GeorgeStudio Often times, and usually as a compliment to an architectural design, we are asked to design in another idiom—a furniture piece, a graphic design, a concept or art piece, or perhaps a combination of all three. As we have been trained as, first, Designers, and as subsets of design—Architecture, Interiors, and Landscape—it naturally follows that a holistic extension of these subsets is Product, Graphic, and Concept Design. To us, design is a universal language that can, with skill and discipline, be beautifully translated into multiple disciplinary dialects.
Product Design What differentiates Product Design from, say, cabinetry design or sitework design, for us anyway, is the notion that Product Design implies replicability, and/or the ability to reproduce a component independently, outside of the context or constraints in which it was (perhaps) originally designed, and in quantity. We design 'objects' all day long—with kitchen or bathroom cabinetry design a perfect example. Elements of that cabinetry layout, especially something like a custom pedestal sink—a good example of this is the 'Shirai Sink'—might be be replicated and reproduced outside of the original project for which it was intended, and thus elevated to the status of 'Product.'
Graphic Design Graphic Design places further limits on a particular design problem in the sense that the answer is usually two-dimensional versus three—and thus, graphic. Well-trained architects are comfortable in a graphic medium—notably, plan, section, elevation, and perspective—and so the skillset necessary to translate a design problem into a two-dimensional (or graphic) vocabulary is a natural component of their design process. It naturally follows that graphic design skills are a logical extension of vigorous architectural training.
Concept Design Architects practice Concept Design when they initially commit to respond to an architectural design problem—and The Concept (or The Idea), if responsibly determined, can lead to almost infinite design permutations while still maintaining a palpable truth and integrity to the original concept, and thus, the original problem. As Concept Design is often the 'first step' taken to translate a design problem into tangible form, architects are naturally skilled and practiced in the endeavor of Concept Design.