How Design Starts

Design starts with a pattern in the sky, a curl in the stem of a plant, the swirl in a coffee cup. An idea. There is no one place from which it begins. And so the designer must grab serendipity and use it as a stepping stone, a starting point, and then choose from the infinite number of choices possible.

Inspiration is serendipitous. Design is hard work and trials and errors and execution. It is iteration and reiteration. It has a vocabulary that one must learn and develop to suit one’s own tastes and techniques. But inspiration can come from anywhere at any time. One just has to be ready and willing to accept it. This is the difference between a designer and a worker. A designer, if you will, an artist is always receptive to ideas, to chance, to coincidence. This requires awareness and desire to find new ideas. Be ready, have your notebook always with you. Keep your eyes open, there’s a huge world out there to explore with curiosity.

Join us at our next DESIGN: Open House Wednesday, May 21st from 6 to 7:30pm to get a glimpse of my own sense of curiosity. I found a museum in Paris over the last few years that is a treasure trove of ideas and forms masquerading as inventions and items of commerce. In Le Musee des Arts et Metiers, one can
find inspiration in every room. It is an astonishing place and I will show slides and talk about how forms can inspire a furniture designer.



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