Inspirational Images


....are bullshit. They are a lazy way to design. Rather than trying to think of something yourself because you have a true concept, you look at things that are already done and you copy them. No wonder there is so much regurgitation of the same shit over and over again. JunkSpace!

Aug 13, 14 10:16 am

not lazy but actually the smart way to design

why try to just think something up when there are a million cool things out there.  plus there's no way to not reference stuff you've seen while dreaming up your 'unique' concept

Aug 13, 14 11:26 am

FRaC has got it right.  It is virtually impossible to have a truely unique idea.

Aug 13, 14 11:28 am

pinterest + houzz = the future of avant garde architectural design 

Aug 13, 14 11:30 am

I disagree- it's not about creating something that has never been thought of... it's about arriving at the solution without referencing something else... 

Aug 13, 14 1:35 pm

What if I see a tree root and it gives me an idea for how to design a bench seat?

What if I see a bright Tiffany blue painted dresser on Houzz and decide to use that color for the stitching on my duvet cover?

What if I enjoy the sunroof on my car so I put a skylight in my shower?

Would any of those ideas be arriving at a solution *without* referencing something else?

Aug 13, 14 2:06 pm

What if I move out of my cave and build my primitive hut in the same configuration?

Aug 13, 14 2:14 pm

Donna- with all due respect, you're missing my point... it's one thing to reference a color, and it's another thing to reference an entire look... That's how trends get started- people start copying each other and eventually the first idea that was intriguing because it actually had a substance, just becomes a banal regurgitation of the same elements. 

Its like sprinkling little thoughts that make a lot of sense in one project onto another project where those thoughts really have no relevance... It's like walking your client into an architectural candy store... they see something "edgy" from here and tell you to juxtapose it in your design with something "edgy" elsewhere. Other times, clients don't say anything at all and architects just browse magazines... 

Aug 13, 14 2:15 pm

Yeah, those damned Egyptians and their damned references to the world they lived in. They should have all come up with something original. Instead they copied and refined the ideas in their structures in an effort to understand their place in the world.


*shakes fist*

Aug 13, 14 2:17 pm

Every bit of information in your mind was transferred there by stimuli.  If you were placed in a sensory deprivation chamber from birth, your mind would be blank, and any creative thought would be impossible.  Creativity is the rearrangement of information.  Nothing more.  The degree to which we obscure this information is the degree of "originality." when the roots are less obvious, more convoluted, or abstracted, we call it avantgarde.  The pursuit of novelty is human... But when novelty itself is the main goal it can be counter productive to the design process.  Novelty derived from a rigorous design process, that seeks function of any sort, whether utilitarian or experiential, is productive in architecture, and is what we see manifested in the biodiversity nature.  Natural selection does not seek novelty but it always results in novelty because every problem has a unique solution.  The DNA for that solution is not spontaneously generated, it is adapted from pre existing  genetic "solutions."   If deportation prevents creativity immersion should promote it.  

Aug 13, 14 2:40 pm

Deprivation^ not deportation. iPhone ugh.  

Aug 13, 14 2:47 pm

Thanks for that explanation, BulgarBlogger. I understand better now what you mean.

Aug 13, 14 2:59 pm


Aug 13, 14 4:56 pm
x intern

Most design doesn't happen in a vacuum.  The client, context or building type drive the design to an extent. Understanding this and researching how others have addressed similar situations allows for an educated starting point for the basis of design.  Complete disassociation results in post modernism.  There is a part of design that should at least recognize the context of place and use and history and if breaking away from it doing it knowingly.  I understand your point and have seen this before,  picking design elements out of context and mixing them up is a terrible method of design.    

Aug 13, 14 5:02 pm

The notion of design happening in a vacuum inspired an image:

Aug 13, 14 5:24 pm

There's a difference between inspiration and copying... I think a lot of architects interpret the two to be the same... There's a difference between looking at an image and saying- gee... I love that detail- I'm trying to accomplish something similar (but different) and looking at an image and saying- okay that's exactly what I want without giving any thought to why... 

Aug 13, 14 6:32 pm

We process 95% unconsciously and the 5% we are aware of is clouded by environmental/social/emotional infuences to the point we are not often aware of why we behave the way we do.  You can't take a brain out of its subconscious seat.  What's in there--memories, schemas, impressions--is the fodder for our creative thoughts.  We can never escape our experiences since they are what we USE to think. What we CAN do is put things together differently, but that usually happens due to environment or emotion or our social situations making us exist in a different way than "normal."

Use inspirational photos wisely.  Copying is dumb. 

Aug 13, 14 11:44 pm

jla-x, you are spot on. Creativity for creativity's sake is masterbation and f-s up the design process. Screws with communication especially. Isn't it "expression" what artists and architects do? expression means some one should be the receiver.  The receiver is the first ignored in creativity for its own sake. Then, you get shitty art that is not good for anyone, but the creator. The best art tends to talk in my opinion.

Aug 13, 14 11:55 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

I think Bulgarblogger you really mean 'I do not like bad analogies, misplaced logic, incorrectly applied language, and most importantly the act of copy pasting.'

Aug 14, 14 7:07 am

I love (doing) art/architecture of bad analogies, misplaced logic, incorrectly applied language, and the act of copy pasting! It's not exactly risky, but it surely eliminates mediocrity.

You'll find it all at the Cut & Paste Museum...


Aug 14, 14 11:47 am

Well said jla-x. 

Aug 21, 14 4:48 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

the cut and paste museum reminds of a project i worked that was in Cambodia, the floor plan matches the museum's floor plan, will have to search the archive....or is that standard museum typology floor plan for say the 1800's?

Aug 21, 14 9:48 pm

The shell of the Cut & Paste Museum is the outer plan of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and inside are (at the same scale) pieces of Schinkel's Altes Museum, Stirling/Wilford's Museum for Nordrhein Westfalen and Hejduk's House 10: Museum. And if you look closely, you'll see the in situ plan of Duchamp's Etant donnes.

Aug 21, 14 9:57 pm
vado retro

if you are lucky your client will already have found the floor plan they want and all you'll have to do is make the blueprints and cash the check.

Aug 22, 14 8:42 am

^And that's the type of architect you want to be? boring!

Aug 22, 14 9:50 am

jla-x, I like what you had to say, but one detail I would like to dig deeper into: Do you think natural selection is relevant when reason comes into play?

Aug 30, 14 4:29 am

^ that was more of an analogy to demonstrate how novelty, diversity, and beauty can/will manifest inevitably from a rigorous design process in the absence of any desire for novelty, diversity, and beauty.  A drasanthemum flower is unintentionally beautiful and unique. It seems that when something is really well designed, to the point where "nothing can be added or taken away without compromising function", beauty and unique aesthetics are inevitable.     I'm guessing that what you are asking is whether reason stiffles the selection process? To that I would say... reason is an important part of the design selection process.  Design happens through a series of choices and selection in a way. In nature this process requires death and reproduction.  Favorable traits pass on, unfavorable traits don't.  That takes a long long time.  Then of course there is geological process..The process of water carving Rock etc.  this is a sort of non selective natural process.  It's more circumstantial, dependent completely on physics, material property, and time.  Its more comparable to process driven art than to design.  It's pollack without pollack.  It can happen absent of reason.  The one form of art/design that is unique to humans is art/design created with a preconceived idea of the outcome. This is a result of our ability to imagine and project ideas into the future. Its part of being self aware.   Reason is the selector in the design process.  Death and reproduction is the selector in the natural selection process.  The geologic process had no selector.  The artistic process is more about preconception.  With the exception of process driven art, art is more human because it relies on preconception (the artists vision).  Architecture is unique because its both art and design.  Of course there are many shades of grey....

Aug 30, 14 8:00 pm

I thought this thread would be all demotivational posters of cats

Aug 30, 14 9:00 pm

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