I am a designer. I design stuff.
When I introduce myself this way in Europe, the person would nod with understanding. In US it gets more complicated…They tend to ask ‘What kind of a designer?’ as if there is only one tiny compartment that you need to fit in and that’s it. You would almost expect that even if you say you are a graphic designer they would ask whether you design logos or book covers. It might also be a simple matter of small talk mastering. That I haven’t figured out yet. Although I don’t see small talk to be popular among New Yorkers.
There was a time when I naively believed architecture will be my profession for the rest of my life. But presenting myself as an architect wasn’t enough either.
‘But what KIND of architecture you do?’
And a white noise fills my head. Gee, it’s freaking architecture! You build buildings or interiors. What is the difference between hospital and a hotel except program? Even family houses don’t look all the same. With a subtle undertone of sarcasm I reply:
‘All of kinds.’ Not to sound too arrogant I try to explain ‘So far I designed everything from a bar, shop, cultural center, concert hall to apartments.’
Then I realized that architectural practice can be called only after you obtain a super intense, time consuming and demanding licence that takes away additional year of your already long study and above all transforms you into a full time bureaucrat when you have to deal with all possible municipal departments and officials. I figured that I have about zero patience to spend the whole day waiting in some corridor to get an opinion whether I can add a screen on the terrace or not. And when it is approved and built, another inspector might object it and there it goes…
So now I am a designer. What kind? Jewelry, product, interior, architectural (yes I still design buildings and interiors, I just don’t do paperwork for them), graphic and on top of that I do pretty decent photography.
Maybe I cannot choose or don’t want to. At the end of the day it is all just DESIGN. I’m not a doctor on monday and tuesday and a lawyer for the rest of the week .