So here we are, Twitterati and reasonably active members of the Design Blogoshpere, Concretedetail, Paul_Anater, Dogwalkblog and I, and we may have, not for the first time and assuredly not for the last, possibly tweeted each other into a corner. The question “What is successful Design?” and the subsequent challenge to simultaneously blog on the topic arose from a cute little “oh-my-gosh-who-would-have-ever-designed-such-ghastly-crap” blog that I had just published. When the post was criticized by one of my fellow bloggers on account of there being real problems like the oil-in-the-gulf fiasco and people who designed garbage like that only did it to get attention and I should not stoop to give them credence by writing about them.
I beg to differ on that POV. By writing in a way that people may find appealing, humorous, informative or even provocative, I create an audience. Now in order to keep an audience I have to keep things fresh and interesting even at the risk of having to employ the devious art of showcasing half-naked-sumo-wrestler-side-tables but in doing that, I now also have an audience which may occasionally listen to serious topics on design, products, business or even the oil spill.
But all this was just an aside and feeble attempt to remember how we got to asking the question in the first place.
But here it is: When do we call design successful? Is it when people ooh and aah? Is it when it ends up in Architectural Digest? Is it when a homeowner call his designer and tells him that for the first time his “house is now a home”? Or is it even successful when something is so much of a train wreck – I do have to ask..the chair(?)above, who the $&*# designed that? – that people talk about it and spread it from blog to blog? They’re all design and in their way successful but wherein do we gauge their success?
Notice how I didn’t even dare bring up the idea of a design being more profitable than others, ha, what nonsense. Is it not often the design we pour ourselves into, and oeuvre d’Art that is all consuming and by “all” I mean one’s time, one’s energy, one’s ability to focus on any other project and one’s profit ? So no, money can’t be the big indicator here.
My answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind. To me there is no right or wrong in design, other than the chair above and possibly the disaster below. The definition of the word ranges from “to conceive and plan out in the mind” to “to execute”, in other words you have an idea, you plan how to realize the idea and you actually turn around and build it. Voila. By definition the design is successful if you’ve taken it from concept to completion. If someone doesn’t like it, too bad, they can come up with their own.
What I would really like to hear or see are your ideas of successful designs and with that hopefully inspire a pretty blog, full of beautiful designs and creative solutions, to where I no longer feel forced to pull all the stops just to get a little attention around here.