Angie Tomisser, VIA's Interior Designer
As designers, it’s fascinating to watch the approach to design as portrayed on national television:
- Give us a week, and we’ll build you a house from scratch – not only shiny and new, but customized to your exact hobbies and tastes!
- Go to your neighbor’s house and rip out all the things you don’t like – and replace them with the things you like – they’ll be so surprised!
- Just watch me and copy everything I do – wow your friends with your excellent taste and originality!
Now we’re all for the promotion of good design, and the way in which an improved environment can affect people’s lives and wellbeing. What we’re wary of, and are starting to hear in discussions with various non-designers, is people’s perceptions of what designers do as “picking good stuff” or being able to instantaneously create a vision of how a space should function, look and feel. We wish it were as easy as it appears on reality TV.
The process of design involves its own form of heavy lifting. Good architecture doesn’t happen instantaneously, but rather is the result of thoughtful, diligent consideration of design problems, testing of ideas, and gradually closing in on a thorough, sensible solution. Even the simplest transformation deserves time to think it through and to get it right. It’s hard to describe this to someone without appearing to be mystifying the design process. It’s not mystical … but it needs a particular set of skills that go beyond the superficial. No great piece of architecture is simply about looking good.
As a society we have become so hooked on instant gratification. Buy that new car -- even if you can’t afford those payments – who cares, you’ll look so good driving it! If there is any silver lining in our current economic downturn, it’s that maybe people are thinking twice about the quick hit. An investment in carefully considered quality, of saving for what we really have thought about, of taking the time to make careful decisions – this can’t be a bad thing.
Do you think we could make this catch on in reality TV land?