I discovered a curious phenomenon recently. Logical, but curious.
Rather than ‘have a go’ at stuff, I’ve learnt from experience to seek out professionals to do the things I’m not skilled enough to do myself. Similarly, things I’m not qualified to do I won’t attempt either.
Having said that, I do expect a lot from the experts I choose. The kind of expectations that someone whose profession demands a high level of attention to detail would exhibit, in fact. And that doesn’t just extend to the job itself, but all the wrapping too. The communications, the customer relations, the ease of transaction. Efficiency, adaptability and a service which is fleet-of-foot is important too.
Is it lazy? Is it profligate? I don’t know. But I’ve been asked to sort out quite a few messes made by pretenders to my own profession ‘having a go’ at stuff. So I tend to value people I see as experts in their own fields and listen to what they say.
So, the curious but logical thing I mentioned at the start of this post is something I think is best described as curating. What does a curator do? In this instance a curator collects together an array of items which, when assembled, forms a body of work which is greater than the sum of the individual parts (you’ll see where I’m going with this if you’ve read my recent blogs on free-solo PTW builds and Hawaiian Style). However, as important as the selection and gathering process itself, the curator is also defined by their management of this endeavour…for a client.
I discovered this curation service when chatting to Stu from Project PTW. Stu has a specialist sub-set of customers who trust in his expertise not only to construct and tune their PTWs, but to decide the aesthetic direction of the build as well. This could be in the form of periodic updates to small details, or an entire refresh. Customers just choose the magnitude of these changes and their level of input.
When the build is not an entirely blank canvas, the curator may not always have an entirely free hand. The customer may set constraints; introducing a part they see as a must have, for instance. The curator must therefore use their skill to formulate the build, so the part which would not normally be the curator’s first choice does not detract too much from the whole.
I liked the build below when I viewed it on Project PTW’s Facebook page. I was surprised to hear it had been curated by Stu. I consider Stu to have excellent taste, but normally you’d only see this level of care in part selection go into a personal free-solo build. It shows a passion for the form, which I would not expect from what is commercially contracted design work, if you think about it.
I think I’ve spotted a constraint or two which may have been suggested by the customer – but taken as a whole, it still looks awesome.