Download a PDF of this article as it appeared in the Naples Daily News 2.22.2013 here. What follows has been edited from the print edition to reflect updates and sensibility.
The recent Super Bowl commercial (2013) based on Paul Harvey’s famous ‘So God Made A Farmer” has spawned an online response called ‘So God Made A Designer’, the point of which is simply this: designers create the finer things in life.
Design demands primary respect for materials which, in my own profession, includes necessary adherence to simple horticulture, a rule immediately separating professionals from dilettantes and, coincidently, separating potential clients from also-rans. We want a result far finer, worthy of endless immersion and viewing, a captivating object or space, endlessly manipulating the happy sensibility of the participant.
A recent example comes to mind, a small commission where a row of palm trees is to line the drive in an upscale neighborhood: exactly what species of palms is to be used? For the homeowner, a well crafted design is welcoming, comfortable, stable. This is the charm, really, of very fine design. In a different arena: why is using an iPhone so darn appealing, for example? Jonny Ive knows: the device is empowering.