For our retreat I chose to expand on the values behind Studio E’s principles rather than choose an existing principle to define and re-examine. These values provide the fabric for our work: the Value of Connection, Value of Everyday Life, Value of Subjectivity and the Value of Complexity.
Connection: Provide links between dualistic ideas of public vs. private, city vs. suburb, work vs. home and production vs. reproduction to create unity to supposed opposites and celebrate holistic environments.
Everyday Life: The point is people will actually use the space we drool over in magazines. I recall reading that Eileen Gray was the first to design colored sheets with the understanding that people USE beds and don’t just experience them made and tucked in. Gray also supposedly designed her well-known table to enable her sister to indulge her love of eating breakfast in bed. We embrace the art of taking what is typically thought of as mundane and allowing it to be expressed as something special and worthwhile.
Subjectivity: Allow personal experience to be sources of inspiration. Design doesn’t always have to make intellectual sense – it can simply feel good. “Formula is nothing: Life is everything. Life is Mind and Heart at the same time.” Eileen Gray
Complexity: Undermines control and invites user participation, allowing flexibility. We should embrace both the simplification of the industrial age and the earlier aesthetic embodied in religion and magic. Celebrate change and transformation. Millennium Park in Chicago is a great example of complexity, flexibility and transformation.
We strive to celebrate life, encourage connection and interaction and create holistic environments that unite buildings with their surroundings.