Everyone’s a designer

Author: Steph Bradshaw

It’s moments before show time and the team is rushing around putting the final touches on the space. Fluffing cushions, shifting tables just two inches to the left/right/ back. This is just one of many situations the inner designer comes out of your average person. “Please centre that table.” “I disagree, shift it to the left.” This is when everyone becomes a designer.

As someone from a design background – you probably think I’m being precious. But I see it at every event and in every agency. Suddenly everyone is an expert in things like symmetry and colour matching, and everyone is just trying to get the job done.

It’s not confined to the world of environment design. I see them surround the graphic designer at work, a sea of potential Art Directors (including myself). We all hover around the young and talented graphic designer we are lucky enough to have here at Bunch. I’m not immune. But I am aware.

The truth is, everyone just wants to help. The job isn’t quite right yet, it’s unfinished and that’s how it looks. But I have come to a realisation. It’s unfair. Not because everyone shouldn’t help. But, because to shift, push, prod things before the designer/stylist/florist is finished, is unfair. Because to change things too early doesn’t give the designer a chance to complete their own vision, make it right in their own eyes. And that’s when you get their best work.

So before judging the work of a stylist at a recent event, I took the least travelled route. I stood back and waited until she was happy and asked for feedback. Then I helped. Because nothing designed by committee was ever designed well.

Design is a powerful tool. When done well it has great potential. So gift your designer with all the information you have and then stand back and watch the magic happen.


  1. Rowena Horne

    It can be equally annoying though when you come in at the end with a right hook (sharp u-turn etc) and everyone choruses “but we’ve already decided” (and done ten versions, tried the vases the other way, moved the stool three times etc). So how to balance ensuring you are critiquing the ‘final product’ versus allowing 3hrs of potentially wasted effort to occur…then piping up!

  2. Meg

    True words right there. Especially about the chiming in before the design work is done!

  3. Ro Allen

    Design is an artform. A road travelled. It takes a lifetime to excel.
    Experience is everything. Patience is paramount. Be unwavering if your are producing a space, work etc. have confidence and don’t be afraid. Try to verbalise your own reasoning.
    Address the subjects of the composition, camera angle, light source or direction etc.
    Speaking clearly and convincingly is important. Do not speak in short hand that only trivialises the effort of all. Speak well. Do not participate in group clusters. Stand back and wait for the dust to settle. Presumably you are being paid for your skill.


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