Last night, I had a mindblowing experience.

A design experience.

I sat down with Milford Cushman, of the Cushman Design Group. Milford is a close friend of the family, and is one of the most talented architects I’ve ever met. Well actually, he’s not an architect. He is a designer (that’s a story for another time).

He has generously offered to help me make modifications to my Tiny House plans. However the words “generous” and “modifications” are gross understatements of what Milford did in two short hours.

I brought him a whole stack of printed out pictures, along with the original set of plans I had purchased online and we just started talking about features that I liked and and what was of interest to me.

As we talked, he started establishing some things to go on. I liked the idea of a porch. I definitely wanted to add dormers above the loft. I wanted a lot of light.

And as we talked, he started to draw. Mind you, these weren’t just rough sketches. The man is drawing 3 dimensional structures upsidedown from across the table so that they look right-side up to me.

As ideas came forth, he would draw them.

He used a pencil and a roll of trace paper, which is slightly transparent. So he could take one idea, get it drawn out, and then add a new layer to add more detail. He drew the outline of the floor on one sheet, and then used another one for the floor plan.

It was marvelous to watch him work. To see ideas going from a thought to a three dimensional design on paper.

It was Inspiring

That’s an understatement. I left with a roll of drawings to “live in” for the week, and I felt more energized than I had in months. I excitedly called people on the way home to share my energy with them and tell them about how pumped I was.

What’s Wrong with DIY?

I’m the kind of person who is always “doing it myself”. This is a good thing. I’ve always considered myself lucky to live in a time when technology has given me the means of production. This attitude of DIY has been responsible for a lot of the most positive things in my life.

Things like learning how to write and record music, playing guitar, learning how to work in WordPress. The list goes on and on.

But last night’s experience reminded me the power of good design, and the pure joy it is to work with a professional designer. Someone who’s dedicated their life to be able to create something specific.

While I could have learned google sketchup and tried to design my own space, I know I’ve gotten closer to what I actually want by working with someone who was able to see it, draw it, and design it for me.

It’s so easy to forget how important the creative process is. When we get bogged down with the repetitive, boring work, some flicker of energy goes away. And bearing witness to a true designer create something, uninhibited was extremely energizing.

So here’s a reminder

Create something. Design a new header for your website. Take a new photo for your facebook page. Write a new blog post.

If you’re feeling like your relationship with technology is all about struggle or manual work, step back and do something fun.

Getting back in touch with the creative process can really help light the spark.

Have you had any “design” experiences that changed your attitude? Tell me in the comments!

Photo by Claire_Sambrook

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