A month ago I was on the train, I heard the discussion between two seniors. One of the seniors told about his trip to a historical museum. He said that when he arrived in front of the museum a friend of him asked him about the architecture. How do you find the building? The senior answered frankly and told him that it was just a cube. He said that he was a bit disappointed by this building. As he knew it was a great architect who did it, and in the end it’s just a cube. The senior friend, who was an architecture lover was angry said the senior. He said that he knew nothing about architecture. That he had no taste and that he wasn’t able to recognize great art when he was in front of it. The discussion went on. Later, the senior explained how the inside of the building was amazing. Human, lovely and special.
The art of perfection
Or how to lose the public
This story heard in the train is for me rich in learning. It shows the big issue creatives; designers and professionals have with their trade. They go so deep in it, try to be so perfect that the focus is more in the details that in the large view. What the 80% of the public sees is the large view. It’s seems to be just a cube. No, it’s the perfect cube would say the professional.
We, designers and creatives think we are superior. But that’s bullshit.
But in fact, let’s be honest: it’s a damn cube. In a way, the extreme focus on details is a sign of superiority. The professional feels superior to the viewer. He doesn’t think about how the 80% of the crowd will feel. He focuses on perfecting his art and following the rules of culture and education.
Bringing the public back
Oscar Niemeyer is an example of a creator who made public pieces that the public loved. This architect brought emotions in the building he built. His buildings aren’t just cubes. They tell a story, the create a new feeling in you. This guy has produced buildings that are perfect in the details. And still these buildings are loved by the public. Niemeyer has this attitude expressing that we should enjoy life, not the little rules.
When 80% of the people love it, then it’s good design. Nobody cares about the design rules.
I think, that for most of us should learn to put their perfection syndrome on the side. Sure we are craftsmen in a way. Sure we should be proud of what we build. But first it should be pleasant to the people who will use it. It should give them some emotions. Then you can take care of the details that your dear colleagues will praise you for.
We, designers, creatives, should learn to feel less superior. We should treat people as the experts, not the uneducated mass. If they see a cube, it’s that it is a cube. It’s not that they haven’t knowledge or culture. It’s that we weren’t able to make things clear.
I love standards
Don’t get me wrong. I love cubes. I love grids and extra cold Swiss design. I think this is a type of design that is practical for the mass for things that are okay to be boring. An administrative building can be a cube. When you have to reduce costs, you can’t take much time to search the right story. You follow the standards. I think that when he have the time and budget we should focus on emotions first. We should find a way to create design pieces that create emotions, little or big ones. And when we need to be fast, then we use the cube.