Smart design endures - we don’t change it out, because we don’t want to.
But when is design “smart”?
Most any search on “smart design” turns up ideas for linking technology to something – spaces where automated lights shine with different intensities and colors at various times or phones that effortlessly and efficiently accomplish things that were unimaginable even a few years ago – but when psychologists talk about smart design, they’re not focusing on whirligig gizmos. Psychologically smart design is simultaneously so much more and so much simpler than design that incorporates the latest technology – you could call it “psychologically sustainable.”
Psychologically smart design realistically coordinates with what you do. This means that you have spaces and things in your life that support activities that are important to you - and whether design is coordinated is not always as clear as it should be. We spend so much time every day making do with the spaces and things that surround us, that we lose track of the fact that often they aren’t quite right.
You’ve probably heard of the teams of anthropologists hired by design firms that follow people around and watch then for weeks to learn about what’s missing from their lives. You need to become your own anthropologist. Keep a log of what you do where in your home for a week or two and you’ll find that your life is packed to the gills with kluges – times you use a space or thing in a way that doesn’t really work. You need to get rid of those kluges – they are making you tense. Changing everything at once doesn’t work – that requires lots of both time and money – focus on the things that are most important to you first. Keep looking and refining until there is a fit between what you do and where you are. Garage sales are a great source of things you may need - and a good way to get rid of your extra stuff – even celebrities have figured this out. The new television schedules are packed with garage sale and flea market based “adventure” shows. Tuning into your environment, and aligning it with your life, makes you feel good and doesn’t have to harm your pocketbook or the planet.