Do you believe?

Design is like magic—it takes two to be successful. It takes a designer (magician) and a client (audience). Both have to be believers. The designer has to believe in his own inventiveness—to routinely make something that’s novel and unpredictable. And the client has to believe implicitly in his designer’s abilities to show up with something new—it’s part of the equation. Like the magician, a designer’s performance gets better with practice and experience. Think Houdini. Audiences go to see magicians to be amazed, to see unreal things happen before their eyes. It’s a certain mindset of the audience that produces success for the magician. Just the same, the client has to take partial ownership in his designer’s failure or success. Doubt is the enemy of both magic and design. A client’s reluctance to believe fosters narrow vision. A client that looks through the lens of doubt only sees the expected and misses the improbable and the unusual. On the other hand, the client that is a believer will see the magic—and witness the surprises that can change perceptions and opinions. The goal is not to be safe but to be transported—and that takes belief. Like the magician that is applauded, the designer that is supported will continue to amaze his client and his client’s audience.