tension and contrast.

This is the first in a series called good design, or, a little ponderance on the art of Good Design. The aim is to discuss and debate design and the creative process, using key words and the wise words of others to analyse and ponder.

Coco Chanel famously instructed: ‘when accessorising always take off the last thing you put on’. This is, to my mind, the essence of the matter: not too much, not too little.

There is no greater exponent of the ‘form follows function’ mantra then the spare lines of the Muji brand. Utilitarian, perhaps in the extreme, nothing is extraneous; even the packaging is just enough to package, not masking what lies within but allowing the form of the product to be clearly expressed. This video, one in a series called Why Design being run by Herman Miller, talks about the design process, and the inspiration of the designers, the founding partners of Industrial Facility. They design for Muji, Established & Sons, and Herman Miller, amongst others. Their work, as evidenced in the Muji brand, is typified by an economy of line, texture, and detail.

For them, the design process is anything but balanced; they talk of existing ‘just on the edge of functioning’ and the fragile existence of living in a big city, where, at any time, one feels the balance could tip. However rather than detract, this inspires: ‘We need tension and contrast to be able to create’. Inspiration comes from Primrose Hill, a place after my own heart, where one can regroup, with the hustling, bustling city pulsating below:

See the full series here.

What do you think; are tension and contrast necessary in order to create? Does your inspiration come from unexpected places?

Feature images, Muji.com

One thought on “tension and contrast.

  1. Pingback: composition. | owl's house.

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