– by Ann Squires Ferguson, Squires Ferguson –
We as designers are expected to be the never-ending wellspring of creativity, but there are days when – at least for me – the well simply runs dry. I’ve been mired in tendering or project management, and find myself utterly without inspiration. Then the terror sets in – what if I have simply run out of good ideas? Is this, finally, the end of what has been a fairly good run? Before retraining to be a dolphin trainer, though, I try to reignite the spark and go looking for love. Love of colour, or loving a new trend, or love of a whimsical take on an architectural staple. These are a few of my favourite sources of inspiration when I’m lookin’ for love:
PINTEREST http://pinterest.com/ Pinterest is an online bulletin board, and is soon to be named the ultimate time suck – you can lose hours on it – trust me! Think of it as the ultimate visual candy – and an incredible tool when creating online concept boards. Its randomness is actually its best feature – you’ll find yourself seeing things you would never have searched out – and that can be a very good thing! This morning I saw a beautiful farmhouse washroom that has me thinking about, rather than taking the indoors out, to instead bring the outdoors in, with a shower enclosure reminiscent of a greenhouse.
INHABITAT http://inhabitat.com/ The Inhabitat tag line is “Design will save the world.” As such, it is a community of designers and architects promoting the best in green ideas and innovations. It is intellectual and optimistic, and I always find I feel so much more positive and capable after reading a smattering of their articles. The recently profiled Altaeros Energies Inflatable Wind Turbines mean free power anywhere, with minimal infrastructure! I find myself visiting Inhabitat on days when I need an infusion of positivity. The most disturbing of fears regarding the fate of our natural world can often be directly counteracted with a few minutes reading about truly creative solutions.
DWELL http://www.dwell.com/ The Dwell magazine website is my go-to site for residential inspiration. I haven’t yet found the client who wants to do a home in a converted barn – someday, someday – but the Dwell slideshows regularly allow me a window into so many design fantasies – small spaces, prefab, repurposed shipping containers, plywood interiors, converted industrial spaces, live/work studios – this really is design candy at its best! The editors are so gifted at distilling the commonality of far-flung destinations, and to have a studio in Belgium profiled next to a float home in Vancouver frees my own creative synapses to fire, hopefully kick-starting that lost spark.
All the best in your own search for true love – true design love, that is!
For more information visit www.squiresferguson.com.