Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Food for Thought

      I watch TLC's Fabulous Cakes all the time, but for some reason yesterday I was viewing it from a different perspective. I noticed how much Pastry Chefs and Interior Designers have in common. Think about it. They use a lot of the same concepts, principles and elements as designers do. Scale, proportion, shape, balance (figuratively and literally), color, and texture are some the the key components that make design successful and it is true for both designer and chef. 
These custom cakes take a lot of hardwork and patience. 
 Teamwork is another aspect they have in common.  

      Although the technique and application is different they both operate from a heart inspired to design and create lasting impressions from conception to construction!

"To Be or Not to Be"

     There are so many professional organizations for Interior Designers to be a part of. ASID, USGBC, IIDA, and NEWH are a couple, just to name a few. As I get closer and closer to graduation I realize that when I begin working I must continue to find more ways to stay involve and be "in the know". So I thought to myself, if I had to choose only one which one would it be?! I would choose to be a member of International Interior Design Association (IIDA).
     I believe that this organization will be the best fit for me. I want to work in hospitality design and I want to travel all over the world. What better way than to be connected with an organization whose mission is to "create an international association with a united mission that would represent Interior Designers worldwide". Not only am I getting a degree in Interior Design, but I am also obtaining one in Spanish. Being a member of an international organization will also help me unite with other people from different walks of life and see the world of design from their eyes.
     I spoke with Carolina Diaz about membership in organizations such as this one and she said that it's a great opportunity for networking and learning more about the field and staying connected with the latest advances. It's also a great way to continue feeding your passion for design. As a designer networking is very important and beneficial and can lead to other great opportunities as well such as jobs and new friends.
Other benefits of IIDA is the forums that aid in your professional development and their philanthropic efforts worldwide. As a college student I have been involved on campus in a variety of different ways from giving tours to prospective students to going on missions trips to help make a difference and I feel that being a part of IIDA will continue to allow me to do so even after college.
     After I graduate I definitely want to work for an International firm (Residential or Commercial) where my passion for design and desire to learn can be appreciated. I enjoy embracing different cultures and styles of design and I would like to be able to have that flexibility to travel abroad to work on other projects.
Luxurious House Zephyr Palace 500x332 Luxurious House Zephyr Palace Design

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Dream House

 Architect Barbie Dream House Design Competition
     This summer, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) held a design competition for Architect Barbie's "Dream House." Architect Barbie's new home is a one-of-a kind 4 story Dream House. This modern environmentally sustainable and open floor plan is sure to be a favorite amongst all the little ladies playing with it.

AIA Architect Barbie Dream House Competition
The winning design by Ting Li and Maja Paklar, is a significant transformation from Barbie's old dream house.
      The house has many features: One the first floor there is an open kitchen, living, and  dining area and a space for entertaining guest. The second floor features an office, library, meeting room, and terrace. The third floor is Barbie's bedroom and massive amazing dressing closet  and the  forth floor is her meditation space and exercise room. The roof has a garden and play area for her pets. The roof has a green house and a landscaped garden for her pets. The design elements incorporated in this dream house that help contribute to a sustainable environment are solar panels, landscaped rooftop and irrigation system, operable shading devices, bamboo flooring, low flow toilet and sink fixtures, and locally sourced and manufactured materials and furnishings.
     This Barbie dream house is very modern and nothing like the traditional "American Dream" house we are accustomed to seeing her live in. Here is an example of the Barbie dream townhouse from 2010. It is a 3-story pink traditional house with traditional furniture. It has some great features such as a full kitchen, elevator, and fire place.

Barbie Doll House
Barbie's Dream Townhouse 2010

     Each of these designs are completely different and my personal design aesthetic is a happy combination of the two. I like the sustainable aspects of the first design and the floor plan, but I would like to see some traditional elements incorporated. Also, what about downsizing and designing a dream house that isn't so big? It is a little too modern for my taste, but I think the concept of the modern house will sell and more of Barbie's homes to come will transform to a more modern design aesthetic.
     If I had to pick one to buy as a gift for a young girl I would buy the modern house because it is a reflection of the current design aesthetic that is becoming more and more popular amongst the nation.  Also once again, I really like the message behind the sustainable elements implemented as well. It would be interesting though to work on the traditional house as a designer and add more of a modern influence and incorporate some sustainable principles. One thing that I would like to see as an added feature in the traditional townhouse is a rainwater tank.

Rain Water Tank
     A rainwater tank is a great approach for water conservation and a great step in toward being more sustainable. Rainwater tanks can be stored above or below ground and the stored water can be used for gardening, flushing toilets, washing cars, and clothes, even for drinking water, if properly treated. 
     Even though her new modern house has solar panels, operable shading devices and energy saving bathroom and light fixtures I believe it is is important to make sure that the children playing with the Barbie dream house understand the significance of these features and what they mean. It is a wonderful idea to try to instill principles and sustainable practices in the minds and hearts of those who will be influential in our future ecological success, however I think the message is lost if they don't truly understand the meaning.