16 Jan 2010
It’s true and I can tell you why. That’s why it’s better – because I can tell you why.
Have you ever been somewhere and thought “I really like this place” but if asked why, you don’t know? You just do. This could be about anything or any place.
Architects, and specifically architects who design, have been trained to understand why they like something and to then be able to articulate the reasons. You might like the color green because it’s pretty but I might say I like green because the way the light hits it and causes the surrounding areas to change and modify the perception of the size of the room.
It doesn’t mean your wrong or that there’s no value in your opinion, it’s just that I can evaluate the motivations for why I perceive things a particular way. Being able to express the reasons for evaluating a thing makes that judgement more valid. It isn’t a gift, it’s a skill that takes a long time to develop and understand and I work at it constantly.
The ability of any designer to be any good at what they do (at least in a service capacity) is their ability to listen to a client, who can’t describe why they like something other than they like it, and walk them through what they are looking at and describe it for them. Hopefully, the process will get you both to the essence of what makes a thing great and apply those qualities to something new without resorting to copying.