By: Rick Hess/Mae Case, DISD
When we deem interior design as “iconic,” what are we really saying about it? We often throw the word around when it comes to describing something that is a representation of an element already in existence, but what are the characteristics of iconic spaces that leave such a lasting impression on society and culture? In the ever-evolving world of interior design, where styles and trends are constantly morphing, or becoming obsolete and then resurfacing again decades later, how does a designer create something that remains relevant and stands the test of time?
Design Institute of San Diego gathered several images of interior spaces from the 20th and 21st centuries that have done just that. From the famous Eames house (also known as Case Study House #8) to Philippe Stark’s Mama Center in Bourdeaux, France, these structures are celebrated not only for their exterior grace, but for interiors that leave a lasting impression.
“A house is a machine for living in.” Le Corbusier
“The most important thing is that you love what you are doing, and the second that you are not afraid of where your next idea will lead.” Charles Eames
“I call myself a traditionalist, although I have fought against tradition all my life” Philip Johnson
“Less is more” Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
“[There] seems to be within all of us an innate yearning to be lifted momentarily out of our own lives into the realm of charm and make believe.”Dorothy Draper
“To not dare is to have already lost. We should seek out ambitions, even unrealistic projects … because things only happen when we dream.” Andrée Putman
“I always think that the project I’m working on will be the best.” Patricia Urquiola
“I have this mental sickness called creativity.” Philippe Stark
“People project meaning into objects. If an object allows you to interact with it, then it becomes part of your being, and over time you see things in it that first you might not have seen.” Karim Rashid
Philippe Stark said, “The designer today should not help to produce more – he has to help produce better things.” Was Stark onto something here? Is the key to designing and creating something timeless to focus on producing something simple and great no matter how long it takes to make the vision a reality, rather than creating project after project for the sake of having another notch under the belt? Perhaps. Maybe it’s not just that one defining factor, but it is an important one to note. The images above represent iconic works that vary in style and design elements, and span almost a century, but one thing is for sure: they evoke the feeling of familiarity, leaving such an impression that we’re still talking about them today.