Our Design Style
“Good design requires a team effort – and new thinking.”
When people talk of design style they often refer to labels or categories such as “traditional”, “contemporary”, “modern” “high tech” “functional” “post modern” and so on. Classification of design by categories does not relate well to the reality of today’s complex and rapidly evolving culture.
The designer is a generalist who conveys unique and valuable messages in the built environment while responding to a client’s needs. The design message is achieved through a coherent and harmonious synthesis of the many factors that influence each project.
The designer will use the functional, structural and technological requirements of the built environment to give an elegant expression to the message that embodies the conceptual vision at the origin of the project. A benevolent critic would probably summarize our design efforts as the pursuit of existential truth in the built environment, achieving elegance and purity of expression by conveying an unspoiled message that represents the best of the culture of our community and of our clients. Design reflects human feelings and values and appeals to the imagination through the communication of a significant vision.
In our designs we try to help our clients to communicate successfully with society by expressing an image and a message that generate both comfort and inspiration. Rather than following someone else’s style, we strive to create a style that evolves from the personality of our clients, our vision and our aesthetic understanding. Each project is unique.
The specialist and the generalist seem to be two opposing trends in the design professions. As an example, there is a theory that an architect should be a glorified plumber, knowing more and more about less and less, perhaps being more of an engineer with flair than an artist who makes dreams become reality.
The specialization trend seems to be certainly winning in the engineering field. But, from Leonardo da Vinci to Frank Lloyd Wright, a number of famous designers went beyond the notion of specialization, and we believe that they were right, both in terms of the technical and the artistic aspects of design, as far as architecture and related design fields are concerned.
The reason is that there are different ways to look for perfection. For designers, perfection is achieved by generating the best possible synthesis of an entire universe of different factors affecting a design problem, which is always new, regardless of the number of apparent similarities with previous projects.
Good design begins with a broad-based and informed evaluation aimed at generating innovative ideas that inevitably lead to a customized solution and a new design.
A designer that attacks a new design by remanufacturing a previous project will, at best, achieve a very modest solution, and at worst, repeat previous mistakes. Perfection of design is the opposite from the way of perfection of the tradesman, who will achieve perfection by going over the same work and improving its details over and over again, achieving perfection by repetition. In fact, the art of the designer is to use knowledge to create new things, and to use the specialists, for example the best engineers and the best tradesmen, to create the new perfect product. The true designer will find and manage tradesmen in innovative ways, and will bring them to participate in the creation of new compositions with perfect components. This is the art of the generalist who is the designer, where the key to perfection is in the harmonious synthesis of the best components.
The designer is not a “Jack of all trades”, who is by definition a poor tradesman, but a person that has achieved such culture that it allows him or her to achieve a new synthesis, that is to convey a unique and important message that will be translated into a new environment or product. In ancient times it was not unusual to see the designer and the tradesman to be the same person, but following the tremendous advance in technologies and the encyclopedia of products that are being created in the modern world, it would be counterproductive for the same person to try to be both a specialist and a generalist, even if this may not be impossible. For a good designer it is necessary to practise lateral thinking (to “think out of the box”) and to train himself or herself to generate synthesis, rather than learn how to perfect the particular, which by necessity must be done by a good selection of specialized tradespersons.
This explains why a good designer needs to be a good project manager, and why, as designers, we often favour the implementation of project management systems in the project development stages.