By: Victoria Numbers, NCIDQ, RID
As designers and creators of the built environment, we are responsible for the health, safety and welfare of the public who live, work, and play in our spaces. This charge is taken seriously by the profession and we work diligently to ensure that building codes are met, products and materials are specified correctly and projects are executed smoothly. We are also human and always learning through experience. When a detail, installation or product does not turn out as we had envisioned, we must set aside our pride to admit that there may have been a better solution.
The concept of sharing ‘lessons learned’ not only with the project team, but also with co-workers and fellow designers outside of your firm is an incredible opportunity to bring awareness to potentially common questions or oversights. Our design publications regularly offer examples of innovative, sustainable, and beautiful projects and valuable CEU materials, but I’ve often wondered why there never seems to be a section titled ‘Don’t do it This Way’ or simply ‘Lessons Learned’. How much could we learn and grow as an industry if there were a database for designers to post this type of information?
So let’s not shy away from discussing our missteps and asking questions of our design colleagues in an effort to learn not only from each other’s successes, but from our failures too!