New Edition | What’s New?

Mitton_Cover Final IDVP5

I’m happy to say that the 5thedition of Interior Design Visual Presentation was officially published earlier this month (May, ’18). The publication is the culmination of two years of work and it is a wonderful feeling to have it published.

Occasionally people ask me why it is necessary to write new editions, and in my case the answer is that in terms of digital presentation things change dramatically over a 3-5 year period.

The first edition contained almost completely analog work: everything was done by hand –renderings, sample boards, models –everything. With subsequent editions, digitally generated items were included in ever increasing quantities. So, as I set out to work on the 5thedition, I had to decide if I should include analog work such as sketches, renderings, models, and sample boards created by hand. After giving it some thought, and talking to a number of designers, I decided this edition shouldinclude work done by hand particularly drawing and rendering because the ability to sketching continues to be a useful in design practice.

It is important to note that of all the analog skills, quick sketching rises to the top as the most important in daily practice. The ability to get an idea quickly out of one’s head and on to paper continues to be very important. This is true for idea generation (ideation) and for sharing with team members or clients. Quick marker rendering can make sketches more readable and therefore, quick rendering continues to be a useful skill.

Because I see the book as a broad overview of communication methods, I included significant instruction in hand drawing/sketching, rendering, model making and board construction. The book also includes digital means for creating drawings, sketches, models and boards because design practice makes use of these. In fact, digital modeling, rendering, fabrication, and 3D printing have altered design practice and skills in these areas are required for design graduates.

Use of virtual reality, laser cutters/engravers, 3D printers and highly realistic digital rendering are all commonplace and therefore their inclusion is necessary.

This edition has a continued focus on SketchUp used for modeling and rendering due to its universal use and reasonable learning curve. I also continued coverage of Photoshop in rendering for the same reasons. SketchUp is covered in greater detail than the previous edition and some new Photoshop techniques are also covered. There is also information about how to prepare various files for use in 3D printing and virtual reality.

I continue to see this book as a broad overview of interior design visual communication –rather than a deep dive into any one area and hopefully, I have achieved that with the new edition. The instruction in “quick sketching” includes that done by hand and SketchUp, in the hopes of providing students and professionals the skills needed for quick “go to” communication techniques. This is done with the full knowledge that BIM related skills are also important for today’s designers –yet the addition of that content would make the book far too long and complicated.

My statement in the introduction to the 5thedition offers this:

“In completing this edition, I once again came to the the conclusion that while much has changed since the first edition—particularly related to digital technology. Many things have stayed the same particularly regarding the process of design and the complex, yet flexible ways of thinking required of a professional designer. This continues to be a profession populated by bright, creative individuals who are required to call upon a broad range of talents and skills in everyday practice. While technology has made many things easier –and faster– today’s designers are required to know more and to possess more skills than at any time previously. I hope this book will help today’s designers in their acquisition of some of the many skills required in current practice.”

Press release from my university regarding the publication.


July in the midwest; its warm, things are growing and I’m busy.

IMG_4081 2I’m deeply involved in a revision of the book Residential Interior Design (3rd edition); a book revision is both more and less complicated than one might think as follows:

Uncomplicated = the structure is set unless something doesn’t work.

Complicated = there is a protocol to using old art/images and new. And, coding all the things for the new book that can get a little weird and ummm –complicated. Also, it takes forever to fiddle around with little mistakes in artwork and then I fall down a rabbit hole of getting too picky and I just want to sit and do Illustrator all day long (and listen to music, which is easier than writing for me).

Revisions are great because its good to get a chance for a “do over” on any project and that is what I find most appealing as there are always things that don’t quite work out (and there they are in print for all the world to see).

So, its good to fix them up, sort of like tidying up.

Also, its great to be able to update facts and figures as they do change rather dramatically from year to year. For example, in the edition I am revising I wrote that LED luminaires are not commonly used in residences –which was correct when I wrote it –but not so much now. Digging around with researching items for each chapter updates me with current information for teaching –so I gain quite a lot in this process.

In other news, a cat seems to have adopted our family but wants to live outside so I have attached a collar with a bell to the beast in the hope that he does not wipe out all of the song birds we have in our yard.

Before work on the book become so intense I was doing a fair amount of reading including Dead Wake by Erik Larson (about the Lusitania), Pioneer Girl (the original manuscript of Laura Ingalls Wilder edited by Pamela Smith Hill with some fascinating footnotes), Some Luck by Jane Smiley (part of a trilogy that I want to keep reading). Anne Tyler’s new book A Spool of Blue Thread (which sent me back to read Back When We Were Grownups).

And, like a bunch of other people I am reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (can’t tell if I agree with her approach but its interesting in light of my working on a book on the design of homes).