What are ideas? What inspires them, where do they come from?

Is there anything new left to do – how do we avoid regurgitating and repeating? By interpretation, by turning things inside out and upside down, by breaking the rule – but only if you know and understand the rule in the first place – by understanding the goal. Do not design for the sake of it – if it isn’t needed don't add it, if it is needed and it is difficult to apply or place – think out of the box.

Idea (n.)










Think (v.)



Figure out/resolve



Solution (n.)

a thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action.

a concept or mental impression.

an opinion or belief.

Design is problem solving – we are given a bunch of criteria/parameters – a brief, a building, a time frame etc. – in which to create a design solution.


We set about to do this – build a story, a BIG IDEA, a CONCEPT! But even before that – there are ideas & thoughts spinning around in our creative heads – inspirations taken from our daily experiences.

Visits to museums, art galleries

Painting, sculpture, static forms in space from the ancient to the modern.

Listening to music

In my case classical more often than not – where structure, discipline, collaboration (think of an orchestra – that is a team if ever there is one) experiment, are all expressed in exactly the same way and in parallel to the historical events that influenced painting and sculpture. The strict rules applied in Renaissance music and painting, the excess of Baroque music and architecture, the sentimentality of Victorian painting and music, the revolutionary music and art of the impressionists, and so on.


Story telling in a minimal format to maximal effect – concentrated prose.

Theatre and Dance

Where to begin – set design, lighting, visual storytelling, costume, often entire lifetimes and worlds being expressed in a couple of hours using visual clues.


The extremes, the exaggerations of the catwalk – a glimpse into the the future, the mall fashion in advance. Color, texture, form, politics, attitude – they are all there.

There are things to look at and inspire us everywhere, and all the time – we just have to look and see them.


A play of light on a wall seen from a train window, a pile of rocks in the desert, flying over Los Angelas at night – the crazy grids of light for miles then the black mass of the Pacific , an overheard snippet of conversation, reading design magazines and staying current with product. Paying attention to Architecture and design, not just Interior but auto, product, tableware.

Be passionate, be curious, be playful, be serious, do research, understand what the client needs – then think, brainstorm, draw, sketch, cut things up, pin things up, throw things away, be flexible, the first idea is usually the best idea…

The origin of the word idea is the Greek ‘idein’ – meaning “to see” and ‘idea’ meaning “form/pattern” which remained so Latin and early English.