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January 20, 2013

Client is always right

well, in almost all cases..!

Client is right even though he is wrong...

At one point of time every design professional realize that arguing with a client is not the way to prove a point. You may win over logic, but most of the times client will not take the advice. The case stands strong when the client in question has a very strong ego.


The subjective issues gets harder to get convinced as the fine line between logic and aesthetics mostly is a matter of better taste.

History teaches us that there is no any constant right. An absolute right today can be (and most surely) be wrong tomorrow. Your right choices are way different from the ones made a hundred years ago. A right choice in one geographic area/social fabric may not be right in another; examples galore. The glass boxes may be the right choice in a cold climate but can bring disastrous results in a hotter climate if not thoughtfully detailed. Similar is the case with different movements in art and architecture followed blindly during its times.

Client really thus has reasons to differ!

As professionals we sure have to guide our clients to the best solutions and most right choices under given parameters. If they aspire for a wrong choice, we have to correct them. The trick is not to argue and win.

There is a classic example of the situation in history.

In 1502, in Florence, Italy, the great Michelangelo was commissioned for a very prestigious work of a statue on an enormous block of marble which most considered not suitable for the work. Michelangelo was up for the challenge.

As Michelangelo was putting the final touches on the statue, Florence's Mayor Soderini entered the studio. Fancying himself a bit of a connoisseur, he studied the huge work, and told Michelangelo that while he thought it was magnificent, the nose, he judged, was too big. Michelangelo realized that Soderini was standing in a place right under the giant figure and did not have the proper perspective. Without a word, he gestured for Soderini to follow him up the scaffolding. Reaching the nose, he picked up his chisel, as well as a bit of marble dust that lay on the planks. With Soderini just a few feet below him on the scaffolding, Michelangelo started to tap lightly with the chisel, letting the bits of dust he had gathered in his hand to fall little by little. He actually did nothing to change the nose, but gave every appearance of working on it. After a few minutes of this charade he stood aside: "Look at it now." "I like it better," replied Soderini, "you've made it come alive."

Michelangelo knew that by changing the shape of the nose he might ruin the entire sculpture. Yet Soderini was a patron who prided himself on his aesthetic judgement. To offend such a man by arguing would not only gain Michelangelo nothing, it would put future commissions in jeopardy. Michelangelo was too clever to argue. His solution was to change Soderini's perspective (literally bringing him closer to the nose) without making him realize that this was the cause of his misperception. *

Client did was proved right!

Laws of power by Robert Greene

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