Materials Matter

The “M” element in my alphabetic mnemonic list for successfully practicing design is: Materials Matter. As virtual reality becomes surreal, designers have the opportunity to make it real. As we expand new digital design, modeling and fabrication technologies, we may find…


Navigating t/here

The “N” element in my alphabetic mnemonic list for successfully practicing design is: Navigating T/Here. Design requires leading people from a known world into an unknown one. While 3D visualizations are bridging the gap between initial conception and final completion of…


Own it. Share it.

The “O” element in my alphabetic mnemonic list for successfully practicing design is: Own it. Share it. As it relates to design, ownership is about an emotional or intellectual relationship. It is incumbent upon designers to engage all project participants along the way,…


Practice Passionately

The “P” element in my alphabetic mnemonic list for successfully practicing design is: Practice Passionately. When you are “in the zone” of your craft, you feel it, and others do too. Cultivate it. If you’re not engaged in what you’re doing, no one else will be either. If you’re…


Question

The “Q” element in my alphabetic mnemonic list for successfully practicing design is: Question. While clients most often seek answers, they may be best served by questions. Rarely is it beneficial for designers to accept things at face value. It is only through asking questions,…


Respect Context

The “R” element in my alphabetic mnemonic list for successfully practicing design is: Respect Context. As a designer, you don’t work in a vacuum. It’s important to respect your context. Just as it is said that “those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it”, those who are…


Stimulate Senses and Soul

The “S” element in my alphabetic mnemonic list for successfully practicing design is: Stimulate Senses & Soul. How often in a project do you find yourself or others taking leave of their senses? Without question, as design professionals, we’ve been drilled to respond to…


Take Leave

The “T” element in my alphabetic mnemonic list for successfully practicing design is: Take Leave. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to just go away. Anyone who has taken “Graphic Design 101” has heard the advice for when stuck on a composition problem: “Turn it upside down…


Uncover what is unique

The “U” element in my alphabetic mnemonic list for successfully practicing design is: Uncover What Is Unique. Look beyond the common denominator to find and express qualities of uniqueness. If our work as designers is to have continued vitality and relevance it is essential that…


Value others' space

The “V” element in my alphabetic mnemonic list for successfully practicing design is: Value Others’ Space. Architects’ value in shaping space shouldn’t end with the physical environment. As designers our work is in creating meaningful relationships among things and people. An…