23rd October 2016
76 Victoria Rd
Visiting an old favourite for breakfast this week. To finish off an early morning cycle I stopped off at bakery 47 for some winter warmers. This place never ceases to amaze me. With an ever-changing lineup which just keeps getting better, they can't seem to put a foot wrong.
As a designer, it is often the case that we must compromise an initial vision to allow simpler manufacturing or to fit in with some form of regulations.
Over the past week or so I have repeatedly struggled to source a suitable manufacturing process for the project I am currently involved with. As I attempt to transform a lump of quarried marble into a clean cut, hollow cube, I find myself coming up against issues with scale requirements, tolerances, material nature, batch size, lead time and process capabilities to name a few. Given that I am still a student, this project definitely poses a steep learning curve as I work to delivery times, quality standards and for the first time, the requirement to create a product that will actually sell: all of which associate themselves with manufacturing considerations.
The first question I ask myself is should compromise be thought of as giving in? I think it would be brash to jump to this conclusion but in the moment this is how it feels when you are told that something can’t be done. After approaching the object in question from different angles, ranging from traditional stone carving to precision water jet cutting, I unfortunately finish the week having to accept the reality that my original proposal may not be possible. However, we must look at the positives of this compromise. The struggles have undoubtably deepened my thought process, forced me to experiment with form and arguably resulted in a concept that celebrates the material and process behind it. Perhaps we should look upon compromise not as a restriction but the facilitation of development.
Am I a bad designer for proposing a concept that must be compromised? Similar to before, after being knocked back by a manufacturer it is easy to ask yourself this question. To answer this we must look at a statement that often associates itself with the subject: “A designer’s will to not compromise will actually compromise the end result”. A good designer is not someone who finds a solution after a single try but someone who applies a scrupulous process to discovering the best solution, so we must again look upon compromise as a form of development.
From an emotional perspective, how does the designer deal with this? Compromise can often feel like rejection and it can be hard to force yourself to adapt. Acceptance is often key, but what this week has taught me is that as long as you don’t accept the first no that you receive, or the second, or the third and keeping pushing your vision, what you end up with is a compromise that doesn’t weigh you down and leaves you feeling as though you were able to reach a compromise not settle for one.
At the end of the week I find myself with a marble cube with a hole in the centre. Not exactly the finished product but progress.
I’m sure that as a more experienced designer I will look back at this and laugh at my naïve student self as I understand how the real world of client relations, budgets and manufacturing considerations play an ever increasing role in design, but I felt it necessary to reflect upon my thoughts from this week in order to understand the process and hopefully, come Monday morning, have a fresh outlook on how to approach this project.
Once again I am not dissapointed by my trip to the bakery. On this visit I sampled their Sourdough toast, sweet potato humous, peanut butter, maple syrup and spinach option; which was just as amazing as it sounds. Complemented by a slice of spiced pumpkin pie, of which the results can be seen below. Definitely on my recommendation list for anyone looking for a breakfast spot in Glagsow's Southside.