Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Taste in Design

I found an essay on good taste in design - Taste for Makers by Paul Graham.  I agree with much of what he writes... and would love to debate the parts I don't fully agree with.  (A great lunch conversation.)  This is an important but little-discussed subject on which Graham writes eloquently:

"Good Design is Suggestive.  Jane Austen's novels contain almost no description; instead of telling you how everything looks, she tells her story so well that you envision the scene for yourself.  Likewise, a painting that suggests is usually more engaging than one that tells.  Everyone makes up their own story about the Mona Lisa. 
In architecture and design, this principle means that a building or object should let you use it how you want: a good building, for example, will serve as a backdrop for whatever life people want to lead in it, instead of making them live as if they were executing a program written by the architect."

Right on!

Here are Graham's principles:

1)  Good design is simple.
2)  Good design is timeless
3)  Good design solves the right problem.
4)  Good design is suggestive
5)  Good design is often slightly funny.
6)  Good design is hard.
7)  Good design looks easy.
8)  Good design uses symmetry.
9)  Good design resembles nature.
10) Good design is redesign.
11) Good design can copy.
12) Good design is often strange.
13) Good design happens in chunks.
14) Good design is often daring.

Read it the entire essay HERE.

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