Monday, October 31, 2011


Designers sometimes hear the phrase, "I'm/he's/she's so visual!"

This, I've discovered, usually translates to a designer as: "No you/he/she aren't."

This misleading statement is, I think, due to a difference in definition.  "Visual" to a Designer means you think visuals are important, you value them, and you can see them in your head because you can imagine what something will look like.  To the Non-Designer I think (it's a foreign tongue so I'm guessing), "visual" seems to mean that you literally have to SEE it - for real, in all full physical reality - to understand it.

Kinda the opposite, huh?

I suspect there is a misunderstanding - because I've worked with a few "so visual!" directors.  I've even acted out scenery for them with the help of several people, boxes, sticks, and spike tape at full scale... and this was after the model, the perspective drawings, the construction drawings, the sketches, and a fair amount of hand-waving.

Just a heads-up, Fellow Designers.  "So visual!" can be so misleading.

As for the REAL directoral rattlesnake-warning phrase, it's "I'm open to other ideas."
image courtesy of

There's a pretty funny (mildly insulting!) report on the architectural versions of these warning rattles at Life of an Architect.

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