Tuesday, 4 October 2011
Design Schmuck in Eastern Europe
I've been giving some thought to what I said in my last blog. I stated, that the combination of beauty and horror I experienced while traveling through Eastern Europe, had greatly impacted how and why I design.
The majority of design projects that I have worked on have been in brand spanking new Alberta, Canada. The oldest home that I have renovated was built during the 50s. I am currently working on a 100 year old home in Calgary and it's certainly been a challenge. Which aspects of the home are just dated and which aspects are character pieces? I can't even begin to imagine how challenging it would be to renovate a home that was built in the 1700s! I guess you keep the aspects that haven't fallen apart because it ALL has character. Here in Alberta, we bring the plumbing and electrical up to code, update the finishing of the home; flooring, cabinets, trim, doors, lighting and plumbing fixtures and ta da, another renovated home. At what point do these less than 100 year old homes have character? Will these new neighbourhoods of the oil boom ever have character? This vacation brewed all of these questions.
I have many clients who joke and say that "Kim shows-up with a dumpster, nothing is safe." I am now finding that perplexing. My need to modernize everything has, perhaps, caused me to lose appreciation for history and sentiment. In my early days of design, I was very concerned about reusing and recycling purely out of necessity. The more elaborate my projects/homes got, the less I was concerned with it.
In summary, my travels through Eastern Europe has caused me to appreciate the history of design again. I've even pulled out my design school text book on architectural history. I'm considering the character of homes more instead of transforming them into their modern younger sister.
In my next blog, I'll be ready to discuss how my travels have impacted why I design. I've got some thinking to do.