A Human Desire Project
In this chapter, a method of creative design approach is presented which will be valid, regardless of changing styles or periods —a method based first on human desires and second on functionalism, two immovable factors beyond dispute. Moreover, the method suggested leaves the designer free to use his creative skill in the development of new forms and new construction based purely on the question of service and beauty.
The first step is to find a piece of furniture for which there is an actual and pressing need, based on an innate desire for its services. The field for this problem is, we shall say, in the room for a young man. His actions in dressing are observed. He appears to be in a hurry; he rummages quickly through his dresser drawer for a shirt which, with others, has been placed in an orderly pile, but with socks and other articles of wearing apparel. Shortly the desired shirt is selected, together with his socks, but the drawer has been completely upset. The same condition is encountered in the drawer containing collars and neckties, while a missing collar button makes of this drawer a turmoil of ties, collars, and handkerchiefs.
The young man departs in an ill-tempered rush, leaving a trail of untidiness, observing that he wishes he could dress and "keep things straight/' Here is the case of a man basically trained to order and neatness, who likes cleanliness and his clean clothes in order. Let us see what modern creative design can do for him.
This young man likes style, a certain smartness in his furniture, and desires to be different. At the start of the problem, it is essential to make separate compartments for individual articles—shirts, neckties, soft collars, handkerchiefs, collar buttons, and dress studs; there are other articles which we might include, but these are illustrative of the method employed.
The space occupied by one-half dozen of each article enumerated is measured with some room to spare. The man feels that one-half dozen is about all he cares to consider, although more collars and handkerchiefs are to be desired.
These five spaces are visualized as volumes and are found, drawn to the scale of one-half inch to the foot, in Figure 145, Plate 21. Put together but without order, they are assembled in Figure 146 on the same plate.
These are the functional elements of the design; now comes the skill of the designer. Looking for some common denominators (as four inches in this case) or heights in common, we begin assembling the volumes into an integrated whole. The first assembly in Figure 147, Plate 21, is displeasing and lacking in integrated unity and rhythm; in other words, the units do not hold together.
And so another attempt produces Figure 148; but still this is unsatisfactory, although the effort is not wasted, for the assembled volumes suggest a progressive series of setbacks recalling Figure 136. With this idea as a basis, Figure 149 shows the final plan with the volumes separated for the wood construction—the form stage of development. In assembling these volumes, feel free to add slight amounts to the volumes for compactness, integration, and good proportioning. An example of this procedure is seen in Figure 148. In assembling the single volumes, it was noted that monotony existed in the space divisions; some of the masses were too nearly similar in size; it then became necessary to increase the minor volume for the neckties. This does not
Functional Space Designing.
creative design based on 6pace volumes for young men.
PIG.145. VOLUMES, EACH CONTAINING SIX ARTICLES OF ONE OR MORE SETS.
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