So how does creativity play a role in a good design?

My long-held theory is that we are all connected to certain places we've been. It can be either places we have lived, or places we have simply visited. These places, just like certain scents and foods make a lingering impression on our psyche. Just like you know almost instantly whether you feel comfortable around certain people; you can have the same instant feelings about a place. You either feel comfortable, or you don't. Most times you can't pinpoint why you feel the way you do. You just do.

While there are certainly more obvious examples I can give - like knowing that there are certain places I have lived that I will never live again; due mostly to negative experiences. There are other more subtle reasons that I feel comfortable in a space. For example, I know I like a sofa with down cushions that you can sink into. Why? Because my grandparent's owned one and when I wanted to take a nap in a peaceful part of the house, I could go into the living room and curl up on that sofa. And so for me, sofas with a harder cushion just don't make me feel comfortable. (Notice the connection between space and feeling?)

Another sofa style I really love is one with a clean line and a tight back (tuxedo style) in ultrasuede or leather. This sofa style is almost the exact opposite of the big down-cushioned sofa I described above. I probably wouldn't use this in a room I planned to make myself totally comfortable in, but I would use it in a room where I wanted to be alert, creative, and/or playful. This is because I connect this style of sofa with my parent's sofa that I grew up with. It was in the family room of my parent's house. I was always pretty active there, often sitting on the floor with my back against the front of the sofa. So today, if I want to create a room where I want to elicit similar feelings, I could use that style with maybe some floor pillows, (now that I'm older) and some soft carpeting and room to store creative activities. Walking into this room would immediately bring out creativity and playfulness.

I have known other people that have escaped a wonderful apartment or house simply because they were still seeking comfort. I have also known of cases where people sought, what might seem, less-than-ideal spaces because it reminded them of home. From the outside, it appears that people just don't make sense. But that's because the issues haven't been explored deeply enough.

I use art and creative exercises as a way to examine these lifestyle subtleties. I do so, because it's just not enough to make something look pretty or well designed. I want to make it work. I want people to feel at ease in a space, and I want people to embrace their creativity and take control of the outcome. The whole issue is collaborative. First our collaboration, then once the space is finished, your collaboration with your family and friends. Your thoughtfully designed spaces tell people how you want to live and interact with the rest of the world.

Creatively yours,


No comments: