I wish i'd figured this one out:
You need a PHD to succeed!
PHD: Passion Hunger and Drive.
Whenever you fail, fall back on your PHD.
-Full credit goes to Rick Pitino
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redifined at Big Word Project
We as designers say that a lot, but do you actually do it?
A designer told me "i don't know why i paid a designer for his font when i could have gotten it for free".
If you don't walk the walk, who will pay you? Any kind of design can be seen as something you can get for free, but how does the cheap action of not paying a designer talk about you? Heck, a designer disregarding the act of charging for design means he probably sees himself as useless. Iam very afraid of the work that can come out of people who consider themselves useless.
Support the community, you will [eventually] get support.
Great designers, architects & strategists are the kind of people that are so passionate that never stop doing their work, and can sleep half the time most humans do.
But in order to get fresh air, new ideas and energy to break out of the mold, be sure to get one day off a week... You will see how the morning after, you will have an even bigger will to do your job hobby.
Just cramping hours of work into everyday life turns most of them into waste, while something as simple as resting once a week turns them into an investment. Counter-intuitive thought is hard to transmit and accept [specially in a competitive world, where more is supposed to be the only way to achieve more], but if you actually put it into practice you will see results within a month.
There is always a big debate in the realm of design and policies with the phrases "less is more" and "more is more". First off, they are mistaken with minimalism and maximalism. When both actually do the same, make change and open possibilities.
I hate it when people try to guess if something is "cheap" or "expensive". Things only cost what they are designed to cost. Ornament is usually associated with expensive, while optimization is usually associated with cheap. Neither is right!
Ornament is purposeless, or in better terms, is a decision that has no performance at all, we might as well call it redundant. Optimization is where design comes in, at least within the current mindset. An ornament with the intent of performance, is part of optimization. Overpricing to reach a specific market is optimization. Maximalism and minimalism are both optimization strategies. Technique deals with optimization too, we choose an optimization degree and then allow the tools within that degree to push us forward. Optimization is the best way to get a result, even if that means dealing with uncertainty. Optimization is not about the method, but about the proper method/technique/strategy for the proper task.
With the crisis, optimization will go from trend to fad, and will probably just be misused to excuse mediocre development. Don't fall for the gimmick! Take advantage of understanding what optimization truly means to take your proposals to the next level. Specially because it is ONLY through design that we can actually optimize anything!
This is last year's MAD presentation at Copenhagen's Danish Architecture Center.
Many of these images and projects were into their latest presentation too, but i did not take those pictures this time, so having both galleries will give you a better idea of how it went down.
Common sense & quality, are the difference between great and mediocre, wow and WOW, a project and a draft, design and mere [mindless] production, extraordinary and pretentious, waste and investment. When something is lacking design, excuses arrive fast, and try to take the place of content. Do not mistake diversion-attempted-arguments with passion. The anything-goes ideology and infinite-niche market does not mean you get a license to kill, or in this case, a license to suck...
After last week's congress, i haven't been able to stop thinking about this great example:
The first project product is a deluxe 1000 sqm villa, in Mongolia, China. So why on earth would you give it less spatial quality than that which can be found in low-budget social housing? Oh, that's right, it is a "diagonal" for "introverted" living! Does introverted mean you should not get to see the sky? Does introverted cover for natural sunlight, or having back-alleys instead of gardens? Does the diagonal concept cover up for using a monotonous floor slab section that makes every space the same? To what degree should a sketch or model be allowed to hold you back instead of pushing you forward? In a worst case scenario, form should add quality to the space [but by no means are subtractions allowed!]. Also, in a worst case scenario, hiring a designer should add value to the equation, not turn it into an under-performing solution. Production can easily turn unique into disappointing, the icon builds mediocrity.
The second image is a designer's version [aka: project/strategy] of introverted housing, in Fukuoka, Japan... With less budget, square meters per unit, but more hunger, passion, restrictions, and actual design... Quality is delivered by varying height spaces within each unit, allowing the whole place to hold natural light. Organized so that they don't block other unit's view, and that makes for an interesting iconic silhouette... When you focus your resources at a strategy beyond solving architectural problems [from restrictions you impose on yourself as a gimmicky concept], and use them to find potential for design, it makes a [huge] difference. Design can make something simple very special, performance breeds the icon.
How to disregard context, allow for introverted living while maximizing spatial quality, therefore breeding an icon within the contemporary mindset? IAM thinking of something like this...
Designers 1 - 0 Producers... Please engage in leading design head-on, instead of just hiding behind a factory's production line.
We have previously stated that it takes passion to make good design. That design is only noticeable when it fails. And that it is our actions what defines us.
[translation: towards a city order. Less billboards, more spaced, one standard size.]
So that makes three things wrong with this picture. If someone is willing to spend their time and money to take care of billboards, he was definitely only doing as he was told. And if you are so sure that this will work, you would not start by making it visible. And third, what do you think of a city when instead of taking care of basic needs [and i am not even talking about infrastructure], they are willing to pay people to go through all the trouble of taking an action that only makes noise. And the worst part, all this energy is consumed after already spending twice as much time and money on trying to take down every single billboard. They apparently don't understand that if there are too many ads, we no longer notice them. Their action only makes ads more expensive to rent and more useful at reaching an audience... They do become disturbing, and families whose income depends on the rent of ad space are screwed [and will probably end up selling their home to a developer].
Here are some proposals for urban design that would not only be free and cost a lot less energy, but actually make you earn something... and not destroy families whose income depends on renting the add space.
The city needs leaders that can go out of the box, instead of followers who implement whatever they are told, even if it has failed for years.
It is so sad to go around watching how everyone likes doing nothing. Everyone enjoys making people believe nothing is ok. To a degree where there is no response, people just don't care. If you say it is boring, the response is i don't care. If you say it is stupid, the response is i don't care. If you say it can be better, the response is i don't care.
You can only truly care if you have passion. Whenever you meet someone whom is willing to answer, to spend his bread and break his head to answer, treasure him. Whether you disagree, feel attacked, or you already know the answer, it is his passion what you should appreciate.
Remember that design is only visible when it fails. Failed design is 95% a result of passionless processes. If for starters you, the strategist/designer do not care, i can only assume we are in trouble. Most people think investing in design is useless because the other 5% is almost invisible. And we think that even though it fails, and we can see it happening, it is making money. So why should we assign it any budget?
And if you are in charge of a team, be smart enough to find someone passionate about a particular task, and assign him that. In a connected world, it is a matter of searching a little, and you will find him. In the world of big companies where passion dissolves, small has an advantage because it still cares about finding passion, not qualifications.
If you are not fighting, what is the point of living doing it? Money can bring many things, and being miserable a dead-man-walking is one of them. Can you remember when was the last time you cared?
We need you to be motivated. We need you to fight. And although in the current age it appears nothing is ok, it is not. Please find your passion.. and if you can't find it, go experiment something else. It will feel better to die fighting, than to live suffer through a pathetic existance.