Resident badass Chris Freed shared a presentation yesterday on the value of doing as it pertains to soulful work. Rather than speculating, planning, humming, hawing, and rationalizing about a concept some more—if you commit pen to paper, hand to tool, instinct to action, you might just create something brilliant.
There's more to the humming and hawing stage of design than blank slate syndrome, though. We owe it to our clients to scrutinize concepts in detail, to be sure that the idea is solid, the design is functional, and the execution can stand up comfortably and confidently against competitors in the marketplace.
However, somewhere along in the rationalization process, designs get watered down. The more you refine a product, the slicker it becomes and the less human it can feel.
According to Apartment Therapy's Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, in this NYTimes article: “People [are exhausted] with the shiny and perfect. People don’t relate to it anymore. But the vintage and artisinal will resonate with people as long as we live in these times."
The article continues: Maybe not with everyone, though. As Dmitri Siegel put it: “When you pile Etsy on top of Etsy, it gets really cacophonous: "Everything in here is totally unique!’ It starts canceling itself out.”
And though there are disparities between being engulfed by a sea of Etsy crafts versus a sea of Shinya Kimura motorcycles, it does start to make one think. Would life really be better with artisinal everything?
For me, the answer is maybe. Maybe, and I wish. But the point Siegel is getting at is that without mass-produced experiences as a reference point, personalized experiences start to feel dull. In an ideal world, life would be filled only with objects of integrity but, sometimes, you just feel like a Big Mac.
Images via Old Faithful Shop and The Selvedge Yard