A Philosophical Discussion on Design
November 11, 2017
As I was leaving an art installation at one of my client's homes last week, I asked my art installer, Frank Keller, about this obsessive question that's been on my mind so much lately, and he said, without hesitation, that not only is design infinite, but it goes a step beyond that… He said-- our lives, the way we view history and our current and past experiences are also infinite in that perspectives change from minute to minute and certainly from generation to generation. One's perspective of any given moment of our physical environment, as well as exterior influences, are constantly fluid and changing.
So, how do we ever decide or come up with a design for a furniture piece, a room, a house? How do we ever know which fabric to select and what element is going to be the linchpin of the space?
I realized that it distills itself down to the moment that the designer is inspired. That there was something the client said or wore or the way they moved. There was something not concretely there, but an overall feeling of what was desired. All those infinite clues are the things that drive a single decision that sparks the creation that ultimately makes the design.
So really, one room is a moment locked in time, or the moments that existed at the time of the design and during the process -- one moment at a time. The moment that the designer takes in their experience with the client, shops for a fabric-- mood of the day, requirement of the project, desired feeling of the room. The days that the designer and client shopped --what the weather was like, their moods and what the stores were offering at that moment...
And the result is a completed room that exists physically, but the experiences we hope to have in that space are infinite and wonderful and full of life in all its glory and complexity.