Good design enriches our lives; from the homes we live in to the urban environment around us. Good design allows us to do tasks in a more efficient and stylish way. When something is both beautiful and functional, we create a connection; it earns a place in our lives and becomes a part of our experience. For instance, a beautiful well-designed kitchen allows for the right amount of floor space to accommodate workflow, as well as, the correct placement of cabinetry affords storing supplies at the appropriate place. Adequate sightlines allow viewing of guests while entertaining. Designing an efficient kitchen makes tasks more enjoyable and less of a chore while enriching the cooking experience.
Likewise, the urban environment we live in impacts us greatly. Designing a walkable environment with appropriated human-scaled buildings is fundamental in creating an intimate relationship between the two. It becomes an experience rather than just getting from one point to another. Well-designed streets allow for separated bike paths with buffers so riders feel safe and can enjoy the experience. Creating open spaces where people want to gather instead of being trapped in cubicles enriches their lives.
Design is more than a thing; design evokes an emotion, a feeling. By planning the spaces we live in and the environments around us, design literally changes our lives, making ordinary tasks enjoyable and everyday surroundings inspirational. As I continue in my travels, I hope to share with you designs that inspire me and evoke emotion, so in return it may inspire you to create a well-designed life.
Designing good kitchens not only takes into consideration appropriate placement of things, but also sight-lines that allow for viewing guests while entertaining, therefore enriching the cooking experience.
By reclaiming unused street space for pedestrians, New York City has become one of the pioneers in place making. This reclaimed portion of street uses part of a curve in the road at 14th St. and 9th Ave. New York City: 07/2013.
Inviting beanbag chairs create a great place for lunch on a grassy lawn. Auckland, NZ: 08/13.
This quaint downtown main street has buildings that are human scale with overreaching canopies’ that allow for a relaxed interface with the surroundings, creating a laid-back environment for shopping. Davenport, NZ: 08/13.
The large-scale buildings dwarf the pedestrians on the sidewalk and the lack of canopy creates an unnecessary sense of urgency in getting from point A to point B. Inchon, Korea: 08/13.
At an early age I set out to see the world, and while having already visited over 50 countries, I feel that my journey is just beginning. For me, travel and design go hand in hand. Whether seeking out great shops in trendy neighborhoods or exploring the architectural environment around me, discovering design inspiration everywhere I go enriches me to transform a client’s needs and desires into into their dream home.
Mike Howard is an award-winning designer specializing in kitchens, baths and small space design.