It’s Thursday, it must be Jakarta! Life’s a bit like that as Creative Director of a design firm which has projects all over the globe. Although it doesn’t mean I’m hopping on a plane every few days, I’m happy to report, as I often have to conjure up cultures from the comfort of our studio in Sydney.

So today it’s Indonesia. I have visited this country before but this time I set out on a digital journey researching the city, the cultural influences, the people and the environment.

Traditional musical instruments are a theme I’m exploring as the owner of the hotel we are commissioned to refurbish, nostalgically recalled the days when a music troupe would serenade guests with lovely old gongs, angkungs and ugals.

I’m going for a contemporary look but I will find ways to incorporate old Jakarta into the concepts because I know that’s what the owner will want. He hasn’t said as much, but a large part of my job is to read people and interpret what will be acceptable to them. Then of course, I must consider the operators of the hotel – they are the brand – and they have strong opinions too.

Often the opinions don’t match!

I guess that’s the art – finding a design path that will satisfy all stakeholders while doing what I think is right for the property.

A good client/designer dynamic, which I’ve spent years learning how to achieve, without a doubt results in the most beautiful projects.

The truth is, a design is rarely developed to its full potential if the designer’s sensibilities and aesthetic are in conflict with the purse holder’s!