Recognizing Design Success
We frequently field questions that inquire about the success of projects, both our own or as a critique on others’ – how or why a project is successful, what precisely makes a project successful, and how can that success be applied to future projects? It is not always easy to explain what is beneath the surface of a successful project and it is impossible to know what the driving forces were that lead to the visible finished results unless you were a participating project partner, but those results are often telling. Especially when a project is revisited after some time has passed and the shiny object effect has worn off, but I think it is fair to say that the value of the project can be distilled into one word: sincerity.
We believe that sincerity and integrity to a client and project is what will make the outcome successful. At a basic level, if these are properly understood and applied to the design, then the project will attain authentic success. The real magic happens when the design can push beyond the checklist of “pragmatic success” and move into a realm that triggers emotions; that make the project precious.
It is not about mass design production and rarely about universal solutions.
It is about creating resonating experiences with patronage.
It is not about trends, mimicry, fitting in or standing out.
It is about drawing originality out of each opportunity, having integrity and being thoughtful of the precise situation, means and applications.
It is not about ego.
It is about passing on and reciprocating respect for a client’s individual set of values.
It is not about ornamentation for the sake of making-pretty.
It is about learning the complexity of a new visual language well enough to speak it fluently. Each language has its own accent, intonation, emphasis and order.
No one loves to listen to someone who speaks just to hear their own voice. So why would we design simply for the sake of designing?
Much of what gets put out to the public is “transactional space”. What needs to be produced should not be transactional but rather transformative. Styles are never universal; design should be sincere, authentic, continuously crafted and emotionally charged, which inevitably makes it diverse and complex. This is what makes it precious to many. Believe in your power to be influential and successful.
Ellysa Evans, Jr. Interior Designer
Davignon Martin Architecture + Interior Design