This is one of my favourite David Hickey quotes, it's from this talk (Link., which is part 2 of 5.) An editorial in Salon today about the viability of the Creative Class and its place in management culture reminded me of it. (Link.)
These resonate with me because I have one foot in the applied arts and the other in the fine arts. My role in the applied arts is that of a technician, which makes me more of an observer than a participant in design decisions. One of the things that's bothered me about the design process is the extent to which excellence is not a goal. I've kind of decided that excellence can't be the primary goal in a commercial context because the foundation of excellence is failure, and the foundation of a business is repeatable success. Anyway, in design you end up in a situation where being honest will ensure you don't get work. This is when I thank my lucky stars I am a lowly technician.
A couple weeks ago I tied up my home and work machines rendering sixty colors, eight views each for a color selection on a building facade. Beige was chosen unanimously. Did I waste my time? Yes. It wasn't arduous to make the renders, and I didn't mind making them; it just involved writing a small script to swap out the colors and change views. I made them because I would have wanted to see my options in context, if I were the decision maker. This is the "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" effect.