The knowledge of space can be science, can be art. To design for space, it is a dialogue between art and science. Space also encompass visual stimulus and emotional sensation. This is a story of a designer’s journey filling space with imagination.

A spatial designer monologue

Forget about design theories or philosophy, leave the designer’s pride aside and stop bluffing with the psychedelic imagination. Just get the work done.

A structure cannot be visualized in the designer’s mind but a few trial-and-error with a series of self-mumbling in funky language will probably get a blur idea of how to move forward.

Go back to check the brief if it does exist, hope to find some hints or discover a danger zone that you cannot be there. Knowing the boundary of what you cannot do is the same as knowing the objective. Try to swap eyes with your audience, taste what they feel disgusted and imagine what they will be astonished. Suddenly, everything flows into a clear direction. Beautiful ideas stacked up to fill the empty space. The designer starts sketching and the blur image becomes frame and skeleton. Voilà! everything works like a charm.

From space to a journey

The space is an answer of the question for a journey. It sounds philosophical, but truth be told, it is actually essential. To design a space, the designer must validate a lot of elements and requirements. The validation process is very important to understand how the space will be used, how the people will navigate the space, how do they interact with the content of the space? Very often we ask ourselves can we make the space talk?

Why not? Navigating a space is like listening to a story. The aesthetics always gives the first impression. It waves and welcomes the people for walking into the space. The zoning plan arranges all the content of the space which they are carefully curated to connect different parts of a visitors’ journey. The designer will also plan the lighting, the sound, the WOW factors, all are the stimulus that trigger the visitors’ basic senses. While you might think spatial design is about fitting out an interior, the design process is more like planning an experience for a journey. This is how good design works.

How do we plan a happy journey for Alibaba’s exhibition visitors

Built to last

Someone must take the design blueprint and starts proving it with nuts and bolts. These are the professional workmen with the craftsmanship. The validation process continues with a dialogue between engineer and designer. It is a reality check and sometime crushes the Alice wonderland. Where are we heading to? Should we go back to the ground zero or should we courageously move on? A dialectical relationship begins to heat up.

This is exactly the moment when a skillful project planner who is the lifesaver with the plan A and B and sometime C to Z. Eventually the team finds harmony from discord. We finally are heading to the mission accomplished.

None of us is as smart as all of us. If you take out the team in teamwork, it’s just work. Who wants that? When you hand good people possibility, they do great things. And this has been our belief at Mills and it becomes our virtue built to last.


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