My story about my espresso cups illustrates, I hope, the mantra that 'good design is as little design as possible'. But it's a very difficult trick for designers to pull off: to design in such a way that what you create is accepted as just being itself, rather than something that declares itself as having been 'designed'. Not least is the fact that we have to earn a living, and it's often the client who might expect to see 'bangs for their bucks' that determines how 'designed' something might appear to be. And the client's own customers - for very often what they might want for their money is a little bit of 'bling'. Or, as the estate agent I met at a party declared to me, "so your job is to make things look sexy".
Now, talking of estate agents, I've been keeping an eye on the local property scene for the last two or three years (in the idle anticipation that I might one day decide to move house). And no doubt people (and estate agents) need to spend some time on preparing a property so that it will photograph well and entice potential punters over the threshold. Or made to look 'sexy', as my fellow party goer would have it. But there are two forms of 'sexiness' that I see on Rightmove almost every day that really do make my heart sink.
Downlighters. In the bathroom, fine - I don't really have an issue with that. In the kitchen - I might possibly be persuaded. In the lounge - NO, NO, NO (particularly if the house is Edwardian, as many in my area are).
Decking. Look, I live in southern England. If I'm really, really lucky, the times that it might be possible to relax with a glass or two of Chardonnay on a wooden platform in the open air occur between the months of May and September. The other eight months it's invariably pissing down with rain and I'd be arse over tip as soon as I stepped out of the back door. There's only one place for decking - and that's Australia.
And the sad part of this particular rant? It's that some people look at these things and think that they're 'well designed'.
Normal - ie cheerful - service will resume tomorrow. Maybe.