Designing is a process of thinking about how things can be done better and refining the outcome. I often think our personal experience and exposure may make us choose the easier, conventional way instead of looking at things differently, being creative and experimenting to come up with a number of solutions to then choose from.
Do we need a media room because a real estate agent tells us its good for re-sale value? Or do we need a media room to escape from the kids? What if we looked at spaces differently and chose to have our media space in another bedroom that may also be the guest bedroom that might have a fold down bed from the wall. This room may also be the kids playroom or study as well. Why don’t we break down these functions more and use clever storage and pull-out features that make for more flexible multipurpose living spaces. Do we really need a meals and a dining room, do we really need a living room and a formal lounge? We are so used to having it all that some of these choices aren’t really broken down or questioned. European cities are so used to maximising space and living in smaller multifunctional homes. Smaller spaces would certainly cost a lot less, possibly make us engage more with each other, maybe get us outdoors and into public spaces more. Less space, less stuff, more money and more time to invest in experiences. What about getting rid of the dining table and having the kitchen island and table all in one so the meal prep could be part of connecting with each other and the experience of preparing healthy food, eating and interacting with each other. How much could the design of our homes change how we live for the better? What if the island / table was wheeled outside and it was our outdoor meals table also. Instead of artwork hung on our walls or cluttered useless furniture pushed up against the wall why couldn’t we think about commissioning an artist to create a unique and inspiring wall mural that connects with us and tells a story. Something that can inspire us and be a talking point for others, something that can be changed, developed or redone over time. Why isn’t creativity valued as much anymore? Why aren’t we commissioning individuals to create artwork on our walls and furniture we can pass on to our children? Is it our busy lives or the cost of our labour, maybe we could trade our creative skills with others and collaborate on projects more to learn and share our expertise, skills and experience. Surely bringing more people and ideas to the table would create a better outcome. Imagine if we repurposed items for our homes, where it was more about creating a connection and an experience as opposed to consuming resources. What about if our living room lounge seating was a repurposed cut back section of a car with storage in the boot or a cut away section of a claw foot bath. The pieces tell a story, give an experience, repurpose an item, and are individual creations.
I know it may not be everybody’s cup of green tea but how often do we question the norm? Think a little bit creatively and unconventionally? Where its more about the possibilities, joy and play of experimentation and experience?