Sunday, September 27, 2009

Design database: What’s in a name?


“Interior design had borrowed language from architecture and visual arts, but when you came down to it, we didn’t have a typology for contemporary design practices that have been occurring across history, style, and culture,” says Jan Jennings, developer of the first searchable online database for names of contemporary design.
CORNELL—Jan Jennings, professor of design and environmental analysis at Cornell University, has produced the first searchable online database for names of contemporary design with images of existing buildings, which, she says, have for the most part gone unnamed and undocumented for decades, and in some cases, centuries.
“We had to invent a naming practice, a vocabulary, for students to use in talking about design,” Jennings explains. “Interior design had borrowed language from architecture and visual arts, but when you came down to it, we didn’t have a typology for contemporary design practices that have been occurring across history, style, and culture.”

Thirteen years in the making, the project, called Intypes for the Interior Archetypes Research and Teaching Project, has so far named nearly 70 interior archetypes.

“Some of our alumni are using these words in the field,” Jennings says. “When they do that, they hear the word being used later by their colleagues. If the word is used without translation or definition, then it really has become a word that contributes to a design language.”

For the database, master’s students research a spatial category or element, studying history, cultural implications, and use of that type of space, and then suggest names for particular designs. The suggestions then go to the Intypes Research Group for consideration.

“Some of the things we’re naming seem so obvious,” Jennings says. “The students do all of this research and come up with a name, and people go, ‘Oh yeah, that’s what it is.’ We don’t name anything that the entire research group doesn’t agree on. And sometimes we start with one name and then change it to another that works better in practice.”

Jennings says creating the database opens up a whole new field of study. Now that there are names for specific interior designs, researchers can study issues related to them individually, such as their sustainability.

For example, “the white box is a large, volumetric white room with hot lights. It began being used by museums to showcase artwork. But it creates heating and cooling issues, and it takes a lot of maintenance to keep it looking pristine,” Jennings explains.

Jennings hopes the project inspires designers to think about such issues and opens the door to more formal research in interior design.

“Interior design is its own field and profession,” she says. “We’re hoping the project provides a new way to talk about the field and lends it the credibility it deserves.”

Source: http://futurity.org/science-design/design-database-what%e2%80%99s-in-a-name/#more-4189

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful finds here! Also, I made an interesting discovery. Here’s an excerpt from an article I wrote about it this month…
    DÉCOR TIPS & QUIPS from AlphabetPIX.com
    Bring Out The YOU In Your Home Decor!
    Bill Blass said, “Style is primarily a matter of instinct.” Decorating takes on a new meaning for each individual. Different tastes in decor mean different furniture, artwork and color palettes. So what is the rule of thumb for making your place zing if it’s not a certain style, pattern, or color?
    Bring out the Y-O-U!
    Make a statement and let your personality shine through! Add your zing to make it pop. Hang something personal on the wall with a few well-chosen accents-bold and beautiful. The trend for decor is becoming more and more personalized.
    Whatever you want to say while decorating, say it with your own individual style. Put it out there for the world to see and don’t look back. Express yourself! When people enter your home they’ll shoot you a complementary smile, knowing it looks and feels sooooo perfectly like you. And no one can do YOU better.
    by T. Miller
    Décor Tips & Quips from AlphabetPIX
    http://www.alphabetpix.com
    Take your individual decorating style to a whole new level of personalization, and discover a new way of looking at the world around you - Create your own Personalized Name Art with Photos That Look Like Letters!
    tags: alphabetpix, personalized name art, alphabet photography, alphabet photo art, name in photos, photo letters, photo name designs, name gifts, name photos, photo alphabet, personalized gifts, name designs, decorating, home décor, interior design, wall art, design ideas, wedding gifts, personal gifts, personal art

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