Good Design – Twist On Materials

Good Design – Twist On Materials
January 26, 2021 Sabine Schoenberg

Good design is seeing things in simple, fundamental relationships or in their essence. This leads to seeing materials with fresh eyes.

Sometimes it’s seeing the potential in what others treat as discarded items. Discovering the uniqueness in materials, or using materials differently can lead to good design. Often, people have the misconception that good design in interior design projects requires a lot of stuff and a lot of money. Here is looking at materials with a twist to create good and innovative design.

Leonardo Da Vinci said,

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

One more observation: Magazines are full of elaborate interior design projects and installations.  This is in part because furniture manufacturers and other interior goods manufacturers are the advertising money behind the magazines.  Therefore, it’s no surprise that time and again elaborate interiors are being featured. But it does not have to be that way.

Good Design – Innovative Design

Good design derives from a sensibility that relates objects to each other.  Creative designers see forms and shapes in such relationships.  They also find new uses for materials. Imagination is the key driver, not money. Imagination leads creators to look at materials with fresh eyes. A good example of this dynamic is the plywood floor installation by SHG Living’s Modern Builds

Mike Montgomery uses CDX plywood as a finished wood floor. Yes, common cdx plywood.  Mike invents a shape and cuts cdx plywood sheets into those shapes.  He then assembles the shape in a modern version of parquet flooring. The project is part of a media room he is building.  The end result is really fun.  It’s a fresh new and super inexpensive way to create a finished wood floor.

SHG Living’s Homemade Modern makes a table all out of cdx plywood by simply cutting out shapes and stacking them on top of one another to create a base for his table.  Why not.  He cuts and stacks the sheet organically, or shall I say free-form.  Why not have a little fun with it.  Your version will be your very own creation. Every base will be different and unique.

Robin Lewis takes a piece of beautiful wood bark someone gave him and makes a fruit bowl out of it. Who wouldn’t want to have one of these?

Perhaps you have some leftover wood around.  Can you glue up planks, send them through a planer, and create a table surface with it? Can you glue up some planks and create table legs? Give yourself a license to come up with creative solutions with the materials you have and can readily obtain.

Visual Relationships

Fundamental design thinking happens all around you.  Design is the relationship of parts.  It does not need to derive from a whole bunch of designer-specified items.  See what’s around you.  Think of design as a series of still lives. Paul Cezanne painted apples, a common fruit.  Think about this the next time you put apples in a bowl on your kitchen counter?  Are you visually presenting them to yourself?  What relationship are they in? Are the “jewelry” on your counters?

Those apples/objects could be beautiful rocks. It could be one flower perfectly placed.  It could be utilitarian jars placed in a certain configuration.  It could be scraps of paper or other materials.  It could be lights composed a certain way. It could be anything brought into a conscious creative relationship with each other. That’s good design.

You don’t have to run out and buy a bunch of cheap items to fill your living spaces.  Unique creative solutions with items that are meaningful to you are so much more interesting and compelling. This is one important insight the SHGLiving creatives are showing us in their projects.

Photo provided by Olesia Misty