First of all, let’s get this out of the way, straight out of the gate—we are not all in this together. This isn’t a Zoom call, not a Very Brady After School Special, and we are not all living in a yellow submarine. Yes, some of those references are a tad old and most likely a bit sketchy, but the point is, while we might all be dealing with a global pandemic, in no way are we dealing with it in the same way.
Frankly, that’s a good thing, because it reminds us that we are all individuals, living separate lives, with our own unique pursuits, tribulations and moments of joy. Because when it comes to designing the places where we live, play and work, we don’t look for conformity, rather we delight in being able to express ourselves, and search out environments that help us achieve happiness and personal fulfillment. Sometimes that means finding peace and quiet and other times it entails bone-crushing camaraderie. It depends on the time and place, our mood and where we are in the world. Often it’s somewhere on the fringes of expectation; a desire to be comfortable and inspired simultaneously.
Balance in art is one of the basic principles of design, along with contrast, movement, rhythm, emphasis, pattern, unity, and variety. Good architectural and interior design relies on finding a balance between the confines of the outside world, extenuating cultural requirements, health, safety, personal freedom and taste. But balance should never result in the commonplace or the expected, nor can be it be distracting or overwhelming.
Balance in space design should always feel natural and organic, yet inspiring and thoughtful. It is as much an art as it is science, in theory anyway—though in practice there is a shocking amount of math involved in making something as elusive as light feel perfectly natural. There is a yin and yang that must be achieved between the practical application and the desired aesthetic. A collaboration, not just in a design sense, but in a real world dialogue between the designer and the developer. An understanding of the vision, but also the ability to ask the right questions and lead when a client is unsure. Collaboration allows us to develop a lasting vision for project that feels natural and effortless, and results in a project that is designed perfectly for its intended use, and provides a lifetime of satisfaction.
We may find ourselves out on a wire at times, but we are never alone. We are together in our shared expectations of common needs and desires, but we ache for the spark of human imagination.