Okay, this may seem like a ridiculous thing to sit down and write about but it is important.
As a person that is not exactly organized by nature, its clear to me that a good planner is a very useful tool. I’ve tried all types and had mixed results but have finally found one that I like and can use consistently.
What I am saying is: my only hope for staying on top of things is to keep a planner going and to sort of enjoy the process.
A good planner can help with organization but for some people planners go well beyond that to become a hobby or creative outlet; they use the planner for all types of organization, record keeping and sort of embellish it. Artists and designers create journals that are sometimes combined with planners but I cannot quite make that work.
For me, the planner should be simple and have a good monthly overview page as well as larger spaces for each day. This way I can use the larger, daily spaces for ideas, as a sort of journal and for refer to the monthly view page for appointments. I like a neutral cover and simple page design. And, my planner must be small enough to fit in a bag or purse (say 5 by 9/10 inches) so I can bring it everywhere.
My current planner does all of the above and for a reasonable cost ($20). It is made by Shinola, a company I am happy to support. (sadly it appears they no longer have the 2016 version available –its called a Runwell Planner). Last year I tried to make my own planner by using an online calendar and scaling it down to fit in a moleskin. This years Shinola version shares the what I like about moleskin notebooks (elastic band and page marker) with great calendar and monthly note pages.
My daughter likes a bigger planner that is more like a notebook and she uses it to keep on top of everything; she also does some major embellishing. Her current planner is by Erin Condren (Life Planner).
Some of the students I work with have created their own planners by hacking calendar pages found online and combining them with blank or lined pages for notes. One student has come up with a pretty spectacular version using this process this semester.
Here is an informative NY Times article about Kendrick Bangs Kellogg with a focus on the High Desert House, in Joshua Tree.
Having lived in San Diego, CA, I long admired the work Kellogg did in the area. Years ago, I was also lucky to be involved with a local lecture and tour of some of his projects. It was wonderful to be able experience his work in person, particularly the relationships of the interior, exterior and site on a range of projects.
An interesting article from Wired about an interesting study/space at the Mayo Clinic. From what I can tell its a good approach to evidence based design:
Last summer, I wandered into an “estate sale” by following a sign down a narrow road. The sale took place at a house that it appeared the home’s owner had lived in for many, many years. Items that had been neatly stored and lovingly cared for were on display in every room of a 1950’s era home. I was entranced, not so much because I found great bargains on items but instead to see objects and a place dearly loved and cared for by someone.
It did make me a bit melancholy to see that the person behind the various collections of things had passed on and their belongings remained. Yet, glimpses into what appeared to be a well-ordered life with some well-loved things was fascinating.
When leaving the sale I grabbed contact information for the company holding the event and made note of upcoming sales to be held over the summer. While my summer was ridiculously busy, I was able to visit several similar “estate sales” over the course of the summer and early fall. In looking back it may have been my favorite form of entertainment last summer (other than the occasional paddle-board outing, lake swim or evening jog).
My reason for placing the words “estate sale” within quotation marks here has to do with the fact that word estate can imply something rather grand and this particular company holds sales in smaller, less imposing homes that would be considered middle class by most standards (within the United States).
It occurred to me as I wandered through these sales that most of the homes had not been renovated over the last 50-75 years and this might be the other reason I found the experience so fascinating. As a designer, I am very interested in renovation but also in places that have not been renovated or remodeled. I enjoy seeing the original details of homes and examining the layout of spaces, and to see how people actually used the spaces within homes of differing eras.
It’s the ultimate invasion of privacy to enter a dwelling when the homeowner is no longer alive, and yet I find myself drawn to see thermos bottles from 1962 next to an insurance agency’s give-away 1974 calendar set carefully beside a complimentary butter dish from the local car dealership circa 1953. Clearly, these items are owned not only by the departed, but exist part of a shared history, and I am drawn to this trip into our material history.
Or maybe I am just nosey?
In any case, at each sale I looked for something to purchase that I could use and was able to pick up objects such as this great mortar & pestle as well as that butter dish from the car dealership.
What to call it? Maybe Interior Architecture? Sometimes, maybe, if you are actually doing that. Or, perhaps if it is a description of an academic program housed within an architecture school.
For me Interior Design continues to be the best way to describe this area of design.
Interior Design continues to be the best term to describe work done on projects that range from large scale commercial interiors that include significant space planning, materials, finish and furniture selections, to projects that focus on FF&E as well as residential design projects.
In selecting titles for books I have written I have always been intent on including “Interior Design” in the title. I have been asked to consider titles that might be seen as more general with less of a focus on the word “Interior” so that the books might be seen as more palatable to architects and other design professionals. But, I’m pretty happy to carry the banner and to keep pushing the profession forward in any way that I can.
The next installment of the U.S. Access Board’s online guide to accessibility standards issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) is now available:
I’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).
I just watched this NY Times documentary. If you are interested in Japanese architecture|home|place|memory … and you have 15 minutes, I recommend watching:
NYT Documentary Minka Japanese Farmhouse
This picture has nothing to do with portfolios other than being a relaxing interlude.
As usual I learned something helpful from students this week. I was talking to a group about portfolios and the topic of personal portfolio websites came up. When I mentioned using WordPress, a student (actually several) told me they find WIX more helpful for developing an online portfolio. I looked into it and I tend to agree!
Like WordPress WIX has a free version available; seems simple to use and look at and allows for large images to be easily inserted. Based on a quick run through, I think the free version of WIX is a bit easier to customize with color and fonts than WordPress and does seem like a good fit for use as a quick online portfolio site.
Regardless of the site used, I recommend developing an online design portfolio AFTER developing the digital or print version. This would mean one follows the steps of traditional portfolio development in terms of: 1 assessing goals, interests: 2 creating inventories of work and fine tuning projects, 3 developing a clear visual direction for the portfolio. This will lead to developing the “portfolio page graphics” (consistent title-block, graphics and layout) in in-design or similar software and then uploading those pages to a blog/website service such as WordPress, WIX or Google Bloger..
Here are links to the website services I mentioned:
Also you can search for Google