Over the past two years, I have come to use a new term in my design philosophy. The term, “dynamic design”, allows me to modify a design to adapt to circumstances, for either technical considerations, or for purely aesthetic reasons. This is a term I have coined to describe how design doesn’t necessarily need to be cast in stone and can instead be modified as a project progresses. The changes I refer to can be either subtle changes or large scale changes. One of the meanings for the word “dynamic” from the American Heritage Dictionary.
dy·nam·ic – Characterized by continuous change, activity, or progress. As my studio furniture is being created, sometimes the design I originally envisioned can be improved at different stages, or the original design can remain as is. Having this flexibility provides a continuous excitement for the studio furniture maker along with the benefit of improvising on the original design after seeing the wood art at various intermediary stages. An excellent example is a console table design I worked on over a year ago. I had chosen to invert the base of the table for both aesthetic and technical reasons. This isn’t to say that the original design of the maquette would not have worked. Inverting it simplifies a design dilemma for me and introduces a new aesthetic to the piece. After creating the maquette, I realize I needed to have a fairly stable, strong sub-base to be able to support the V-shaped arch, whereas inverting the base utilizes the points of the arches as legs. Often, we become fixated on a particular design and don’t bother seeking out alternatives which often stare us right in the face.
Case in point, I have been creating a new design for a smaller piece of furniture, and as part of my philosophy I strive to use as many materials in my possession as possible, without continuously sourcing new material for the components. Working with material at hand sometimes limits what I can do, but on the other hand challenges me to work within certain constraints, in this case certain materials. This is an instance of what I like to call “dynamic design”, often the beauty of a design is also in its simplicity. Simplicity is one of the tenets of the minimalism philosophy. I have to admit that I am a fan of “minimalism”, and have read one book on the subject so far. You tend to gain a different perspective on design after being exposed to the philosophy of minimalism.