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I listened to the TED podcast with Paola Antonelli¬†that I highly recommend in our search to understand the purpose and place of design. The main thing that struck me is the starting question she offered, “What needs to be redesigned?” I have been wrestling with the idea of design because I have often seen it as solely aesthetic. It seems so involved with producing the “Wall-E” junk filled world that is pretty not at all attractive to me. I chose design because it seemed so practical, but when it is solely about the look of a think, I struggle to stay inspired.¬†

Design should be about GOOD IDEAS – not just about pretty things. I realize that I want to think about our design project from this perspective. Not just, what beautiful things can we put on a wall, but what needs to be redesigned? What are the “human needs and current issues” that need to be addressed today? What is missing? When I was developing my senior thesis focused on bike trousers, this is how I developed the idea. I realized that trousers needed to be redesigned to function on a bike. This fit within a real human need and current issue and because of this, it inspired not only me, but my professors, friends and was the reason I ended up with this great job I currently find myself in. Antonelli mentioned that design today is moving towards working on behaviors, not just objects. This seems key to what made my bike trouser project successful. It was focused on the behavior of riding to work and produced a product that would inspire and encourage this behavior.

Time for research. We need to put ourselves in people’s houses with them. We need to take pictures and ask questions. What do they need in their homes? What are their needs? What issues concern them? What do they feel is missing? We know we are interested in designing wallpaper, but I think if we take the time to do this research, we will find ourselves much more inspired. We will find ourselves with great and valuable work. This is an important aspect that I want to incorporate into my process as a designer. Will it be possible to still end up designing wallpaper? We will see.

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You have to start somewhere, so here we start. Kara and I are committed to staying in Madison, WI, at least for now. The options for doing textile design are pretty limited in our area but we are eager to stay with textiles a our creative medium regardless.

We share the vision of working in a small design studio. At this point, that dream is out of our reach. There are so many questions we need to answer regarding production, business plans and manufacturing. At this point we will start working on our first collection, and begin our journey of researching answers to all of our many questions.

We met last week for the first time and decided to move forward with this. Our goal is to create a collection of wallpaper designs with coordinates to be printed on linens, apparel and as artwork. We will start out by creating our inspiration board and move from there.

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