I just devoured Making House: Designers at Home — a very inspiring book. So much so, that quite a few times I caught myself losing concentration, wandering off in a daydream. I was imagining my future country home or a beach house. The more I read, the more I wanted to expand my own environment.
Making House: Designers at Home by Dominic Bradbury and photographer Richard Powers, is a collection of essays that showcase the way designers respond to their surroundings. It made me remember how much I love being my own client, how thrilling it is to have the freedom to experiment in my own “laboratory of ideas.” By the end, I felt feverish, in desperate need of a personal project to help me continue on the path of self-generated discovery.
Clearly, when designing for yourself, you can take risks and innovate. Since the work happens to be intertwined with life, it is always in progress, always developing. A never-ending process of collecting memories, absorbing new experiences. Making House: Designers at Home demonstrates time and time again that being your own client hones the skill of looking at space as a source of creative wellbeing.
Logically, as designers, we are observing tirelessly, day and night. As a result, our viewpoint evolves. Textile designer Neisha Crosland — her house in London is featured in the book — points this out. She says: “In art and design, it’s the originality of your point of view that matters. An idea could be inspired by many things, but you have to have your own take on it.”
The retreats and escapes in Making House: Designers at Home support the kind of daily life that feeds the practice of people with global workloads.
Appropriately, Antonio Citterio talks about the absence of separation between life and work. His apartment in Milan is fresh and timeless at once. The quote by Gio Ponti is poignant: “I cherish the dream of a living, silent house which models itself on the versatility of our lives continually.”
Yes, our home tells the story of who we are to others. But most importantly, it playfully informs us, its dwellers. Essentially, that’s what Making House: Designers at Home reminded me of. A home is a place to feed imagination and visual appetite.