I am an exhibition designer. It’s my job to create unique and strange items for clients.
One client needed designs for a Chinese New Year gala dinner, including a stage backdrop and props to entertain his guests.
The initial brainstorming went really well, and he approved my design concepts quickly. I set to work and was making great progress – until he had a new idea.
Client: I saw this great video with a kaleidoscope tunnel.
He sent me the video – it was really beautiful! It would be expensive to make but the client seemed ready to pay.
Client: The mirrors in that tunnel are triangles, though. Since this is for Chinese New Year and five is an auspicious number for the Chinese, I want them to be pentagon shaped instead.
I start doing the research, and soon find out that his request is actually impossible. Kaleidoscopes produce their patterns BECAUSE the mirrors are triangular – trying to create the same effect with pentagons would produce a hall of mirrors, NOT a kaleidoscope.
I tried to explain this to the client.
Client: Just go ahead and try it first.
Me: The reflection won’t be anything like the video you sent me, it would be all over the place. Are you okay with that?
Client: I believe you can do it! Just do your best.
Me: The problem is it’s going to be very expensive to produce and not what you want. Will you be happy with a mirror hall?
Client: Oh, it has to be a pentagon kaleidoscope. I’m sure you can make it work.
I tried my best to convince him otherwise, but his faith that I could break the laws of physics was unshakeable.
It didn’t end well.