A peek into my world…

Here are a few photos of some my work:

If you need interior design services I’d be happy to help; please email me at: cjgraber@gmail.com

Hello… Hello Again!

Design…

When most people think of design,  designed items or designer they see dollar signs, and usually lots of them.  This isn’t necessarily always the case.

If you think about it, everything we use and touch in our daily lives was designed – to a greater or lesser extent.  Some are designed with much thought put into the end-user and how it will function.  Good examples of this are generally Mac products.  They are designed so that they are intuitive to use, beautiful to look at, and generally pretty durable, not to mention colorful.

 

In contrast, some things are put together with very little thought toward the end-user, how to maintain them or how they may look over time.  For instance: http://www.moxonarchitects.com/.  (“see PR 163/Olivers Place” under”commercial”)

The purpose of these spines is to shield the building from summer sun but not winter sun; an admirable goal, but questionable delivery.  Did they think about high wind? ice storms? maintenance? What happens in thirty years when these things begin randomly breaking off the building?  Will they need signs saying “enter at your own risk”?  After a wind storm – presuming the spines are still on the building; I can see all manner of debris skewered on them ranging from cardboard and plastic to branches and birds.  That thought brings up another question.  It seems these spines would provide a perfect roost/nesting area for all sorts of birds, and we’ve all seen what a mess birds can make under their roosts/nests.  Do you really want to ask clients to venture through that sort of mine field just to visit your office?

Sometimes designed doesn’t mean better it just means not usual, different or expected. When things are designed for design’s sake, in my opinion, this is when design has failed.

When all else fails remember: “Form follows function”, but temper “form” with some thought toward the end user’s needs.

Hello world!

Why design?

Design whether it be interior design, industrial design, architectural design, or widget design should follow certain parameters:

  • It should first and foremost serve what ever function its supposed to.
  • It then should go a step further and be easy and convenient to use.
  • Finally it should be pleasing to look at – beauty should never be attained at the cost of functionality.

All too often designers and architects get caught up in their own little design worlds and forget that the item they’re working on needs to serve a purpose greater than to simply gratify the creator’s ego.  Mies Van der Rohe said it well when he said “form follows function.”

He was of the opinion that any decoration that wasn’t functional had no business existing, but I’m not necessarily subscribing to his rigid  opinion.  I think that there is room for decoration in good design, but that the basis for the design must be first and foremost functionality.  Decoration is a bit like salt; a little goes a long way and too much quickly spoils the flavor.  Aesthetics, like food flavor/taste is subjective; however there are ranges that are societally deemed as acceptable to be considered “good taste” (no pun intended) or well designed.  These ranges are generally based in classicism.

If a designer designs a chair that is magnificently beautiful, but that can’t be sat in comfortably its not a good design (assuming that the intended use is to seat someone) – because it doesn’t serve its intended purpose.  At this point the chair ceases to be a chair and is simply a beautiful sculpture that resembles an object we normally sit upon.

So the answer to my posed question “why design”; is to make our world a better, more functional, more easily usable and finally more beautiful place to live and work in.