Few things slip in so covertly as the ether of boredom. We know we’ve been hit when we're numb—comfortably or otherwise.
Repetition is safe. It removes variables that might lead to the undesirable. Yet repetition can create such predictability that we lose our awareness and connection. And that is undesirable.
In design, this is a paradox, as repetition found in pattern and motif is essential.
Concept driven design infuses repetition with emotional intent.
When we begin designing with concept, we start from idea, rather than things like color, or theme, or 'vibe'.
A \ ˈkän-ˌsept \ is a thought, notion, or abstract idea
An \ ī-ˈdē-ə is, interestingly in part, a representation of a conception and a replica of pattern
For instance, the design for a shop named ‘Sun’ could easily begin with ‘yellow’. All things yellow. But yellow is a color and not a concept. And it’s not what sunshine is.
Sunshine is light, warmth, and cheer. It’s something we go outside in search of and hope to attract into our lives. Sunshine as concept is vast and the opportunity to touch souls and spirits, endless. Yellow is predictable and limiting. It may become part of an overall concept, but it cannot begin there.
Perhaps the concept for 'Sun' is a retail environment that uplifts and warms us—one that causes us to close our eyes, lift our chins to the sky—and pause.
Perhaps... at 'Sun'
- entering the store feels more like going outside, than in
- the ceiling holds a light-hearted mural that causes us to smile when we look 'up'
- there is lush and lovely music from the likes of those DJs who have mastered the art of connecting us in beat
- the floor has an unexpected bounce, like the earth
- reflectivity is pronounced and light shifts as the day marches on
- there are places to sit and simply be and some of these places are shaded
- shop windows to the street are lit a warm gold, particularly on bland, gray days and every dark evening on through to sunrise
- purchases get placed in translucent bags with small LEDs that glow gold
- and tidings of cheer also got placed in those beautiful bags reminding shoppers of 'Sun' once they arrive home
When design is sparked by concept, it begins a journey. Paths upon paths present themselves and maps are mysteriously made.
It's a concept that brings design to life. And it is an essential starting point when crafting an extraordinary experience of any kind.