Monday, March 10, 2008

Why Designers Are Annoying

I recently subscribed to a blog called This Ain't No Disco, which is a site that chronicles the various working spaces of design studios around the globe. It is really interesting to me, cause that's what I do and what I want to do, but at the same time totally annoying and somewhat depressing.

As you may note from this picture, a shot from Farenheit212 studios in New York, it's all white. That's a theme amongst the studios on the site. White white white. That's the designers way, so whatever, but it's so sterile to work in such a condition! I know I would feel totally restricted in such an enviroment- it makes me feel scared and inadequate and as though I ought to wear all black, a colour I realised yesterday that I truly hate to wear despite it being like the designer standard. Black and white. blah blah.

I once looked at the website of a studio called Mother, who once gave a lecture at my university and I fell in love with. Their website damn near broke my heart. It has some 3d walk-around-the-studio thing, revealing the place to be some sort of human parking lot made of concrete, where countless people on Mac Book Pros sit and stare at the blank walls. It looked so fucking depressing!! There seemed to be just no humanity there. It was vile.

My perfect studio would have a lot of space and be calm and clean and all, but it would have spaces to put things up! Each person would have their own space they could do with as they pleased, not a find-a-place-to-sit-and-plug-in-your-laptop. There would be a kitchen and it would be colourful, though maybe within the same style or somesuch. Maybe when a new designer came they would be given their own mug to personalise, I don't know. It would look like a place that people, human beings, spend time in. Not some design abbatoir!

Of course, each of the places on This Ain't No Disco do submit their own pictures, and they are hardly likely to go posting their messy kitchen or fugly things someone has up in their area. And a kitchen full of white things does LOOK nicer than one full of random mugs from whereverland.

I guess it comes down to it seeming like style over function and liveability, which in my opinion is essentially bad design.

But then again, lots of designers can be super minimalist (freaks, in my opinion) who live in the sort of cube-houses you see on Grand Designs where not a single mote of dust is out of place, and hell, they do good design from these places, so it must not affect them too much.

(image screenshot from This Ain't No Disco.)


JJC1138 said...

Have you seen the Pixar studios? That place breaks my heart, but in the "OMG, I must work there!!" sort of way.

Jesse Owens Berlin 1936 said...

I agree with many of the things which you point out. I see them as the fruit, or perhaps the excretions of industrialism. There is this tendency to try to make everything white: white chickens, white eggs, white cows, white flour, white sugar, white rice, white clothing, white paper, white walls, Michael Jackson's skin, houses and everything else. Where in nature, other than the frozen polar regions which are an extreme exception and yet still have some variety, is everything white? It is the essence of artificiality. The human mind appears to be made to thrive with a just amount of stimulation, like colours and sounds etc. Otherwise the brain can lose vitality and even become crazed. Just look at how much colour and harmony there is in nature! The middle of the spectrum being green: Life! Flowers like hibiscus, parrots, the ecosystems in the deep sea all have a variety of coulours and textures. Dig the squid who uses chromatophores to make pulsating displays of colour to communicate and for protection.

Anonymous said...

design attitudes of the past twenty years perplex seems so puritanical...sometimes designers seem to be somewhat akin to preachers in attitude and dress.

Goose said...

I have no idea about design, but i love old school stuff, like 19th century style. Homes seemed warm and welcoming back then.

For everyone except lower class families anyway.

SuperJV said...

I have a friend who lives in this aluminum and glass thing. it's all neo industrial, is very well done and was expensive.

it's kinda like living in a giant macbook pro.

it's awful.

This Ain't No Disco said...

Cheers for mentioning This Ain't No Disco.

Jesse Owens Berlin 1936 said...

By the way I am a vegan (actually Carl Lewis matched Jesse Owens 4 gold medals in 1984 as a vegan) I don't condone the harm or exploitation of any animal, human or other than human. Causing animals to suffer and directing food and resources which could feed humans to exploit animals in the name of food is a greater offence than making everything or everybody white. I pointed out a particular symptom of industrialism which is bleaching, blanching and whitewashing many things including humans and other species.

Annaconda1984 said...

Colors to me are also very important, wether in fashion, in art, in architecture or in interior design. That's why I really like John Galiano, Juan Miro, Hundertwasser or interior designers which make designs which look bold and interesting. I'd rather go for a kitchen in lime green or dark red than for one in beige. I absolutely agree with what you said about it all being too sterile. The problem of those really modern appartements is they are missing a soul; like a warm atmosphere created by wood, different textures and colors.

Anonymous said...