Well, here it is the start of summer vacation – for the kids, that is. And I am reminded of last year’s summer vacation when I took my children to Spain. Pamplona for the running of the bulls, Barcelona – (WOW! What an awesome city), Seville, and Madrid. Of course, my very favorite part of European vacations is (as you might well imagine) soaking up all of the architecture. Everywhere you look, there is something incredible to feast your eyes upon.
I had the pleasure of going to a lovely networking event this evening. Okay, maybe it wasn’t lovely, but it was a nice event – as those things go. Free wine, good food, friendly faces, new contacts. No complaints. Well, except for one.
As I approached the building, I could hear a low roar coming from inside. I thought to myself, “Wow, it’s either really crowded in there, or it was very poorly designed.” (Yes, I actually do have thoughts like that. I’m not exactly sure what that says about me. Uh, let’s not go there right now.)
Anyway, I was right – on both accounts. It was a well attended event with quite a few people. But as I entered the octagonal space – maybe 25 feet in diameter with a 25 foot ceiling, I immediately saw the problem. It had a huge volume of space with hard surfaces everywhere – no carpet, no cushy furniture, no sound absorbing material anywhere.
Aesthetically, it looked perfectly well designed. The travertine flooring, the wood beamed ceiling, the granite bar top, the giant windows – all very attractive. I’m sure that if there hadn’t been any people in there, you wouldn’t even have noticed the architect’s and designer’s mistakes.
But there were people in there – just the way the space was intended to be used. Unfortunately, the design professionals forgot to take all these talking, walking, noisy people into consideration when they chose the design of this space. Hmmmm… pity. It could have been such a lovely place for our networking event.
Design… it’s everywhere we look. Every building, every sign, every gadget we use. Furniture, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, doors, picture frames, shoes, spoons, toothbrushes. Okay, yes, I’m really starting to name random objects. But you see what I’m getting at, don’t you? Our world is truly designed. Each of these items did not come into existence on its own; someone DESIGNED them. Some designs are better than others. Some more functional. Some more appealing. Let’s start our journey today looking at the design around us. Analyze it, scrutinize it, love it, hate it – just don’t ignore it.