from Dean Meyers

How does this wall look on me?

Housing Works' Design on a Dime Benefit

Housing Works' Design on a Dime Benefit

Last Thursday evening I had the opportunity to peek into over 20 stranger’s bedrooms and other living spaces. Actually, I was invited to not only peruse, but to purchase the lamps, tables, beds….anything with a price tag on it. There were plenty of nice items to choose from, and it wasn’t just a shabby chic auction or a fire sale going on, it was Housing Works’ “Design on a Dime” Benefit show, held at The Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street in Manhattan. Is New York in a spring cleaning/home design frenzy? I ask because as the Benefit opened its doors the May 11, 2009  issue of New York Magazine cover article was Design Liberation: The 2009 Home Design Issue.

I don’t have an answer why home design is on the mind of New Yorkers right now, and you can just look at my pics below from the Design on a Dime Benefit show and not read anymore of this post. But it is a good time to think about design as something that isn’t just in the minds and hands of experts.

An Obama-inspired bedroom

An Obama-inspired bedroom

We all design (by accident as well as on purpose), starting with our home and work spaces. Rather than being just an unconscious reflection of who we are (messy or neat, bright or somber), it can be what we want it to be by applying thought about how the contents of the room affects us, choosing colors that dominate the setting for each room, and displaying a few choice items that make a statement.  This is where visiting a show like this or reading the New York Magazine article can stimulate our creativity and inspire us.

Enjoy the picture show below. Look for color, shapes, organization. See what you like, and think about how it sets a mood. Imagine why you’d like to spend time in that room or why you wouldn’t even walk into a room like that. Design is proactive, and after you’ve looked at what other people have done to create an environment, think about what you might do to change yours.

Moving from 3-D to the flat spaces we design all the time as well, apply the same criteria: is this slide or page or web site inviting, welcoming, cold, formal, funky? Would I want to spend time here or just go past it quickly because it’s too messy and unorganized? Take a stroll through a presentation on Slideshare and see what others are designing that make you feel at home, and use it as an example. Hopefully a light bulb with a pretty lampshade will turn on in your mind.

Click here to see the slide show from Design on a Dime Benefit

Click here to see the slide show from the Design on a Dime Benefit

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Close your eyes to see

Thanks to Howard Greenstein, I was able to get into the the Social Media Club meeting in New York City last week on short notice. The details about the meeting, along with video, is posted here:

I didn’t want to tweet about it, which I am finding is now a great way of making notes, but I did bring pencil and pad to write down things that might interest me. The first speaker, Fraser Kelton (@fraser) spoke about Glue, and the issue of “walled gardens” keeping data from transferring between applications.  My pad and pencil responded with this:


The second speaker was Tina Alexander, talking about the community sites currently in beta on The Wall Street Journal’s site.I was struck by the idea of “Curated content”, a phrase she used, and drew this:


The images come from the talks, and they serve as reminders of the talks. Sometimes from listening, pictures are created in the mind that are more striking than anything projected on the screen. Sometimes, you have to close your eyes to see.

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Filed under: design, Presentation Skills, Visual Expression, Visual Problem-Solving, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tell the tale, enrich it with detail

Good storytelling sometimes has nothing to do with the story itself, particularly if it’s a story so familiar we can tell it to ourselves. Here’s an example of great storytelling that isn’t about the story, a familiar chestnut of a fairy tale, but the way it’s told: with humor, simplicity, and a surprising amount of data visualization that might hang around in your mind even after the story is done.

picture-1Slagsmålsklubben – Sponsored by destiny from Tomas Nilsson on Vimeo.

Filed under: design, Storytelling, Visual Expression

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August 2021