Shin-Yatsushiro Monument: Conceptual Design Was Bad?

Conceptual design is far from as simple and easy as it looks. From it's fundamental expression of concept, to its ability to intelligently capture people through simplicity. From far away, this monument appears to be a child-like house, maybe something that Tim Burton would have in one his movies. Inside is the waiting area, where people can see that the whole structure is punctured with holes, and the flat walls sum up to a 3-dimensional structure. The waiting area for a high speed train in Japan, a conceptual design presented in its simplicity, like the Vuitton building (below), an optical illusion.

It does not follow any form of instructional guide, and artistic freedom is left to the designer. There needs to be an underlying objective of the design, something that the designer is seeking to accomplish. After the concept is defined and established, carefully paying attention to the context of the social and physical environment in which it will be employed, you can begin to understand user rules and requirements. After this, you mitigate the constraints with the objectives, and you have a plan.

The ability to express complicated ideas through the most simple and functional form is essential to a conceptual designer. Even in fine art, all innovations of post-modern and modern art are of conceptual creation. We can look to cubism as a developed concept, presented in its simplicity, yet able to express a complicated thought process. Add to this dadaism, expressionism, and even well-done modern industrial design processes, like the IPOD. Others argue that good, intelligent design is visually complicated, whose synchronization and implementation is only brought upon by the best designers. I refute this claim, because while these "visually complex" designs may or may not have a concept behind them, the designer plays the luck of the draw in finding out if some concept can be luckily found through making things complicated. A conceptual designer begins with the complicated concept and then seeks to simplify it to the extent of reaching all people.

The beauty of conceptual designs are that they are simple and intense, exactly what good design should be, in my eyes. While others see good design in intricate patterns (see Li Xi), and the ability to interweave complicated rhythms, conceptual design expresses an artistic right that the designer has. It is because of the fact that the concept usually predicates the user requirements, and because of the bold nature of this idea, that conceptual design opportunities are usually only given to those accomplished designers.

Listening to John Coltrane.


dropitlike said...

conceptual design is beautiful but its so impractical. Look at this "house" you cant use it in the rain, and during a rushed train schedule, will it be useful? Look at the LV building, sure if you are a luxury brand you can squander money on this stuff, but lets talk practicality. H&M designs their stores for efficient returns... and brands like that outnumber brands like LVMH.

Andrew said...

I agree that the best design, like writing, uses the least amount of substance necessary to achieve its goal.

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