Where are the Winks?

Vittoria Haritos Blog

A couple of years ago, Jaclyn and I were introduced to one of our client’s consultants and he referred to himself as a “Thought Architect”.  He is a chef-owner and has envisioned and implemented over twenty successful restaurant concepts.  They range from casual to fine dining with menus that include cuisines from across the globe.  Giorgios is eccentric yet engaging, he embodies the ability to sell ice to an eskimo.

 
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As with many industries, it can be daunting when a project team increases with new team members.  It can also be confusing when the roles of those people overlap too.  Instead of being apprehensive and feeling like our toes were being stepped on, we decided to consider that we might learn a great deal from this consultant.  As a company, we strive to operate in a state of possibility instead of assuming and speculating.  It takes work and it’s not always the natural inclination of our mind, but we’ve found it to be immensely powerful in our relationships, both personally and professionally.

 
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As the project progressed, collaborating with Giorgios became an exciting challenge.  He pushed and pulled on our ideas and always questioned us with, “Where are the winks?!”  A wink to him is an unexpected surprise within an interior that delights customers, often with a slight edge of humor.  It could be using found objects in a quirky way or integrating art into the architecture of a space.  Really, the sky’s the limit! Whether you realize it or not, you’ve encountered winks  in many public spaces and it's because the interior designer behind that space intentionally thought outside the box.  We make sure to consider where the winks occur in all of our projects.

 
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I believe that we could have had an entirely different outcome had we not checked our egos and been open to collaboration.  In the end, we are walking away from a wildly successful restaurant project and clients who we now consider friends.  My advice - drop your ego. It may not be your initial thought but, let your second or even third thought be why not?