I am pleased to welcome Vanessa to The Kula. She'll be contributing some pretty outstanding posts for you and I personally look forward to reading and seeing her perspective on design. I met Vanessa quite a few years back in design school, and she's is outstanding. Although we've never collaborated before, in school or professionally, we have a design-geek connection. This site is a forum for designers - new an old - to connect deeper with the community so please welcome Vanessa to your kula.
Corey: Vanessa, what's your design passion? What to you get-up-in-the-design-grill about?
Vanessa: Space. I love being able to manipulate a footprint to create functional spaces. If I can't change walls or make additions, I love being able to play with heights and depths to create open spaces within a small space, or make an expansive space feel cozy and inviting.
C: Social media as allowed us to be connected 24/7, but disconnected and focused on a computer screen or mobile phone screen. Do you think that design, as a purpose, screens out and disconnects the user from a community?
V: I think design connects people. From the designer and their colleagues, or clients; to the clients and their friends (by way of showing off a fabulous new room); and then back again in the form of new clients. These connections create a larger community for all to participate in.
C: As a designer, when I finally gain that trust with a client and we connect to build a relationship, I find that there are some interesting things that happen. For example, when designing for couples, I find that I have to council them on issues and find two solutions for one problem. Do you have a particular challenge that you've faced with a client? How did you overcome the objection?
V: I think the biggest challenge that I have come across is time. It seems that there are many people that are not quite educated in just how long a project will take. I've always tried to be clear and firm in my communications and capabilities and educate the clients as much as possible.
C: Where do you see yourself professionally in five years?
V: Continuing to successfully be designing. I also hope to be designing more sustainable projects and become a part of more organizations that work towards sustainable building.
C: In twenty years?
V: I hope to have my own showroom and studio. I have aspirations to have a design company where all the designers regularly collaborate and share ideas and advice to find the best solution for the client.
C: What unites you to design? For example, what particular process or detail about design get's you excited and energized. Is there a principal, patter, product, or experience?
V: I think it has to be the challenges. I get excited about every project; there are so many possibilities within each space and I really like the puzzle of putting it all together.
C: I think HGTV has created a false reality on design and the design to build process. It's dis-enchanting, scripted, and unrealistic. Although there are disclaimers before every show, do you think that HGTV, as a knowlegebase for consumers, is effective and accurate?
V: Yes and no. I think that HGTV is really good about showing consumers different possibilities for their space. Consumers who may not be visual thinkers may have difficulty seeing how a particular item fits into a space and what is possible. Seeing different products within a completed room helps with that visualization and making the decision whether or not to use that product or something comparable. I think that HGTV is terrible for showing consumers that they can renovate their bathroom or kitchen (or other space in their home) within a 48 hour window. Renovations can be messy and complicated, and consumers are usually not educated in that fact.
C: Do you have any final thoughts before you run off and submit your first post as a new Kula member?
V: I'm very excited to be part of The Kula, it's become a great place for inspiration and information, and I look forward to contributing and collaborating with you.