Designing something so well it is hardly noticed

It has been a tough couple of days for my little group of three (myself, Minji, and Sam). There is no discord between us. We all get along very well. There is no differing opinion into what we want the finished product to be. We are all on the same page. The problem is that the laws of nature are simply not in agreement with our vision. The tendency of matter to have mass coupled with the cruel force of gravity has been continuously throwing wrenches into our plans. The weekend through today was spent sketching, staring, modeling, and obsessing about how to physically realize what is in our minds. Luckily, we have had a couple of breakthroughs along the way which have kept us emotionally intact and moving forward.

It is hard to design something that is not meant to be the main attraction. What we want is something that is so simple, so clean, something that works so well, that it doesn’t take away from the real star of the show, the salt work of Motoi. This is a difficult thing to do. I watched the documentary Objectified earlier this evening and, while it deals with product and industrial design, I found it extremely applicable to our current project. I can’t remember who but one designer who was interviewed said that a great design is so good that you hardly notice it. It works so well you can’t even imagine it being any different. This is how I see our project. Our design should seem like a natural extension of the gallery. It should look like it has always been there.

At the top of this post I included an image of a sewing needle. This may be the closest thing to an ideal design. It does its job very well, so well, in fact, that you don’t even think about how good of a job it does. It is unbelievably simple and extremely useful. So what does the needle teach me? I am not quite sure yet but I am sure it is really important. Check back tomorrow and more will be revealed.

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