Victorian or Colonial revival? Modern or contemporary?
Even if you’re just curious, knowing the style of a home can be helpful for buying, selling, remodeling or decorating.
Deborah Burns, executive director of the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, said many homes have easily identifiable styles — a Colonial has a symmetrical facade, a small portico and a center hall, and a bungalow has a central roof dormer and a foundation made with patterned concrete blocks. But she also cautions that not all resources offer the correct information, and not all homes have a set style. It’s hardest to pin down suburban homes, she said.
Designs become icons when they embody the time in which they were created. The Eames lounge chair represented a midcentury shift to a more casual home life when many people still held “tea times” in formal living rooms. The invention of the Aeron chair in the 1990′s marked an era when a company could show that it cared about its employees by giving them the pinnacle in ergonomic seating. Today, with the launch of Herman Miller’s Public Office Landscape furniture system, Fuseproject, the design firm run by Yves Béhar, hopes to capture the spirit of our networked lives in a collection of chairs, desks, and space shaping components.
“We’re trying to reflect horizontality and creativity,” says Béhar. “Today, it’s not just the boss that gets a special chair. Because of improvements in materials and the way we approach design, everyone can have one. With the Public Office Landscape, we tried to capture this notion of collaboration and immediate access to ways of getting together.” On the surface the collection is stylish and airy, but below the polished aesthetics the system reveals a lot about what it means to be a modern office worker.
When your base team consists of engineers, scientists, plus an architect, you know your product will be interesting. But that’s an understatement when it comes to Deep Ocean Technology (DOT) and their customizable underwater hotel.
Construction started in January (in Poland) but the first planned Water Discus hotel (in Dubai) will likely not be finished until March 2015, although development began in 2010. The basic version starts at $50 million, not including local research or transportation. Location and configuration vary the price. Building takes place in a shipyard where DOT manages the plans and tools, and sees to it that everything is right. Then, the hotel is transported to the desired site and installed.
“A Day in the life of a Interior Designer
An interior designer is responsible for the interior design, decoration, and functionality of a client’s space, whether the space is commercial, industrial, or residential. Interior designers work closely with architects and clients to determine the structure of a space, the needs of the occupants, and the style that best suits both. The position is a combination of engineer and artist, and it takes a unique type of mind to handle both of those concepts well. Interior designers have to be good with more than color, fabric, and furniture; interior designers must know materials, have budgeting skills, communicate well, and oversee the ordering, installation, and maintenance of all objects that define a space. They also have to know about electrical capacity, safety, and construction. This broader range of required knowledge distinguishes them from interior decorators. Interior designers have to be able to work with contractors and clients alike, planning and implementing all aesthetic and functional decisions, from faucet handles to miles of carpeting —and all this usually must be done within a fixed budget. Interior designers are hired for their expertise in a variety of styles and approaches, not merely their own personal vision. Therefore, they have to be able to balance their own tastes and their clients’ tastes—and be willing to put their clients’ tastes first. This requirement can be frustrating at first for many who enter the profession. Interior designers are often asked to begin their planning before construction of a space is finished; this means that they must be good at scheduling and comfortable reading blueprints. This element of the job comes as a surprise to many new interior designers, who expect to have less of an administrative and technical role and more of a role in influencing the overall feel and appearance of a space. Those who thrive in the industry say this ability to balance the practical with the aesthetic is crucial to being a successful interior designer. Interior design is hard work, but those who do it well find the work very satisfying.”