British brains define space through design
Published : Oct 8, 2013 - 21:45
Updated : Oct 8, 2013 - 21:45
Interior designer Gavin Hughes speaks about space and its relationship to design.  (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
Two British designers talked about their common guiding principle of “space” in a lecture titled “Defining Space Through Design” at Herald Design Forum on Tuesday.

“Having clarity is the most important when I create design. You need to clarify how the space will be used,” said Gavin Hughes, an interior designer and graphic designer with Strategy Plus at AECOM. “Understand your clients and find out their needs with your every intuition and analysis. If you know it, it does not necessarily cost much to develop design.”

During the session, Hughes presented one of his design projects, Hill Primary School in England. The inside of the gray, outdated building was dark, even during the day, and it looked like a prison, he recalled. A majority of its students were from minority groups.

“When we were asked to do this project, we tried to understand what this school needed first. I thought school should be colorful, flexible, and productive. The space should be a place where they can freely learn, communicate, and cooperate together.”

Hughes’ team divided the space into three color zones. The blue area is a space for activity. The red is the largest space where students can make presentations and communicate. The green is where students can quietly have one-on-one conversation or take a rest.

“Following the project, the teachers told us that the school became a place where students can cooperate with each other.”

British designer Gary Card gives a lecture titled “Defining Space Through Design.” (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
If Hughes’ design is based more on analysis and research, Gary Card’s design is based more on intuition and creativity.

“My approach of design is less in a traditional way but more in an intuitive way. I go by feeling and texture,” Card, an illustrator and set designer, said.

At the session, he showed diverse work that looked creative and innovative but seemingly difficult to understand.

“I want to create new things which people never thought of before,” he said. “That is my biggest concern for design.”

He showed a Christmas tree made of auto parts. As the tree is connected to an electric car, it emits light at night.

“Who would think of making a Christmas tree with parts? This kind of new idea makes me excited the most.”

In terms of projects, the two designers also have different perceptions.

Hughes said, “You should set a boundary for the organization and use your creativity within it. Design should be creative and intuitive but you should find the optimized design within the boundary.”

Card had slightly different ideas.

“I agree with Hughes that we should follow the brand guideline. However, we need to find something new and dynamic to expand the boundary,” Card said. “Because we are designers, we often have conflicts with our clients. Of course, I need to do my best to meet their needs but I often persuade my clients and explain to them why my design is better. I guess we need more discussion and communication with clients.”

The start of the project is always difficult, he added.

By Shin Ji-hye