Does “design” really make a difference?

Does “design” really make a difference?

By Jill Mendoza: I ask this question from a new perspective today because I have notice (most recently) several mainstream publications with printed stories and articles featuring the subject of “design”. For example; Inc. Magazines recent April publication featured a story called “Design that makes a Difference; How I did it.”  In the article Architect David Rockwell explains how he thinks not only about a building, but also about the way people experience it.” Another article that inspired me was in the WSJ’s Weekend Edition April 27th; “Crafting Chairs for How We Sit Now”.  A telling story about one of America’s best known furniture designers, Brian Kane, a well-known authority in the design industry on public furniture design.  You’ll find Brian’s chairs, lounges, benches and sofas scattered around dorms, airports, hospitals and other public spaces.   The photo shown to the left is one of Brian’s creations, the Swoop Lounge  designed for Herman Miller.  Having noted the sprawling behavior of students, he created upholstered chairs with arm rests curved to discourage one from setting a Coke can on the upholstery. There are few seams, for better cleanability and the design allows one to flop however they like while deliberately excluding long flat surfaces that would encourage napping. And the most exciting, mainly because it is from a local source, our own IBJ (Indianapolis Business Journal).  This piece published in the April 30-May 6, 2012 IBJ, featured a newly renovated lower level library space for the IUPUI Honors College.  I would have provided a link to this article but IBJ is a bit stingy. The common theme of these most recent publications; design is not just how we think about buildings or about the stuff we fill them with, design is more about how we experience it.   It’s exciting to see this perspective of design making its way into mainstream media. Photo courtesy of Herman Miller – Swoop Lounge:  

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