Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Inspirational Details

Library of Congress floor tiles  Photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012

"The details are details. They make the product.
The connections, the connections, the connections.
It will in the end be these details that give the product its life."
American designer Charles Eames

I have always said "Details make up the whole picture" and they do. Details help us to make connections and differentiate one thing from another. In our world today, things move so quickly that details are often over looked. We take for granted the small pieces to our everyday life, and focus on the grand picture. Sure, it is easy to find amazing details in places like say the Library of Congress (I mean, really, check out the floor tile alone). But, how about everyday details of our surroundings. I decided to take a closer look at something we see everyday - Lamp Posts. Really, how much design detail is found on a lamp post? 

What if you slowed down a little, giving yourself time to notice the little things...What would you see?

I spent time thinking about this question, and here is what I saw.

Bank Lamp Post   Photo By Star Bunny Design 2012

The photo above is a detail of a lamp post, and it is in my humble opinion a stunning example of detailed design. The gold and black is a classic regal color combination. The bold use of the Greek Key border at the base looks great in juxtaposition with the more delicate curvilinear laurel leaf shapes above. Look closely in the laurel leaves, you will see shields peeking through. The lions paw a symbol of strength, is set as support of the motif.

"We think in generalities, but we live in detail."
English mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead

Bank Lamp Post 2  Photo by Star Bunny Design

Only a few blocks away I found this black lamp post. The flat black color was all I saw at first glance, and continued to walk past it. Then I saw the detail, and stopped. The main feature that struck me was the griffin at the base of this lamp post. With the head of a lion and wings of an eagle griffins are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions, so I thought it was all too fitting to have this be the design detail of a lamp at a bank. 

National Archives Lamp Post   Photo By Star Bunny Studio

This detail photo is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES. This is a picture of the base of a lamp post outside the National Archives. It is nothing but amazing detail. From the lion paws that support the entire structure, to the beveled base with flower chain detail, up to the fish head peeking out from under a garland of fruit, leaves, and flowers. It is a testament to detail in design. Not to mention the great color pallet of aged copper, set to a background of light pink granite with black & white speckles - It is enough to make me fall in love.

All of these lamp posts would still function the same without all the detailed design. But would they then give the viewer the same impression of the building it is standing in front of? Would the same feelings be invoked if the design was streamlined and void of detail? 

"Sometimes when you start losing detail, 
whether it's in music or in life, 
something as small as failing to be polite,
you start to lose substance."
                       The American "King Of Swing" Benny Goodman

I hope you take a moment to be inspired by the details around you.