What is an expert?
"Experts see the world differently. They notice things nonexperts don't see. They home in on the information that matters most and have an almost automatic sense of what to do with it. And most important, experts process the enormous amounts of information flowing through their senses in more sophisticated ways" - Joshua Foer
This quote is taken from a recent book I read called Moonwalking with Einstein. If you get a chance, I encourage you to read it. Its about the power of the brain and the author's year long quest to improve his memory. There is a section in the book, about experts and how certain professionals excel and have skills that lay people are bewildered by. One of the professions the author looks into is the London Cabby. A taxi driver driving a black cab in London has to take a test, to be licensed called the knowledge. The examination is possibly the most difficult test in the world — demanding years of study to memorise the labyrinthine city’s 25,000 streets and any business or landmark on them. I grew up in London and can't begin to fathom how they do this.
Luckily though I do know how to be an expert in my field. I graduated 20 years ago with a degree in Interior design and have been honing my expertise ever since. I believe the key to becoming and expert it to continually try to improve your skill.
I was on site with a potential client last year. There were several elements that needed updating to meet current code (The building was a 1980’s time warp). There were issues with the washrooms and stairs just to name a few.
One of the gentlemen I was meeting with said that they had a couple other designers through that space and none of them picked up on the issues I raised. These other designers that the client meet with were obviously not familiar with the national building code, which I personally find kind of scary. Unfortunately, in Alberta, designers do not have to be registered to be working in the profession, this is different in other provinces like British Columbia and Ontario.
If you are looking at hiring an interior designer, I suggest you do your homework first. There are lots of qualification out there, but the gold standard for a designer is the NCIDQ certification within the US and Canada. This guaranties the individual has expertise in understanding and applying current codes established to protect public health, safety, and welfare.
Thanks for reading my, blog and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.