On a recent trip to Chicago, some fellow interior designers and I spoke with Eva Maddox of Eva Maddox Branded Environments, about the state of the design industry. “Are designers still inspired in their designs?” she asked us. In reflecting on my own work, I decided to explore Eva’s challenge by gathering insight from different facets of the profession and designers with multiple levels of experience. I found what they said inspiring.
Some seasoned professionals say they find inspiration from the theoretical viewpoint. Crystal Kittredge of Sasaki Associates in Watertown, MA, spoke of understanding human behavior and interaction as inspiring.
For instance, watching children on a playground can help you tap into your own inner child.
Brian Smuts, senior associate at Gensler in Chicago, said he likes to surround himself with talent and giving these talented people the freedom to be creative. Mentoring young designers is important because as a profession we learn from each other and get inspired by the people around us.
Dewey Nichols, manager of store design for Talbots, is inspired by two celebrity designers, Holly Hunt and Barbara Barry. “They capture a clean and sophisticated design language that speaks to the customer,” he says. “Both have a materials palette that is studied and harmonious.” Dewey also cheers the designs of architect Robert AM Stern. “He reinterprets the classics with a clean and sophisticated style unlike the post modernists of the 1980s.”