So an ESC, a Builder, an Interior Designer and an Architect Walk into a Ballroom Together…
The electronics guy was spouting all kinds of fascinating, bewildering, futuristic, visionary stuff about carrying “presence” from the home out into the world, Web 2.0, and virtual alter egos who buy shoes for homeowners.
The builder, a practical and successful professional, couldn’t help but chuckle while good-naturedly reacting, “I don’t know anything about what he just said.”
The interior design expert, a true-blue urban sophisticate, made no bones of her disdain for the overuse of cell phones, the quaint concept of “family time” gathered around TVs above fireplaces, and any visual hint of electronics gear in the home whatsoever.
The architect, perhaps the most methodical and holistically-aware of the bunch, said, “It can get out of hand, all of this electronics,” and lamented vocabulary-based misunderstandings such as in the case of “simple,” which means “downscale” to him and “ultra-expensive” to the electronics installer.
This was the Industry Experts Panel, the climax of CEDIA’s ambitious Electronic Lifestyles EXPO, held last month at the Venetian in Las Vegas. For the record, it consisted of Rich Green, president of system integration and design firm Rich Green, Ink; Johnnie Long Sr., owner of J. Long Builder; Diane Dorrans Saeks, interior design lecturer, writer and editor; and Mark Demerly, owner of Demerly Architects.
The panel was an illustrative, enlightening gathering. And while I’m playing up some of the more stereotypical aspects of the discussion and of the panelists, the truth is that if you placed other prominent people from each of those fields on the dais, the debate probably would have developed in a similar fashion, more or less.
It’s clear that all four disciplines have a lot of misunderstanding and mistrust among them and ahead of them. There is much, much work to do in the interest of forming relationships and spreading the spirit—and, more importantly, the effective execution—of collaboration in each new home.