Monday, May 23, 2011

The difference between designing for the public and for the individual

People tend to make a distinction between designing a color scheme for interior and for exterior. But in my experience, it doesn't make much difference. However, there's huge difference between designing for public space and for private space. In fact the difference is so big that while I consider myself an expert on color in public space, I don't consider myself qualified for color design in private space. So what's the difference?
In private space, the personal feelings, tastes and biasses of the owner are leading. So it's a highly personal and psychologcal process: you need to understand your client's personal needs and circumstances. Only then you'll be able to come up with a plan that fits your client's personality. You have to know the tricks and methods of the process.
In public space, on the other hand, the process is very different. Frist you need to try and find out the needs and circumstances of the community that occupies that space. Obviously, getting to know a community is different from trying to understand an individual. In public space, it is inevitable to go with generalizations. You also have to understand how MOST people react to color in general, rather than the peculiarities of one individual person.
In short: public space requires working with groups, while public space requires dealing with an individual. It is not the same at all….

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