Monday, April 18, 2011

Extra Credit: Eames vs. Design Star Philosophy

Charles and Ray Eames devoted their lives to design; their philosophy was highly based on human needs and solving problems they saw in the world.  Their legacy continues in the Eames studio, especially with the design of office furniture. The “Design Star” philosophy, basing on HGTV’s reality show “Design Star” is very different, with a strong emphasis on “do it yourself” projects and a belief that anyone can be a “Design Star” regardless if they have had formal design training or experience. Not to say that the Eames approach is right and the Design Star approach is wrong, but the factors of education, credentials, experience, and certain skill sets have an influential role in various projects.

Although some people are born with a very good eye and talent for design, education refines these talents and allows people who aren’t as gifted at first to get experience and growth in learning how to design effectively. Being in Iarc, I have been pushed out of my comfort zone as far as design and have gotten lots of useful feedback from my professors that I otherwise would not have gotten if I had become a freelance designer with no formal education. Not to mention education is very valuable to many employers in the design field. Credentials and experience are also important traits in a designer entering the field.  A designer who is LEED or ASID certified might make more money, attract a larger client base, and get to do a larger range of projects than someone who has not become certified in areas such as these. A designer who has designed many types of spaces for a broad range of clients is more adept to executing design projects based on their experience. A holistic approach to design, such as the works of Frank Lloyd Wright, can be a plus to a client or employer. By taking all elements of design into consideration, a space tends to be more cohesive and may work better for the user of the object, space or building. As far as life skills, those who have had experience in certain areas or have visited certain places can draw inspiration from these events, such as previous jobs or trips.  The Design Stars are usually very young and may not have the experience or life skills necessary to provide a knowledgeable design. Lastly, media plays a major role in interior design today. With shows on HGTV and the DIY network, design is portrayed as something everyone is capable of producing. This is somewhat deceiving since certain tools and skills are usually needed to achieve these designs.  Also stores like Target advertise products from well-known designers, making good design accessible to all. I believe today’s world is more interested in design than ever before, everyone wants to be a designer, but factors such as education and experience play a crucial role in the field.

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