January 27th, 2023 / 2 min read
In a nutshell, construction sites are a difficult ecosystem that really tests your limits and the level of patience that you eventually begin to nurture and cultivate. Construction sites in a way also represent a parallel microcosm of real life. When you are on site, you are bombarded with unexpected problems, issues that you hadn’t forecasted for, different people and their communication methods, ideas that you did not want to do but are somehow forced upon you, external conditions that you are now forced to deal with and more.
When discussing the harsh realities of construction sites with Nina, Concept Me’s founder, it was interesting to note that, to her, construction sites had actually made her a calmer individual. The main lesson Nina notes that she had learnt from being in the business and spending quite a lot of time on construction sites is: accepting errors and working towards solving them rather than mulling them over. The very nature of construction sites is extremely fast-paced, overwhelmingly complex and constantly changing. This challenging environment eventually makes you the kind of person who takes deep breaths and proceeds with solving the issues that arise.
While designers, architects and those who are creative always love to visualize their job as one where they exist in a beautiful environment and create beautiful spaces, they are faced with the harsh reality of a construction site that is anything but beautiful. The loudness, the mess, the physical challenge of it all and the difficult people you sometimes have to arrange and align with all compile into an overwhelming mode of work. But that is why construction sites also come as a very direct and effective crash course in leadership.
As per our conversation with Nina on the topic, she mentioned that being on site had actually allowed her to witness the changes in her character and her development. According to Nina, the experience of managing a construction site also teaches you how to communicate with people that are not like you. It teaches you how to bear responsibility for other peoples’ actions and it teaches you how to be a leader and how to stick through regardless of all the obstacles. Construction forces people to put aside their differences and work together.
The question remains, why do we put up with construction sites and tie ourselves up in this love-hate relationship? The simple answer is that once you set eyes on that final product, once you see your vision set in stone, all the other pains and issues seem to fade by themselves. Nina ‘poetically’ compared the process to going through labor … and in a way she was right! Moreover, watching people respond to your design in reality, witnessing their reaction at seeing your vision executed has always been priceless to Nina, because she is fascinated by watching people interact with space and their environment, so what better feeling than watching them experience spaces that she had designed personally?
At the end of the day, design is probably useless without construction. In the same way that the Yin & Yang bring balance to everything, the Yin of Design is balanced by the Yang of Construction. But one cannot exist without the other – and in that, there exists a lot of beauty and a lot of projects that come to life.
Written by Ziad Al Nahas - Brand Consultant
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