In a world where our lives are constantly measured in metrics, analytics and data we need to design for people – not types.
There is an assumption that design is exclusively about aesthetics and efficiencies and that interior design is concerned solely with an act of transformation: ‘before/after‘.
But, design is not just about ‘transformation’.
As a designer, my interest has always been drawn much more to the before the before… and after the after.
Design is present in people’s everyday lives, thoughts and actions, evidenced by decisions they make – or don’t make.
A designers will never rush ahead to an end result, but instead they will spend a lot of time to fully consider the issues and problem in depth – every way they can.
Applied design is a process rather than an action. It uses highly developed critical skills in observation and empathy to fully understand people’s relationship with their environment, and the things that they value most.
For design to be relevant we need to know who we are designing for.
What do people think?
What do they value?
What would make their lives better?
Ultimately design is finding the right ‘fit’ for people at the right time of their lives. So, whether it is a commercial, public, or private space people must be at the heart of what is a designed experience.
The goal of design research is to generate an in-depth understanding of a problem to enable actionable outputs to emerge that lead to new ways of thinking.
Human-centred research focuses on the individual’s experience and how they engage with the world.
To see the world as they see it we must listen to what they say – and observe what they don’t say. We also have to bear in mind that everyone’s lived experience is different and is shaped by whatever went before.
A creative design research approach is essential for business and industry.
Strategic design research ensures that business is prepared, agile and responsive to anticipate subtle shifts and emerging gaps in the market. To be in tune and sensitive to consumers’ needs and wants design research must go beyond cold facts and data.
Design celebrates personality and quirkiness; it enables diversity and differences to be viewed holistically and inclusively as part of the deal.
Anyone At Home features stories of everyday lives, in everyday spaces. It is about who we are and how we live today.
These are personal stories. They relate to a specific time, space and place as lives lived in homes shaped within a particular social, cultural, political, economic, technological and spatial sphere.
Each story reminds us that as our own story enfolds the world in which we live is constantly changing. What people say and experience today may be very different tomorrow.
This project highlights personal histories of occupancy. It produces evidence, insights and knowledge that cannot be found elsewhere.
It is a self-funded project developed from my own natural sense of curiosity and interest.
Who we are, and how we are, within our small world is part of a bigger picture. When we know how and where things fit – or not – this generates real insights that can be further developed into a defined strategy more purposefully aligned to real needs.
Design exists where other disciplines meet, overlap and blur.
But it is more than that….
Any one of these stories could become my/your/our story.
As we enter different lifestages it is reassuring to know what it is like for other people in similar situations. We can to learn from their experience, be more prepared – or at least recognise that we are not alone in how we feel, and where we are.
These are the stories of people at a various stages of life living in circumstances and situations that we may be yet to encounter or, where we have been before.
There are stories of inspiration and fortitude, but mostly of the everyday. They are people who don’t see themselves as extraordinary and yet each story is unique – as is the space they made their home.