Monday, November 23, 2015

How Interior Design Has Helped Define the World We Live In

Through the years, interior design has both taken inspiration from the changing world and offered inspiration in turn. From incorporating new promising technologies to suggesting new intriguing color combinations, designers have partnered with culture to advance innovation and creativity the world over. Some interior designers have become world famous as a result of their impact while others have gone quietly with their legacy largely unrecognized.

Regardless, it has become nearly impossible to separate out culture and the design that defines it — so much so that historians often comment on the interior design customs of different time periods as a matter of routine. In this post, learn more about how interior design is even now helping to define the world we live in today.

Designing Accommodations for World Leaders
Perhaps one of the best known modern interior design artists is Philippe Starck. In 1982, Starck received a commission to design the interior of then-President of France Francois Mitterrand's apartment.

Suffice it to say he has been a recognized world leader in interior design ever since. As well, many of his designs have become incorporated into popular design trends of this century, most especially his chair and stool designs.

Integrating Design Elements from Different Fields
Another way interior design has helped define the culture of each time period is in its efforts to show how different fields complement one another in a design space. For instance, combining
sleek glass doors with flowing neon light tubes, translucent Lucite with minimalist architecture such as Egypt's Karim Rashid has done can take an average space and create an all-inclusive cultural experience.

From advances in lighting and art to developments in music and metals, taking different elements from various fields and bringing them together helps define what that period's culture is really all about.

Finding the Midpoint Where Divergent Materials Can Meet
Architects-turned-designers such as Federico Delrosso are modern masters of making divergent groups of materials work and play well together. By pairing concrete and glass, wood and metal, and other unexpected duos, Delrosso makes his own statement for finding ways to work together, get along and appreciate differences as cultural strengths rather than weaknesses.

This is a particularly important message as the influence of the internet grows and the world it connects begins to feel increasingly smaller and more homogeneous.

Saving the Planet One Eco-Friendly Design at a Time
Another way that modern interior design is increasingly helping to not just define but save the world we live in today is through incorporating eco-friendly, environmentally sustainable concepts into today's designs. Famous designer Robin Wilson, "designer to the celebrities," is just one such interior designer who is becoming well known for her commitment to using "green" materials sourced from the local communities where she lives and works.

Her own interest in such an endeavor began when she was a child plagued by allergies. Today, she is not just an ambassador to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America but a well-known interior designer who favors soy mattresses, rubber-backed tiles, non-toxic dyes and paints, organic linens and other planet-friendly choices.

Making a Political Statement Through Interior Design
One only has to take a tour of the White House to realize the vastly different preferences and tastes of various United States Presidents. Often termed a "living museum" for this and other reasons, many rooms bear the unique design stamps of both the historical period it was designed in and the reigning leader during that period.

In some sense, historians even view this as a type of "political branding" which helped that President establish and maintain consistency of message and policy during the term(s) served. Here, this view is inclusive of selected colors, rug weaves, furniture, curtains and even personal emblems.

Forecasting the Future Before It Arrives
Finally, interior designers play an increasingly significant role in helping to determine what the future holds in terms of cultural preferences as they play out in color, style and texture. For instance, this year's forecast includes rug types, metals choices, artistic/graphically influenced rugs and textiles, glass treatments and more.

In a similar way to how red carpet couture influences mass marketable fashions, world famous interior designers pave the way for commercial replication of the future's designs one "predicted trend" at a time.

With each of these factors at work through the efforts of each time period's reigning interior designers, the world we live in takes shape around us in color, form, shape, texture and other ways —and is thus preserved for future generations to study and learn from. As well, some facets of our shared past move forward with us as designers reference both the past and the future to create the designs of the present.

Mikkie Mills is a Chicago native who loves to save money and help others do the same. When I'm not writing, I'm chasing the little ones around or rock climbing at the local climbing gym." 

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