Throughout my professional career, I have noticed that the best interior design and architecture is a combination of innovative, creative thinking coupled with solid technical proficiency. A good design alone is not sufficient; it must be combined with the best construction technology and detailing techniques. Without good detailing and the best selection of materials, the most imaginative design will suffer by not adequately meeting the function for which it was intended, being unsafe, costing more money than it should, making construction difficult, wearing out over time, and being a maintenance problem.

Conversely, a perfectly executed technical solution is not enough if the designer has failed to fully explore options and creative ways to solve the problem before starting the construction drawings. Solutions to problems approached this way may serve their basic function but will miss their potential to fully express design possibilities and targeted, client-oriented solutions.
During my many years of teaching interior construction, I realized that the reason for the dichotomy often seen between conceptual design and construction design is the way the human brain works. This is based on the left brain/right brain theory, which in simple terms, suggests that the left brain hemisphere handles analytical, logical thinking, and the right hemisphere is the creative, intuitive side. The work and questions of my students suggested that if someone is predominately right or left brained he or she cannot be as good a designer as someone who has the ability to use both sides of the brain almost simultaneously. This ability is typically learned in school and during the early stages of a designer’s practice, but many times a person stays with one more than the other to the detriment of good design problem solving.

This book is an attempt to bridge the gap between broad, conceptual design thinking and the specific requirements of designing all the necessary aspects of an interior space.
Both are necessary for a successful design and one cannot really exist without the other.I hope that both students and practicing interior designers can benefit from viewing both sides of the issue, especially if they tend to focus on one more than the other. This simultaneous thought process is really one of the most valuable skills that interior designers and architects can offer their clients when they undertake to solve the wicked problems of design discussed in Chapter 1. Not many people can juggle the creative and the technical to solve environmental problems while creating interiors that are a joy in which to work, play,and live.

The first part of the book provides a general approach to designing a detail that is applicable for any design problem and includes the many factors that must be considered.
The second part of the book discusses some of the primary elements of interior design and gives both conceptual and technical ways to fulfill the design intent of the project.
The last part of the book provides some conceptual ideas for making the connections between individual interior elements and offers some starting points to make these connections.

Because so much of interior design is proprietary—that is, specific manufacturer’s products are used to solve specific problems—I have included some of these with the manufacturers’ web sites as a starting point so the reader can get more ideas and information.

These listings are by no means complete, so I encourage readers to explore some of the general building product web sites given in the back of the book to do further research for specific design problems. By applying the guidelines I provide in the first part of this book with other details in the book and specific manufacturer’s Information, you can approach any design problem wisely and competently.

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