Thursday, June 25, 2009

re:Work-ing it

Earlier I described my relationship with the design field as an unrequited love affair. But I could draw other comparisons. Have you ever been reunited with a former love only to find your passion re-ignited, despite the fact that you had convinced yourself it was over between the two of you? Last week at NeoCon was like that. After my unpleasant stints in various circles of retail hell, I had soured on the interior design field. I felt that I had been betrayed, spurned, and scorned by it. But now I can think of nothing else but reuniting with my long lost love.

After spending 3 solid days surrounded by design, I was sad to leave it all behind for my ordinary non-designer life. And so I was very glad that today's re:Work seminar gave me another reason to make my way back to the Merchandise Mart again.

I really appreciate what The Mohawk Group is doing for designers and architects who have been displaced by the recession. They see it as an opportunity to give back to friends who have supported them. A lot of people are out of work right now some of whom were in the industry over 10 years. It was sad to see their third floor showroom fill up with out of work designers, a few of whom I even recognized from Harrington. Some had many years of experience, while others were laid off from their first design job.

Despite this, the presenters were all very upbeat and positive. Some of the positive things I learned were that there is a lot of pent-up demand for our services and projects are on hold everywhere. The three dimensions of the design landscape that are changing—technology, environment, and demographics—are the three that out of work designers can increase their expertise in to become more marketable. They also provided valuable tips about resume writing, networking, researching potential companies, and job search strategies. The information they provided in the seminars was also supplemented with re:Work workbooks for us to take home. This was especially valuable to me since my work obligations prevented me from staying for the whole day.

I returned to work this afternoon thankful to still have a job, even though it is not in the design field, but still yearning to re-connect with my old flame, interior design. After attending re:Work, I'm ready to take the next steps toward mending my broken dream. I think I will start by updating my portfolio. And when I do, I'll be sure to post my designs here on my blog.


  1. I love your blog. I studied architecture and architectural history at university and have found the job marketing to be quite unsettling for the time being. I am basically searching for anything right now. I have little hopes of securing a position within any firm at the moment, and just hoping that in the coming months, the clients and money will start to emerge and get this whole show going again. :)

    It is sad, though. One of the firms I interned for a couple of summers ago are now down to 3-day work weeks. It's such a shame to see so many talented architects, engineers and designers all put on hold.

  2. Thanks so much for the compliment. I really appreciate it. I got a chance to take a look at yours. I love that raspberry cake recipe.

    You're right, it really is a shame that all of this has happened to so many promising designers. I hope your job search goes better.


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