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Design within Reality

Categories: Design

Nov 29, 2012

By definition, reality is something that is real. Simple enough, right? Not so fast as reality is further defined as the state of things as they actually exist, rather than how they might be imagined. Let’s not revisit Philosophy 101; however it behooves me to mention that the realities within face-to-face marketing are predominately driven by our customer, their needs, their brand and yes, their budget.

My reality began earlier this summer while enjoying a family vacation, first to the beautiful white beaches of Florida and then to the dynamic visuals of New Orleans. While many experience New Orleans by way of the French Quarter, my wife is a brilliant photographer that pursues the lesser known regions. Along our journey, we visited the Lower Ninth Ward, a neighborhood thrust into the spotlight during Hurricane Katrina. Sadly we immediately discovered that this area which experienced catastrophic damage during Katrina in 2005 was still, after all these years, devastated and in disarray. Unexpectedly we came across a modern and innovative subdivision of homes that not only made a vast statement within this forgotten community with homes that were beautiful, functional and affordable.

I learned that this community was made possible by an organization appropriately titled, Make It Right, which was founded by actor Brad Pitt in 2007. Two years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, Make It Right invited a group of high-profile and influential local, national and international designers to develop affordable, beautiful and storm resistant-housing for the community. The designers were required to work on traditional New Orleans typologies and make the homes green, durable and affordable using non-toxic and reusable materials. And finally they were required to be beautiful, innovative and budget friendly to the residents of the community.

Today’s reality has changed drastically from the years past. Costs are always too high, and our uncertainty toward the future has never been higher. It is inspirational to experience practical, beautiful and financially responsible design.

This isn’t so different from our reality in the events industry.

We deliver dynamic statements that separate our clients from their competitors while understanding and maintaining today’s realities. Knowingly or not, many designers focus on solutions that aren’t realistic and the result may not achieve the client’s goals. While some appreciate the uninhibited thought, understanding realities will lead to a much more productive and enjoyable project.

Designers in our industry need to design within reality and we too can make the same dynamic statement as the designers associated with Make It Right did in the Lower Ninth Ward.

And for the clients reading this post, it’s ok to reel us in. We naturally want to create the most dynamic experience. If we veer too far from reality, just gently remind us to come back. We can create something for you that is financially responsible and still utterly inspiring.

What’s your idea of designing within reality? Share it with me in the comments below!

Related posts:

  1. CES 2012: 5 Great Exhibit Design Achievements
  2. From Squares to Reality
  3. 3 Design Takeaways from CES’ Digital Immersion
  4. 4 Exhibit Design Trends for 2012
  5. HCEA: A Designer’s Perspective

By: Jarrod Pacholko

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