While it is true that I’ve hung my graphic designer gloves in the trophy case, my mind never stopped designing. I see design as a verb. In my mind, it is the continual realization of need and the process of addressing need through form and function. When something has been “designed”, ideally it means a beautiful and considerate balance between form and function has been achieved.
Since “designer” is not in any job title I have anymore, why should I care about design? Well, for me, it’s more of a curse. Curse is probably a bit too strong of a word actually, but I use it here to indicate that it is never ending in my mind. At times, design consumes me, which can conflict with more realistic priorities that need to be met.
An example of this is when I buy a perfectly good house that is in move-in condition and needs nothing done, my mind still finds things I want to improve. If I had an unlimited budget, I could accomplish so much in designing my atmosphere at home. I’m sure everyone could say that.
In some ways, this curse is in an indication to me that I was born to discover needs as they relate to form and function – I was born to design. Most of this takes place mentally and never becomes synthesized into reality. Most of it is visual, but the thought that goes into it is just as beautiful.
Kitchen cabinets are a good example. I’m a user of a kitchen. I enjoy cooking. How could the kitchen cabinets cause mental entropy in something I enjoy? Perhaps a default layout that wasn’t built around my specific needs. Or, better yet, the lack of adequate or considerate storage options which results in a messy arrangement of dishes, mixing bowls, plastic containers, etc..
The conflict emerges when I can’t afford a kitchen makeover and the realization that my current kitchen will do. To a design mind, “it will do” typically isn’t ideal or, in some cases, acceptable. I have a conscience that keeps me in check with reality. Otherwise, I’d go mad!
I’m not sure what consumes the minds of most people, nor would I probably want to know. But, I can tell you that mine is constantly striving for improvement, maybe even perfection, in things that surround me. I enjoy it for the most part. Looking at this as an arrival of understanding my actual purpose in life, this post is really a celebration that I made it as a designer. I don’t need the job title to prove that. I just need the opportunity to apply my empathetic nature in the discovery of needs and creating the solutions.