Form Follow Functions is one of the first phrases a design student will hear during their first year of school. In the course of our work career most designers forget this, and get caught up in getting the latest Eames knock off, or using the most extraordinary 3D wall paper.
Recently I had the privilege of designing a small and temporary space without "really" designing it. I was asked to create a multi-functional space for a remarkable program that assists people with special needs. I'll admit I'm the first person to add bold colors, use unique furniture piece, but in this case I was asked to tone it down. To a point I was not really sure what I'd be able to create without my usual design arsenal in my "kit-of-parts".
It ended up being a great design exercise and a lesson in humility. I had to create a space that is highly functional. The space had to be divided in a way that allows for 2 different functions to run at the same time without building walls; I achieved that by using furniture pieces as dividers. It also had to be a safe environment, and most of all it had to be a visually clean environment.
Working on this project made me realize we all need to look around our homes/offices and see where we can de-clutter, and how we can make our work and life environments calmer. This will most likely assist with balancing the hectic visual "noise" we are unknowingly assaulted with everyday.
So how do we start... My mum taught me one of my most valuable design tricks. She told me that in order to see if you have too much make-up or accessories on, I need to close my eyes for a minute. When I open my eyes the first thing that pops in my eyes in the mirror - I need take off. I suggest we all look at our homes tonight, close our eyes and see what we can "take-off".