Design performance is a concept discussed and celebrated by Design Miami that allows for entrance into a slice of the life of a creative designer, Allowing for a rare public engagement in the unfolding and the dynamics of the creative process, it can lead to both the inspiration and the confidence for novice designers to try the same process for themselves.
It is clear that today’s top modern furniture designers have gone through the rigors of professional design training,. While they will most likely be the first to acknowledge that training has a lot to do with their success, they will also be likely to admit that there is also the intangible element of inspiration. That undefined element that transcends training, allowing the whole to become larger than the sum of its parts. Utilizing the relationships between volumes, colors, materials, textures and more in a design challenge is more readily understood by professionals because they have put in the time and have learned how to recognize and develop patterns, contrasting and complementing elements; a conscious rather than an unconscious process. With all this said, just what can the novice do to pursue also having the design performance experience?
An easier arena to start with is perhaps the outside living area. In places like Miami, the patio experiences as much exterior living as interior spaces due to its wonderfully subtropical climate. With less upfront dollars invested and with furniture more forgiving, this is the perfect place for creating an outdoor space that speaks to you.
Not quite sure how to begin? Visit a few modern furniture showrooms. If you happen to be lucky enough to live next to major design centers such as Houston, Los Angeles, Miami or New York City finding a location with the up-to-the-minute selections fresh off the hottest world designers’ drawing boards will be more readily available. If not, fret not and get online. There is much to choose from. Don’t be timid to mix and match seemingly unrelated pieces or styles. Now, take one of the lessons from professional designers, look for a unifying element. It can be an element that is similar or the link is in its difference.
An all white palette will look unified simply because it is all the same color. Just as much, a highly contrasted unifying theme like black and white is simply the repetition of contrasting color. Try to avoid overdoing any particular element as it can seem stiff and start to become counter to the intend experience and outcome of flow rather than only conformance to a design concept.
Just like a design performance, the goal is to allow the design to become an organic process that balances the needs of the practical; I am creating a sectional sofa to the artistic expression that allows for perhaps a grouping of outdoor storage containers in varying heights to create en masse seating that allows for opening and grouping the pieces as desired.
Gather together elements that appeal to you perhaps a low synthetic rattan table with large, oversized umbrellas arching over the seating area for an instant party like atmosphere. Adding lights always brings out a special element. Play with color to allow for exuberance or for a quiet interweaving of the natural with the manmade. Let what you like, what you enjoy be a part of this process. It is not necessary to over commit to the final design. Don’t like it? Do it again!
There are times when professional designers collaborate on a design so consider making it an afternoon activity where you and your family become the stars of your own design show. Take turns designing for each other voting and keeping the best until the next time.