20 July, 2010

Developing Concepts

by Lisa Peck, ASID
There are several ways of developing concepts. Here are a few key ways we approach this in our studio.
Keyword List
Sit down with all the people who will be involved in the design of your space. Whether that is your design team, you and your spouse or your colleagues. Then brainstorm words that express how you want the space to feel when it is completed. Come up with all the words you can think of and add them to the list. Don't edit, just blurt them out. When you have your list finished you will find that many of the words have a common sense. Select the words that most closely reflect your desires for the finished design and edit the list down to the fewest words that provide a complete picture of your space.
A few quick example words...warm, cool, welcoming, sophisticated, casual, elegant, singular, rhythmic, playful, serious, thoughtful, intellectual, expressive, passionate, sensual, smart, impressive, rugged, textural, smooth, luxurious, simple, emphasis,...you get the idea
Short Phrase
Starts the same way..with a brainstorming session. The outcome this time is a phrase that creates a strong image that reflects your design concept.  Examples that come to mind are Family Friendly, East Coast B & B, Art Collectors Haven, Cooks Island Paradise, Urbane Entertaining Room, again...you can see how a phrase can set a design direction that cannot be ignored.
Visual Riffing
Sit down and page through magazines, google images or browse through books that show a piece of art, an image, photo or a room shot that expresses what you want your finish design to feel like. They do not need to be room views. After you have gathered a number of images determine the common thread among them and then write your design concept.
Here are some images that could be used for a concept...
Red Cream Large Journal 2
meg braff orchid (Meg Braff via House Beautiful)
From these images I might write a design concept such as "Fashion forward with an artistic soul in shades of cream, red and green with an unexpected focal point or twist."

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