Designer’s Notebook: The Dynamics of Designing
As a teacher of three-dimensional design, Aaron Levine has learned there is a wide spectrum of pathways for creating something from nothing
As a teacher of three-dimensional design, I’ve learned there is a wide spectrum of pathways for creating something from nothing. Every craftsperson or artist embodies a unique blend of attributes that contribute to their design method. Some designers operate on an intellectual plane while others leverage their emotions. And designing is a dynamic process, not a static one. At times, it can feel overwhelming because it involves a multi-dimensional array of elements including form, function, expression of ideas, engineering, aesthetics, and technical proficiency. These are all connected. If the form of a piece is changed, the engineering might be affected, which might alter the function. To orchestrate this chorus of considerations, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of what one wants to express. When you achieve that, it can become the guiding principle that informs every design decision. This approach to design requires awareness, discipline, and mindfulness, but it allows you to create a body of work that is uniquely yours.
For me, writing is both easy and difficult at the same time. It requires an inward voyage to achieve an outward destination. When I made this writing table, I chose to reflect that duality in the design, juxtaposing opposites in an attempt to create visual balance and beauty. Writing itself is a distillation of ideas, so I kept the elements to a minimum.
By wrapping luminescent curly Oregon myrtle veneer over the simple slab of the top, I contrasted a rich surface with a basic sculptural form, aiming to achieve a complementary harmony. In curving the legs and the stretchers and the underside of the top, I wanted to give the impression that the table is being affected by gravity, yet at the same time seems light and sprightly. I designed the legs and stretchers as…