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Inspiration please………..

Here is something I began noticing years ago in design school and have been intrigued by to  this day. Sources of inspiration for interior designers, or all designers for that matter. What makes the light go on? What causes a spark in your creative mind?

I’ve often watched fellow students and later co-workers and much later my own staff who quite happily sketched out a space by it’s dimensions and then did not really design but rather headed straight for the resource room to find fabrics, wallpaper, paint swatches and finish samples to be applied to the space. So is there a difference between applying elements one knows exist and designing based on pure imagination followed by the arduous task of  then trying to find the products that interpret that vision? Surely there is.I am certain there are great solutions either way. Personally, I tended to send my staff away, to a park or shops or even home, whatever it took, in the hopes that they would find inspiration first. And inspiration for design, imho, can happen anywhere through anything.

So my question is simply: What is your inspiration?

  • http://www.kitchendetailsanddesign.com Details and Design

    I agree with you. Inspiration for me can come in unlikely places and most unlikely times! Meaning..mostly in middle of night something resonates in my head that I saw earlier and I have to lug out of bed to write down my thoughts as my morning It would be gone! Since I do commercial and residentail in my firm, I will get inspiration from each…FOR the other. This is so true now with a pediatrics office. Trying to be more homey and less institutional.

    Also get much inspiration from travel to other cities and going into large buildings that have cool reception areas…little details in them that can be interpreted in some way in residential design.

    I also think WHERE you get inspirational thoughts is key…for me, I live on the beach. I can take a bike ride and feel so free….and this allows my mind to wander and release the stress of running a business, having employees, our impending move to bigger(and more exp) quarters, client issues and the like….and when I allow my mind to be free, it is amazing what can pop up into it just by really “seeing” my surroundings and again, small details of every day life that can be revisited into some design or another.

    Sorry for the book…but you asked!!:)~~~~Cheryl

  • admin

    And I’m very glad you answered :) Great reply thank you. In fact even your reply evoked a sense of inspiration that I had when I had first set out to start Modenus. I had spent 3 weeks in Hilton Head South Carolina to clear my head (oh now that’s an awful pun, sorry) and morning bike rides along the beach were part of the regimen. The sense of freedom was exhilarating and very powerful. Ha! That just made my day.

  • http://www.charlie-davidson.com Charlie Davidson

    I am a British designer living and working in Sweden. I used to be a creative visionary for the toy company LEGO, before pursuing my intended career as a furniture and lighting designer. My main work output is about pushing the boundaries of what I am capable of doing with the limited resources I have available to me. When I do a commission for someone else (when I have some money to play with) then I push the boundaries of what a factory or technical process can do for me.
    My inspiration is about looking and wondering. I see a new material and wonder what I could do with it, I ask people what there doing if there doing something interesting, I draw and take pictures all the time and I wonder.
    When I work on a commission I will just think, look and draw with out really trying to imagine what the final thing could be. I keep reading the brief and slowly bring ideas together whilst keeping an eye on the time. With only a few days before the deadline something pops out of my head possibly fueled by a rush of adrenalin.
    Working on my own work is a different story which normally starts with a dialog of what if’s.

  • Gerd zum Felde

    Very often I get inspired by childhood memories or nature in general. As an Architect I have to be rational as well and consider many design parameters at the same time. This is part of the essence of the architectural profession. Simplicity, Transparency or simply obvious structural, social principles can also be very inspiring.

  • http://www.visualsenses.com Visual Senses Design

    Hi. I suppose your linkedIN link to here suggest that we post here? Am I right?
    I keep a whole library of box files (that I adore, since I discovered them when working for “Conran Design London” as associated Design Director.) In them, I keep all our “magazine Pulls” going back to my earliest years.
    Since the 70s I rip out all what tickles my brain and may fit a clients project (even looks I don’t care for 100%) It may speak to our customers in a mood board and their taste comes first and directs my inspiration.
    Also talking throwing concept ideas at each other with friends in the trade inspire me constantly. I’d like to introduce Sidney of Sugar Monkey in Auckland ( will ask him to post here)
    I also have a collection of photos I show new clients and depending what they like and not it narrows down their taste for me to figure visually. What clients tell your they like and show you they like when they “see it” can be worlds apart.
    I collect and keep our “Pulls” by types: rooms, colours, textures, gardens, periods, countries, objects etc.
    Certain magazines I favor we collect as is.
    With the Internet my Mag.buying habit has subsided.
    I recall pre-Internet times when living in Hong Kong imported mags for inspiration were prohibitive our monthly budget easy going into +US$ 800US
    I am never without a camera..and go to shows when I can
    I must say I find South African shows the “best” for genuine creativity that is not always “Italian style hightech”.
    Having moved to Vancouver I find the stores and the yearly “interior show” very poor in choices and style, compared to other countries, nothing matching the “glitz & glamor” of the walls at the waterfront of luxury condos.
    Now I keep track of the numerous Blogs on line, always discovering new ones with http://www.stumbleupon.com for several years now (my favorite way to “surf” the net) to see and possibly collect images that triggers my imagination.
    Link: South African “Rooms on View” & Interiors Design show example: http://visualsenses.smugmug.com/Design-and-everything-Arts-and/International-Designer/7093204_L7Edk#454692181_pmXH8 .
    Link: Boxfiles http://bit.ly/cmAQa3
    Link to my favorite Designer friend a must see to get your shot of inspiration http://www.sugarmonkeydesign.com/
    Thanks MODENUS for the opportunity to express our views.

  • admin

    You’re very welcome Visual Senses, what an insightful and passionate post. I feel honoured you’ve taken so much time to share your thoughts and I had to tweet about your friend at Sugar Monkey, those designs were amazing.

    If you have some of your visuals, even from the 70s and 80s, please contact me. It’s amazing to be able to time travel a bit and bring new life to what once was.
    All the best, Veronika at modenus

  • http://nancyabismoprovido.com My travel

    I travel a lot and took pictures of all the beautiful things that my eyes can see. When taking pictures, I always consider any form in a perspective view that way I can easily sketch it. The concept in perspective that I sketch when the project is completed becomes the picture that I took from my mind during my travel.

  • http://www.mactonweb.com web design bangalore

    superb blog  This is more informative I like this very well 


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