportunities arrive by selection. An organization with well-defined goals would procure projects by approaching appropriate clients, being in contact with relevant consultants, by offering additional services for making the fees attractive, by participating in such competitions. An executed project generates better competence in a field, then handling of several diverse projects.

590px-film_crew

Wikipedia image by Grant Crabtree

Core competence leads the design organization into specific jobs, by way of excelling in results, efficiency of work procedure or job handling, efficiencies of input-benefit ratio, and client satisfaction. The repetition of opportunities leads to learning, experimentation and satisfaction. Core competence is perceived as an innovative pursuit that can cause enough synergies, to make the organization behave like self correcting, or continuously adjusting biological entities.

Ingenieure mit Konstruktionsplan

Wikipedia image > Attrbn: Bundesarchiv , Bild 183-23805-1665/ CC-BY-SA 3.0

Core competence is also seen as a debate for Generalization versus Specialization. Some organizers believe that generalization, as a capacity to handle all types of projects and under whatever circumstances, is very essential for continuance (survival or professional relevance). And, (they believe) “if the need arises, experts can be hired to meet the exigency”. The generalization allows to handle projects of routine nature, in an efficient, economic and time bound manner. Such ‘generalist’ organizations handle projects that are very large in scale, requiring little innovation, and of repetitive nature. Their service or fee’s are highly competitive.

576px-onemanband-marcdobson

Wikipedia image by Marcrocs

4312091602_6018770f78

Specialization cannot be achieved by intent alone. One must grab projects that reinforce the skills, even by discounting the fees or profits. And, if opportunities in the desired field are few, one must strive for excellence in the relevant sections of the routine work. Specialization is often equated with a single person in charge of the organization, rather than group based practices. An Autocratic leader stimulates an organization towards an acute specialization, whereas a Bohemian leader dissipates the energy and de-focuses and strives for generalization. A Democratic leader will continuously review and revise, the aims of the organization, and plan the resources, to make the organization creative.

378256_de97b166fb_z

Temple Singapore > Flickr image by Steve Jurvetson

Creativity is not in specialization (capacity to excel in limited fields) nor in generalization (capacity to handle many different situations) in any field. Design creativity is seen in radical solutions, proficiency in sustaining the technical superiority and learning. Design efficiency is perceived for being productive, cost efficacy and organizational ranking or superordination.

Intensivstation_(01)_2007-03-03

.

WORK STYLE of DESIGN ORGANIZATIONS

Post 563 by Gautam Shah

.

Design Organizations operate in two sets of conditions. One set is an environment that varies at a faster pace with the times, and the Second set is the work style or culture that evolves as a matured manner of operations. A design organization comes into being over a period of time. Even when its conveners have years of experience before the venture, it needs a maturation period. A design team is a fluid entity continually affected by internal and external circumstances and in perpetual evolution.

EdulabsBE_meetup1_Design_Thinking_1

The work environment in a design organization is formed by immediate issues, like combination of resources, humans and situational conditions and public concerns. The work environment is also seen as empathy, created with the staff members, clients, collaborators and stack-holders. It is related to the leadership, and their priorities on the basis of current values, available skills, complexity of the assignments and permissible actions. The work environment can flourish well where there are historical precedents in the form of work-culture or style. An individual, a fresh or short term leader can easily vitiate the work environment but cannot alter the deep-rooted work-style of the organization.

640px-soldering_workshop_in_the_prototyping_lab2c_national_design_centre2c_singapore_-_20141201-02

Lab at National Design Centre Singapore Wikipedia image source  https://www.flickr.com/photos/maltman23/15966053506/ by Mitch Altman

The work style of the organization represents the effectiveness of leadership beyond the duties as owners or conveners. Organizations trying to develop, core competence or acute specialization, needs to be aware of the work-culture. A leader can hope to mould the work-style of the organization by improvisation of the day to day work environment. Work-style is a historical formation, and must develop from formal and informal systems of past. It cannot be a policy diktat and cannot be enforced from outside.

Manufacture_of_Pleasure_Carriages,_Designing_room,_1879

Manufacture of pleasure carriages Designing room 1879 wikipedia image from Scientific American Feb 8 1879

Each design organization over a time develops its own distinctive response mechanism. Where, the work-style is a synergetic mix of authority and responsibility. The work-style embodies the projectssuccesses and failures, team memberscontributions and prejudices, clientssatisfaction and anger, adhered programmes and failed schedules, Innovations perceived, supported and carried through, and learning from new ventures and shortcomings.

Columbia_GSAPP_Avery_Hall_Studio

For each organization, the style of task handling is always exclusive, because it is formed by the team members, projects and the times. Some team members persist for a longer period, but many others stay for an assignment or shorter duration. The projects are routine or radical, but carried through the organization for the long-term policy goals. The organization deals with many such circumstantial combinations, but the situations never recur in time or space, and for anyone else.

640px-wmuk_office_-_march_2012

Wikipedia image by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net) (Perm CC-BY-SA-4.0)

The physical spread of the organization in the society makes it a trustworthy professional entity. The societal pride permeates in to the organization, and impacts the behaviour of its members and the nature projects being offered.

Carpet Selling Lord

.

INTERIOR DESIGN PRACTICE > FEES

Post 560 by Gautam Shah

.

640px-2011-04-02_signing_a_guest_book

Wikipedia image by Ildar Sagdejev (Spacious)

Design Professionals take on assignments for fees, determined by themselves, and sometimes after further negotiating with the clients. Professional Design Fees are very subjective, and vary from a professional to professional, from one project to project, and also from one client to another. There are no standards. Right Fee is judged on following counts :

  • Is one aiming at a reasonable profit?
  • Is one striving for a high return to manage a high risk situation?
  • Is one striving for a high return for a rare contribution?
  • Is one trying to break-even, -operate at a no or less profit situation?
  • Is one seeking to avoid hiring new staff and procuring new technologies?
  • Is one looking for hypothetical – future benefit?
  • Is one, bartering an advantage?
pbthey-lawyer-750pix

Lawyers and Clients

Relationship between a professional and a client develops very gradually. Client and professional usually have some degree of rapport, even before a job is discussed. A professional and client both, however, may wish to delay a discussion about fees, terms and conditions.

A professional must discuss fees as early as possible, because an Informal Relationship can turn very vicious at any stage. When disputes arise either of the parties may refuse to even acknowledge the relationship between them. In such a situation the Professional will lose all that was spent in understanding, preliminary working, planning of the project. This could include not only labour, stationary but patent ideas. On the other hand, the Client will never recover the time wasted in searching, identifying and engaging the professional. So all Discussions for fees, even if agreeable, must be backed by a detailed communication in writing. Negotiating a fee is not always an inevitable issue, as many clients accept a professional’s proposition, without arguments. But Fees Negotiation could become a long drawn, tiring and worrisome process. A client may not be asking for a discount, but just trying to understand the fees completely.

A professional ethically may not Discount a stated Fee for a promise to get further work or favour. Similarly a (registered) professional must not participate in any tender like procedures, or pay any amount as a Guarantee Money for their services.

640px-small_group_conversation_at_a_gurteen_knowledge_cafe

Negotiations could be tough Wikipedia image by Dgurteen 

.

Links to some of my Blogs relating to   DESIGN FEES

.

MANAGING FEES -for Building Design practices PART – IV

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/09/05/managing-fees-for-building-design-practices-part-iv/

MANAGING FEES -for Building Design practices PART – III

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/21/managing-fees-for-building-design-practices-part-iii/

MANAGING FEES -for Building Design practices PART – II

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/managing-fees-for-building-design-practices-part-ii/

MANAGING FEES -for Building Design practices PART – I

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/managing-fees-for-building-design-practices-part-i/

PROFESSIONAL FEES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/professional-fees/

DETERMINATION of PROFESSIONAL FEES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/determination-of-professional-fees/

FEES NEGOTIATIONS WITH A CLIENT

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/01/02/fees-negotiations-with-a-client/

DESIGNERS DILEMMA – RIGHT FEES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/designers-dilemma-right-fees/

DESIGN FEES

http://talking-interior-design.blogspot.in/2013/08/design-fees.html

INTERIOR DESIGN and CLIENTS

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/interior-design-and-clients/

CLIENT and DESIGN PROFESSIONAL -Relationship

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/client-and-design-professional-relationship/

PROFILING CLIENTS

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/profiling-clients/

A PROFESSIONAL and PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOUR

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/a-professional-and-professional-behaviour/

COMMITTING a CLIENT for JOB

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/committing-a-client-for-job/

DESIGN ORGANIZATIONS and ENTITIES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/design-organizations-and-entities/

Differentiating COST from VALUE -Interior Design Practice

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/differentiating-cost-from-value-interior-design-practice/

DELIVERABLES from ORGANIZATIONS

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/deliverables-from-organizations/

INTERIOR DESIGNER – the role

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/interior-designer-the-role/

.

PERFORMANCE of a DESIGN EMPLOYEE

Post 555  by Gautam Shah

.

Design organizations need people of many different talents, but usually just for the duration of a project. Design organizations employ people with only requisite talent. Larger design organizations have some capacity to reassign and keep engaged the talent, but smaller organizations, go for ‘hire and fire’ policy. Design organizations, like other business entities, relate the performance of an employee to the profitability. For Design organizations human resources are very important assets, unlike in manufacturing units where productivity of machines and the raw material costs have greater significance.

cdc_graphic_artists_at_work

The employee perceives own performance in terms of compensation, personal fulfillment, future promotion and skill gain. When an employee has a chance to any of these, the person is well motivated. But an Employer sees performance as a tool for immediate profit to be gained at a specific cost. The organization, even after a person is employed continuously reassess the performance and relevance. The assessment relies on capacity of the individual to handle new roles with increased responsibilities. Performance can be conditioned as the enhanced capacity to deal with more complex or new problems, share of responsibility, greater authority, etc.

640px-mark-shuttleworth-launchpad-wiesbaden-big

image attribution >Sladen at en. wikipedia

During employment performance of a person is considered on many factors such as individual ability, personality traits, input effort, sincerity, perception of the role, motivating factors for seeking the current position, etc. An employee can be motivated for gain, comfort, increased learning, or even enhanced motivation.

Architects-office1

Θ Designers under the age of 30, have few positive operants in their favour, like: highest mobility -capacity to settle at any geographical location, work under the most difficult of conditions, and highest learning abilities. These qualities are very appreciated by employers, and so desire to hire people either as a complete fresher or less than 30 years of age (i.e. with 5/6 years of experience).

Θ A person before the age of 35 must gain the varied experiences and find the best employment in a larger organization, look for a participatory role in mid or smaller size organization. Alternatively this is the right time to plan own professional practice (self employment).

Θ Design professionals, by the age of 35 years begin to mature with sufficient work experience, personal contacts, and specialized knowledge. But they also begin to have Negative operants like: reduced learning capability, lesser reorientation faculties, less motivation, less migration and reestablishment willingness.

Θ Design professionals have last opportunity, before the age of 45 years, for seeking fresh employment. It is now the last opportunity to convert all accumulated abstract gains of the past (experience, expertise, know-how) into promotion or other materialistic forms.

Θ The chances of re-employment taper of drastically beyond the age of 45 years. Only way a designer can hope to shift the position is by joining another organization as partner, senior associate, consultant or a free-lancer. Such opportunities are very few, and would demand persons with outstanding competence and capacity to contribute.

london_fashion_designers-_the_work_of_members_of_the_incorporated_society_of_london_fashion_designers_in_wartime2c_london2c_england2c_uk2c_1944_d23072

The employer terminates the services of an employee when the person becomes irrelevant for a role for behavioural or technical reasons. Employees in spite of the experience are not able to cope up with emerging technologies, or are unable to reset with changed office work culture. Employees become lethargic with advancing age, show unacceptable social behaviour and resist shifting to a new location.

Performance is not any absolute index but a contextual evaluation. The circumstantial conditions are, the employer as a human being, ever-changing needs of the organization, work culture at the place of employment and the optional talents available. The other set of contextual conditions are, the employee’s age, learning capacity, chances of promotion and compensation and optional opportunities for re-employment.

640px-creaviva_im-bild-sein_lehrer-bildung

Wikipedia image by Creaviva

 .

DESIGN PROJECTS and CLIENTS

Post 538  by Gautam Shah

.

Projects come to a Designer through many different channels. One of the simplest and obvious source is through a (user) Client. The client, in a very simplistic term is a person who pays for the design services. But a client may or may not be the person to own or use the entity to be delivered. Clients and Professional both need to have a right to initiate the relationship. The right to be a client, though fundamentally derives from the capacity to pay or compensate for the design creation services, it has many other facets. A person as a client must have:

1 investible resources or finance to execute a project; 2 a space or site as land or building for the project, 3 some form of experience; expertise or knowledge as to what the project is or know how to secure the same; 4 and an intense desire, aspiration, vision or motivation for the project.

Shop in the The Crystals in Las Vegas wikipedia image by Author Gryffindor

Clients must have a need for the design services. A project, which is fairly complex, requires some expert input, and must be handled by a professional. A client on own could have the qualifications or organizational backing to generate a design for the project, but may be circumstantially restrained to do so. Government officials and persons in charge of an organization as an employee must remain at ‘arms length where their positional neutrality can be questioned. Such clients must hire external or independent professionals.

flicker image by love2dreamfish

A client realizes the potential for a project when the assets such as land, building, money; and personal qualities like knowledge, expertise, experience; remain unexplored, or are not providing sufficient gains. In case of assets the financial adviser provides clues how to explore the situation. Personal qualities motivate a person to an activity to pursue. For the first set, the financial expert suggests the ways, and agency who can give a shape to it. For the second set, the person with knowledge, expertise, experience, will still need an agency to formulate the project. For both the cases the agency could be a project consultant or a designer. Financial advisers and project consultants are the largest referring agencies for designers. Next lot of design assignments arrive from designers of other branches of design. An architect would need services of structural, interior or landscape designer. An interior designer would have to depend on an architect, structural or landscape designer.

wikipedia image by Author Derzsi Elekes Andor

To initiate a project, a professional requires some prime information or mandatory data. The clients’ potential for a project, reflects in the nature of data, available to generate a design. Providing prime information or mandatory data is both, a client’s duty and right. A professional must get basic data like the nature of ownership or rights of access to the site, site identity, design requirements, nature and sources of funds to implement the design. A professional can get such data from other sources, yet to check out the capacity and sincerity of a client, the design professional demands such information during the first meeting. A professional relationship is initiated with handing over data by the client, to a designer. Provision of data by a client, is a token of job commitment and retention of the professional’s services. Provision of data to a design professional is a clients’ right. A client may exercise that right to control the cost (by appointing own agencies) and accuracy of the data.

Non specific groups as clients > Wikipedia image by Author Jaimoen87

Small individual clients, casually begin to discuss their needs and dreams. A professional must accept such submissions formally by acknowledging it in writing. Organized clients, with complex projects bring in a brief or project programme. Non specific groups as clients, like a statutory body representing a mass of faceless clients, may have nothing more than the assignment title and appointment letter to offer at the start of a job. Virtually no data is offered. Projects postulated by other professionals, come with extremely detailed brief.

Projects postulated by other professionals, come with extremely detailed brief. >>> Wikipedia image by Author Smallworldsocial Permission (Reusing this file) http://www.smallworldsocial.com/press

.

MANAGING FEES -for Building Design practices PART – IV

Post 511 by Gautam Shah

.

Town_Hall_Shimla_Restoration_01

Building Design firms often provide many different design services, such as Architecture, Interior Design, Structure, Interiors, Landscape, etc. And within these broad range of groups, the actual services may relate to New constructions, Renovations, Alterations, Extensions, valuation and project assessment, project feasibility reports, etc. The projects, when handled simultaneously rarely remain within the confines of well-documented definitions. Like some pre-emptive work for interior or landscape design will occur in the architectural scheme. And when the post building construction, other services are prematurely terminated, the ‘pre-emptive’ work will not get paid.

Serpentine BP Pedestrian Bridge by architect Frank Gehry’s Buckingham Wikipedia image by Author Torsodog

The Louvre Museum

These services occur in different schedules, and their scopes are based on very different criteria. Building design fees are chiefly collected on the basis of floor spread or footprint, except in few countries where it may be based on hours spent on it. The floor spread based varies with the type of project. Fees charged for Architectural projects include the construction cost (built-up coast) + some extra for site development design works. Similarly structural design fees are computed on the construction costs, but that may be a small part, in comparison to costs of site development works like land contouring, retaining walls and other support entities. Interior Design fees cannot always be calculated on the basis of carpet area, as lot of materials and objects are retained or reused.

Maggie’s Care Centre, Glasgow, Scotland Wikipedia – Flickr image by Author scarpadog (Jon-Marc Creaney)

In a group or associated practices the savings occur from the seamless handling of a project. This occurs when common entities are detailed or specified just once. Like for Landscape design site structures (pavings, curbs, retaining walls, water-body formations) are specified with architectural details. Electrical layout for architecture and Interior design is nearly identical.

Schönes Deutschland
Das Haus der Deutschen Kunst in München.

Lomonosov_Moscow_State_University),_October_2010

Yet, in all these, the most important issue, vis a vis a client that comes through is, What should be, and How to determine the Cost of the job? The term Total Cost of Job nominally means to include all the costs of actually executing the designed job, similar costs of inputs from other design consultants or agencies, and the cost of all the peripheral work executed on the site through or by owners themselves or their agents, during the Currency period of the Design Services. The total Cost of Job will also include the estimated value of the work being preserved or maintained on the site.

interior-of-maintenance-shop Public Domain images by Hillebrand Steve, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

At the start of a design project, the total cost of the job, is not available. As a result some notional figure is determined, to bill the first installment of fees or a lump-sum figure is used for first bill. This figure is determined on the basis of total cost of the job, but more importantly the intellectual rights of design formation. To determine the cost of a job, spread of the job or the built-up area is very useful. Structural engineers often base the fees on RCC (or structural) component of the project or a percentage of fees payable to the architect. Interior designers base their fees on Carpet area, but more surely on Interior Design intervention area, which is more rational or realistic. In spite of this in a group or associated practices it becomes difficult to derive a common fee’s formula.

618px-Amdavad_ni_gufa

The Louvre Museum

.