The Scavenger Hunt
During the pandemic, I’ve spent a lot of time inside. Saying that may even be an understatement, as it may be safer to say that I’ve spent the vast majority of my time indoors. Having high risk family members has made it a scary time and the state of the situation seems to be fluctuating so much that you never really know how safe it is to re-enter society. Because of this, the Design Blitz was a daunting assignment to take on. At first glance, I assumed that we were meant to go around and take pictures of things we see while we’re out and about while living our everyday lives but…there’s one problem with that: I don’t really go out right now. To remedy this, I decided that I would instead take a creative twist and do a bit of a scavenger hunt for different elements within my own home, while still remaining within the guidelines of the assignment. This experience felt almost more engaging than it may have otherwise been, as I had to really take note of design elements around my house that I’ve seen thousands of times but never truly picked up on until going deeper into design this week in this course. In this post, there are four different examples of some of my favorite design concepts, being color, typography, balance, and rhythm.
As we learned this week, everything that isn’t naturally was designed by a human. In this photograph, you can see this idea in action with a vibrant array of knives, something you may not think of being as “designed.” Upon further thought, it’s quite simple to find that these colors serve a purpose alongside being pleasing to the eye. Each knife has a different style of blade and different use when cooking based on their color. For example, the red knives have jagged edges and a fork in the end of them, with one being large and the other being small. The blue knife in the middle serves as an incredibly large knife, while the green one on the left is a small and basic knife. I believe that the use of color here is quite effective as it not only adds vibrancy and a splash of fun to an otherwise very generic item, while also serving an incredibly useful purpose.
There are various bits of typography all over the walls of my house, with (quite cheesy) inspirational messages and words relating to love and family around any given corner. This one in specific, though, is a bit of a centerpiece in the main hallway of the first floor. I see it every single day, multiple times, but have never really taken the time to analyze it from a designer’s perspective. The typography is done wonderfully in this, with great emphasis on the flowy and fun “this is us,” paired with a strong and impactful “Our Life. Our Story. Our Home.” beneath that doesn’t take away from the text above while also not being completely ignorable. I think the effect here is pulled off very well and I believe that making all of the text one of either of the fonts would greatly take away from the piece. There’s something very eye catching about the top font, and the simplicity of the bottom works well as you’ve already been pulled in by the main message.
With my first two examples of design concepts having been about products/items within my home, I wanted to focus more on the idea of the design of the house itself for the next two. In my living room, we have this fireplace with a lovely mantle and a window on either side, creating quite the symmetrical area. Though we aren’t focusing on products specifically with this concept, the various candles, the television, the speakers, the wall decoration, and the drapes all contribute to the feeling of balance here. Almost every aspect of this photograph displays an equilibrium between one side and the other, to the point where flipping the image would result in things looking essentially the same. Though I’ve seen this area of my houses countless times, it never quite occurred to me how much balance there truly is here, something I’m sure my mother did completely on purpose.
Exploring around my house, I found that there was rhythm noticeable in many more places than I had previously imagined, but the one that stood out to me was my stairs and the railing. There are specific intervals between the lip of each step and each rung in the railing that create this rhythm, with this photograph being able to capture both in a way that’s quite interesting to view. Funnily enough, there can literally be rhythm when it comes to the railing, as if you were to walk up or down the stairs at a consistent pace and run your finger across the rungs, you would hear a steady rhythm. Similarly, when walking up or down the stairs in the same way, your feet create a rhythmic marching of sorts. Because of both the literal interpretation and visual/design approach, these stairs do an incredibly job of creating rhythm.
All of these photographs have been uploaded to my Instagram page, as well. For some reason the picture for “balance” keeps posting upside-down, no matter how many times I try to delete it and try again. I’ve been trying to troubleshoot for a while but cannot figure out why it’s doing this. Thankfully the images above are exactly the same and have all been posted in the correct orientation, so hopefully this won’t be a big deal. Hilariously enough, the photo still works to represent the idea of balance, despite it being flipped.