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12.20 Facing Reality > 12.20 Facing Reality - Pg. 317

The Background CHAPTER 12 317 program, or build a skyscraper, each of these tasks has a sophisticated range of technical skills that must be mastered. It is safe to assume that the technical knowledge we employ can make or break a project. In judging the value of a new idea, always consider the skill level of the person who has created it. b. Apply storytelling techniques to your project. Understanding the narrative of your project will insure you are able to communicate its value both to the client, the world, and, most importantly, to yourself. The professional simply can't design effectively unless he or she can communicate a project's narrative, tell its back-story, and define the theme. All these "story tools"' help establish clear decision-making guideposts for the designer and communicate a project's value to its audience. c. Understand and respect the project environment. You can't design well unless you first understand, then respect, then influence, then reshape the early on. Early conceptual errors inevitably lead to predictable failures. The challenge is resolved by recycling, refining, and remod- eling emerging ideas through a series of tests. Fortunately, only simple tools are needed to do this. They are the sketch- pad, pencil (with a very large eraser), spreadsheet, card- board, knife, and that old dependable pot of rubber cement that holds ideas temporarily together (and I emphasize temporary). Used with skill, the correct application of these simple tools will seriously improve a project's chances of becoming a quality project, on time and on budget. n The challenge of maintaining a balanced attack. To create a quality solution, the designer must bal- ance issues of budget, time, and quality. As money becomes less available, time may have to expand. If a super emphasis is placed on quality, then perhaps both time and budget will need to expand. When deadlines are shortened, budgets may have to be increased, and perhaps quality (at some acceptable