Property Report #105

In today’s ‘global village’, travel is ubiquitous, a fact of modern life, available to the masses and accessible to a far greater spectrum of society than ever before.

Myself and my fellow designers now boast a client base that has seen top-end real estate in world class cities. They have stayed at five star hotels and resorts in the sorts of destinations highlighted by luxury travel magazines, so the bar on expectations has been raised. What was ‘good enough’ yesterday isn’t today.

This is good news for the design industry, because it puts a premium on quality design – the upper end of the market appreciates stylish, luxurious and functional design and is willing to pay extra for it. But just what constitutes good design? ‘Good design’ is an ephemeral term and one that demands to be defined.

The modernist architect Louis Kahn once wrote: “I believe that in architecture, as in all art, the artist instinctively keeps the marks which reveal how a thing was done.’’ I’m a firm believer that design should not be reduced to style, likes or dislikes. Design is the business of matching meaningful form to the complexities of project parameters: site, orientation, brief, budget, market demands and more. Arriving at the most appropriate solution should be process driven.

Too often, design is seen by non- architects as a moment of divine inspiration, whereas in reality, good design is very Darwinian in its progress – that is to say that it evolves over a series of stages. Many ideas are explored, and many, needless to say, end up on….

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