Several strong, inspiring and overlapping forces are influencing my current work by blurring the lines among disciplines.
Getting my hands dirty and just being free to experiment with paints and papers happens on Thursday nights in Alexandra Sheldon’s collage/mixed-media workshop. She is reinforcing the idea that the process is more important than the finished piece and, paradoxically, if you don’t worry about the finished piece, you are more likely to make art that you might want to tack up on a wall. The work with line, form, color, and texture is refocusing my eye for composition and this skill is critical to my interiors work.
The second sphere is my work on residential interiors. It‘s all about creating spaces that work for the home owners’ individual tastes, needs and sense of what makes them happy and comfortable in their newly renovated house. The exciting challenge is to meld my sense of what works visually with that of the nice people who will live there. It is wonderful to open up the tactile nature of selecting finishes and fabrics to clients whose lives are spent in academia or high tech. I love showing them the “hand” of fabrics and the way an antique or hand woven rug looks very different from the opposite ends of the weave. My many years working on projects for corporations, non-profits, schools and colleges bring a focus on function, durability, and budget. Conversely, the very wide range of resources available to use for creating a residential interior frees one from the sometimes confining world of commercial furniture manufacturers.
The third train of intriguing, cross-pollinating thoughts involves how new research on the ways people behave and respond to open office environments can influence our thoughts about spaces for learning and living; how new ideas about libraries that are at the intersection of print and digital influences reading and research; and how studies about new approaches to teaching and learning inform the design of built environments for neuro-typicals (more or less) and those with a diagnosed range of neurological issues and physical disabilities.
Environments are more fluid and crossover; offices and libraries serve as coffee shops and community centers. Work is more fluid. There are a growing number of both social and quiet spaces of all sorts for people to seek out to match their tasks, moods, and temperaments. Controls are available at the individual level for moving furniture and adjusting task lighting. Folks can sit on a soft sofa with a laptop and a view, or sit on a chair at a desk in a totally enclosed carrel. With newer technology one can adapt learning to working with a range of devices and software.
If we are smart and sensitive, we can make interior environments more accessible and kind to our senses in order to restore and inspire all of us.
I will be writing a series of pieces about cross-pollination and these kinds of intersections throughout the summer. Please stay tuned – I would love to hear your thoughts.