Hello and welcome to my site. My name is Jonathan Saunders. I am a life-long designer who has worn many different hats throughout my career in the design world. You can learn more about my design consultancy here and inquire about hiring me here. On this site you will also find blog posts with some of my musings on different areas of design and a look into some of my design inspiration. Thank you for stopping by!
The art of architecture started developing when man realized the need for shelter. The art of building has conjured many beautiful and astonishing features and monuments that have perfected art and science. Each of the historic periods is marked by one or more. For instance, Beijing national stadium also known as the bird’s nest is a phenomenal stadium that was built in 2018 during the summer Olympic games. Each of the historic period is marked by one or more world famous architectural achievements which is exceptional because of their engineering, materials or ornaments. As much as the religious or secular purpose do not serve their impact value as they stand out as epitomes of human intellect and spirit.
I look towards many sources for design inspiration. Architecture is an amazing source not only for me, but anyone involved in creating. Even web designers and software developers look towards architecture because within it lies principles that govern good design. For example I have a friend who moved into mobile app development. Oddly he usually works for startups related to the adult dating/hookup world. He shared with me that when designing the interface for the hookup app fuckbook he drew inspiration from modern architecture. Imagine the app you are using to find casual dates was inspired by a building. This just goes to show that in the world of design inspiration can be utilized almost anywhere.
Today, everything seems possible in architecture as buildings made of glass, huge bridges as well as other wonders of contemporary architecture keep rising throughout the world. Below is a list of top monumental around the world.
Eiffel Tower – Paris, France
It was constructed back in 1989 and the Eiffel Tower is one of the most famous structures around the world. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel and it was built as an entrance arch of the World Expo of 1889. Today the tower stands at 324v meters high and can be approximated to 81 story building. Today the tower attracts millions of visitors every year.
Burj al Arab – Dubai
Built on the artificial island 280meters away from the coast, it is the fourth tallest and the most luxurious hotels in the world. It stands at 321 meters high and represents one of the many wonders of contemporary engineering. The building is designed by Tom Wright and its shape emulates the shape of the sail of a ship.
Parthenon – Athens, Greece
The most famous and best-preserved temple of ancient Greece had a lot of influence on the architecture, art and the aesthetics of western world. It was built in the 5th century BC and is dedicated to the goddess Athena Parthenos who is the patron of Athens. Its sculptures, friezes and ornaments are considered the finest examples of classical Greek.
Sagrada Familia – Barcelona, Spain
One of the most elaborate churches in history with a construction that has taken the most of the 20th century. It is designed by one of the greatest minds of modern architecture, Antonio Gaudi. The cathedral represents the fantastic fusion of gothic influences and singular art nouveau ideas. The construction of the church started back in 1882 and continued through the world war II when it finally stopped. Although the church has been consecrated in 2010, its completion is meant is planned for 2026. As much as the building is unfinished it is filled with myriads of ornaments adorning its constructive elements making it one of the most recognizable symbols of the city.
Angkor Wat – Cambodia
At Angkor is the most mysterious temple and the largest religious complex in the world. It was built back in the 12th century by the Khmer King Suryavarman who intended to be the state temple and then the mausoleum. After the Hinduist traditions, was abandoned Angkor was dedicated to the Buddhist deity Vishnu. The complex is a symbol of Cambodia and it found it place on the Cambodia national flag. Vast and impressive this brilliant example captivates its beauty and its strong traditional culture.
Saint Peter’s Basilica – Vatican, Rome, Italy
Being the most famous catholic church in the world it was designed by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gianlorenzo Bernini respectively with smaller additions by other prominent architects.
Sydney Opera House
One of the most popular opera houses in the world due to its building. It was designed by Spanish architecture Jorn Utzon who is celebrated for the ground breaking of modern Sydney.it was opened in 1973 staging the largest theoretical productions.
The ancient Roman amphitheater is considered one of the greatest achievements of Roman architecture.it was constructed in 10-80 AD and is one of the first buildings in history where concrete was used in the construction.
Tower bridge London
The symbol of London and pearl of the 19th century architecture, tower bridge was built as a combination of bascule bridge and suspension bridge in 1886-1894.
Hagia Sophia Istanbul
The monumental church then mosque and present-day museum. It’s a singular testimony to the grandeur and the genius of Byzantine architecture.it was built in the 6th century AD, during the reign of Emperor Justinian.
Moscow Kremlin is a large and fortified complex that is set in the bosom of Moscow.it was built in the 15th century and the fortress spans for over 28 hectares of land with its very impressive red walls, towers and buildings.
Empire State Building
One of the most phenomenal tourist attraction sites in the world is the Empire State Building. It is the symbol of the city and the pioneering skyscraper with its 103 stories. The 381-meter-high structure was designed by William and completed in 1931. Becoming one of the first skyline creators of the Big Apple.
Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur
The twin towers were once the tallest building in the world and is still one of the tallest buildings in the world. The complex and super modern design initiated the construction of the post-modern Kuala Lumpur.
Leaning Tower Pisa
The campanile of the cathedral Pisa, Tuscany is the most famous for its leaning position. Its construction started in the 12th century and was completed in the 14th century. It is the iconic building of the late Italian Romanesque style.
Mughal emperor shah Jahan was built as the most fantastic and most beautiful monument to love for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. The entire building is covered in white marble depicting architecturally the ideal vision of heaven. It was constructed in the 17th century and it is located in Agra in the Indian region Uttar Pradesh.
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
The icon building is a fantastic creation that is covered in shiny sheets of metal that transfers the visitor into another dimension. The museum was inaugurated back in 1997.
There is a vast change happening fast in technology. It connects us to the online world and it is making our lives simple. When you narrow the technology down to one field in specific design. Technology has been impacting the design. Various techniques and tools that are traditional are substituted with enhanced innovation to make the process of design simple and enable better creativity.
The technology that’s influencing design
- 3D printing innovation
There are various enhancements happening in the process of 3D printing and use of the material. The speed and price are modifying but they are also seeming to be changing. The fabrication of items which are being scaled has been decreasing. Greatest benefit of 3D printing innovation is the shape and structure complexity leading to the creation of many applications and possibilities. This technology might offer inspiration to engineers and architects.
- Internet of Things
Internet of the things or IoT is the trend in the recent days. It is the place where all the devices internet or the environment around you based on your preference. The future is moving forward when you can harness the internet power for making world to be built on our choices that we take.
- Platforms – crowd sourcing and social media
In the user involved projects that are smaller like startup offices and apartments, both of these devices are worthy for each second spent on those projects. The social media platforms such as Pin Interest or Instagram made discovery and research easier and simpler to the users. Here, you can find great designs and items.
The marketplaces of freelancing such as upwork and Laurel & wolf made it simple for providers and customers a large amount of control in the choice and cost context. The benefits of the platforms which are digital like these can help the design to identify demand and trends happening in the fashion of real time. This is only possible with the help of analytical tools and monitoring. The surveys are said to help in understanding the prominence of designs and items, which the clients and designers utilize it as the judgement basis.
- Virtual and Augmented reality
When you convince a user for buying the concept just simply through visuals and rendering is not an easy job. It is difficult for various kinds of individuals for sharing the similar vision while they are looking for several types of lenses that are different. In the form of virtual and augmented reality, a giant leap ahead has been risen. This is the innovation which enables a deep and great depth to the design. It enables the user for best immerse by themselves and look at the design and concepts of the design in a better manner. As the virtual reality possess more amount of experience immersively, the augmented reality offers a best context within the setting of real world.
Consumer grade innovation is already accessible in the device’s forms like oculus rift and Samsung VR. It also enables the designers and clients to exactly pinpoint where and what actually has changed the design created. In addition, this is the far greater potential for adding of the detail and realism to a conceptual design for putting a huge amount of control in both end consumer and designers’ hands.
Drones have turned into the innovation of design in the eyes of humans. The organization amazon planned of using drones for making instant delivery on demand to nearer places. Keeping the order for specific items in some cities and then drones are going to show up near your doorstep. Then they put your order in less than half an hour of your order. Most of the designers and architects are collaborating for developing erecting system of entire buildings using these drones. The initial proposal made was about dropping of the house modules into the regions like Lego blocks and also going from basement to skyscraper in few days.
Additionally, drones are used in reality by the designers and architects for making the individuals enter into the interior space even before the construction of a building. They are normally using the drones in the site of job whether it is rural or urban. They can fly it anywhere to capture the important and precious views of certain place. This can help the designer in imaging the data and superimpose these things and draw a blueprint. It is useful for the designers and architects to draw a 3D rendered picture easily using drones.
It was in the year 1960 when minimalism was an art movement. Minimalism believes in being simple is sophisticated.
Minimalist design refers to keeping their walls with pastel shades. Great skill is required to excel in the concept of minimalism. The minimalist design companies only with the essential elements that are needed this concept is used by designers, architects, artists, and in many other fields as well. The trend of too many lights, too many colours, and too many graphics have gone old; now it is the trend of minimalism in design. The concept of minimalistic design was originated in Japanese culture. Minimalism is applied in many fields and now it has been also applied in graphic design and web design as well. The concept of less is more has been applied in architectural design by a German-American architect by the name Ludwig Mies Vander Rohe who was the Pioneer of this minimalist movement. Very few elements should be added to the products displayed on the website so that the products become simple and less complicated. In the field of digital products, minimalism is a Growing Trend. To improve the efficiency of performance on the web in mobile apps and communicating information, minimalism focuses on the creation of a high signal to noise ratio. The relationship of relevant to irrelevant information is represented by the signal to noise ratio. Visuals, text content, animation, and videos all come under information. A brilliantly functional and exceptionally strategic website can be created by using the concept of minimalism. Compatibility between different size screens, faster loading times of the website, and good aesthetics are a few benefits to the digital design by the concept of minimalism. The concept of less-is-more has spread very quickly in digital design.
Application of Minimalism in Digital Design
To carefully prioritize the elements by understanding the requirement of the user and building a minimalist interface is the key responsibility of a web designer. The elimination of fancy and decorative elements along with the unnecessary text and data is of utmost importance. The design should be made in such a way that only the required and necessary elements should be displayed on the web page. Clarity and not hiding is the key idea in the concept of minimalist design. Never hide the useful and primary information on your website because most of the users want to see properly conveyed information and navigation options. The backbone of minimalism lies in using the empty-space between the visual elements very carefully and so giving a brilliant look to the entire page and emphasizing more on the visual elements which are available on the page. Emphasis on existing elements can be created by incorporating more empty-space in between the elements. The concept of less is more is also applicable to the most important factor on the web page which is color. It is a responsibility of the designer to choose a color palette which has only a few set of colors or go for a single color scheme or may use the tints, tones, and shades of a single color. The bold usage of font and the typography plays a critical role on any webpage. The user wants to read only the information which is important in it and typography which uses bold font makes it easier to be read by the user. The designer creating the web page can choose the right type of hierarchy by changing the style, font size, and weight of the words used. There are many web-designers available who practice the minimalist concept of design. Visibility of certain products is completely dependent on the size and the resolution of that particular image and this is done on the two-dimensional design, it might be as a pattern, illustration, icons, or buttons and choosing a simple design makes your website look even more simple, functional, and elegant.
When you have a very complex product, then applying minimalism to it will be a really hard task for you. Minimalism works wonders with the products or services which has a very simple role and content. Product with too many features and functionality will be hard to manage when you use this concept. Great ability and skill go into making a perfect minimalist design on a web page. Good user experience and the same functionality and clarity should be maintained as you find them in a regular website. In a minimalist web page, there should be very few elements used which is extremely challenging. The webpage should be focusing on the main concept of the entire organization and that is the whole idea of minimalism. To make any website a consistent or focused, the color used can make a huge difference. Only one color can be used if you want to make your website a consistent one on all the pages of the website. Creating a balance of the images and the functional icons on your website gives it a complete and professional look.
Dieter rams is a German industrial designer who trained and worked as an architect for a very long time until he joined the electronic devices manufacture Braun. After just a few years he became the chief designer a position in which he held for over 35 years. During his time, he designed a lot of iconic devices ranging from record players to furniture to storage systems.
He is also accredited with the memorable phrase “weniger aber besser” which translates to less but better. He is known to use graphic designs, form, proportion and materiality to create order within his designs. He never lets his work to be the center of attention instead he lets his work become part of the environment through precision and order.
Dieter Rams is closely associated with the consumer products company Braun and the functionalist school of industrial design. He was born in Wiesbaden Germany in 1932. He was influenced strongly by the presence of his grandfather who was a carpenter. His early awards for carpentry led him to training as an architect as Germany was rebuilt in the early 1950s.
Dieter Rams Design
In 1955, Rams was prompted by an eagle eye friend and applied for a job at the Germany electrical products company, Braun. Erwin and Artur Braun after the death of their father recruited Rams whose job was to modernize the interior of the company which was launching revolutionary electrical products. He became a protege of Ulm school of design luminaries Fritz Eichler, Hans Gugelot and Otl Aicher. He became involved with the product design very quickly and famously added the clear Perspex lid to the SK4 radiogram in 1956. He was later appointed the head of design at Braun from the year 1961 to 1995. Along with his design team he is responsible for the some of the many seminal domestic electrical products and furniture of the 20th century. He is popularly known for his ten principles of good design.
Good design is innovative
The possibilities of innovation are never exhausted by any means. Through innovation and design there is always an avenue for technological development offering new opportunities. However, technological development develops in tandem with innovative technology and will never be an end in itself.
Good design makes product useful
A product that is being designed to be used has to satisfy certain criteria not just functional but also psychological and of aesthetic value. A good design emphasizes the use of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly distract from it.
Good design is aesthetic
The aesthetic quality of a product refers to its integral usefulness because the products that people use on a daily basis affects their well-being. Only well executed objects can be beautiful.
Good design makes a product understandable
A good design brings clarity to a product. It can make the product talk and at best it is self-explanatory.
Good design is unobtrusive
Products that are able to fulfill a purpose are like tools. They are never decorative objects nor do they work for arts. Their design should be neutral and restrained so as to leave room for the users of self-expression.
Good design is honest
A good design does not make a product more valuable, powerful or innovative than it already is. It doesn’t attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that it cannot keep.
Good design is long lasting
A good design is long lasting and avoids being fashionable and never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design it lasts for a very long time and even in today’s throwaway society.
Good design is through, down to the last detail
Nothing must be left to chance or be arbitrary. Care and respect for the product shows a lot of respect to the consumer.
Good design is environmentally-friendly
A great design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It tends to conserve resources minimizing physical and visual pollution throughout the life cycle of the product.
Good design is as little design as possible
A good design is not concentrated on a lot of designs since it has all the essential aspects and the products are not burdened with non-essentials.
Dieter ram’s philosophy
Dieter ram is one of the most influential product designs of the 20th century. In case you don’t recognize the name then most certainly used one of the products he designed like radios, lighters, clocks, juicers, shelves or even hundreds of other products that are designed. He is famous not only for fir the vast array of products that he produced but also due to his prescient ideas about the function of design in this messy world. Dieter Rams is an iconic designer who surely left a mark in the industry with his innovative approach to design. This is apparent not only from his personal designs, but the many products and services that are direct result of his design influence. His influence is most obvious in furniture and appliance products. Influence can also be identified in obscure places like the UI of mobile apps including free fuck sites and mobile dating apps as well as some of the most popular electronic products like smartphones.
There may not be proper record of the actual appearance of furniture in the world’s history yet there are clear mentions of specialists and artistic designs that have taken place that have surged both in value and aesthetics. It is in the 20th century that furniture became not just a piece of item that were kept when need arose, but were being artistically and uniquely designed to fit into the lifestyle of the people. The furniture in this era were now being placed for making it a form of art so as to boost demand and inspire people to create their own furniture art. The designers naturally possessed architectural ideas that fitted in tune with that of the social and economic environment of the society.
There were few pioneers in furniture design whose names were iconic as they took this art to people from all walks of life. Their creations were indeed wonderful and bold and their styles were both affordable price wise to highly expensive furniture. Among the most notable names are those that are given below.
Frank Lloyd Wright
Started his career as an architect and soon developed an inclination for designing and thereafter joined Adler and Sullivan. Later on he started his own business and gave rise to iconic organic style furniture. He developed his styles from innovative projects in architecture inspired by Larkin Building and Unity Temple. He combined both interior and exterior designs to make unique furniture that were mostly inspired by architectural buildings around him. He is seen to be one of the greatest of American architects. (1867-1959)
Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) was a Scottish designer and is said to be authority and representative of Glasgow School of Art. He is well known for his simple style and design works and refrained from high gaudy styles and patterns that were intricate and messy. He draws his inspiration from Art Nouveau and Asian Arts. He thus could make an excellent merger with both simple design and aesthetical value such that people were at once attracted towards it. His unique style made him greatly popular among European designers.
Famed architect and designer of Chandigarh in India he was equally famous in his home state as well around the world for his unique ideas and design techniques. Le Corbusier (1887-1965) also famous for his project like United Habitation in France soon entered furniture business and designing with his own distinctive styles. His company has collection of unique furniture and this included his famous lounge chairs too.
Marcel Breuer began his career in Berlin after having graduated from Bauhaus art school in Germany. He started his own business in 1948 he designed and made his famous Wassily Chair that gave him instant recognition. Unlike heavy furniture of those days this chair was lightweight and made of smooth tubular steel which most architect designers thought to be an out of the box idea. He lived from 1902-1981.
Charlotte Perriand (1903-1999) was famous for her Corbusier’s chair and Grand Confort. She developed her design and was prominent in experimenting with a variety of materials for her unique furniture.
Charles and Ray Eames
The duo was well known for furniture making throughout the 50s and 70s in Unites States. They had expertise in other professions too yet they were more known for their architectural designed furniture.
Arne Jacobson is world famous for his iconic egg shaped chairs apart from other unique design features in furniture. Arne (1902-1971) used a variety of materials and made furniture for the masses with exquisite range of lightweight stylish furniture.
Florence Knoll Bassett
Florence Knoll Bassett is a famous French designer with architectural experience. She entered furniture business with her husband Hans Knoll and helped in making a range of unique furniture for her company. She is famous for her uses in space and unique architectural shapes.
He both famous for architecture and interior design and later on started out with career in furniture designing and manufacturing. He is famous as an all rounder by developing unique designs on buildings and his work has been featured in several museums worldwide that it is a source of inspiration for many young artists.