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Productivity Hacks: How to Get Through the ‘Designer Block’

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Designers are creators. Each one of us has a design process that is personal and nuanced. Sometimes, we experience a designer block. It’s when we can’t come up with anything smart and creative for a project. It’s when nothing gets done. While the designer block is normal, don’t let it stop you from becoming effective. Here are simple habits and success tips that can make the design process easier for you:

Tell a story

Back in design school, our mentors and professors taught us to begin with a parti. Conceptualising for a project is easier when we have a narrative or a story to tell the people. We can reflect on treasured memories, values, and dreams of the client. They will connect with the structure better if they can link something personal to it.

For some designers, a parti is the first part of their design process. It helps them organise their thoughts and keeps them from feeling stuck. The narrative can discuss something general down to something specific. You can follow a theme. Don’t forget to include the client’s personal design requests too.

Take risks

Sometimes, doing something unique or out of the ordinary drives us to our success. Take a leap of faith. Make bold decisions, innovate ideas, or simply look at things or ideas from a new perspective. Small things like rethinking the purpose of building materials, reimagining how things look, and reinventing the way we build can go far. You don’t always need to build structures that defy gravity to succeed.

Be detail-oriented  

Designers use a family of details to make a solid structure. These elements come together and make it coherent. People often attach themselves to the small details too. Your design is great if it engages your target.

Simplify

Not all interesting structures and spaces have complex designs. Simplicity appeals to people too.

In Superdraft, we teach our designers to use simple design solutions. It makes the job easier and our outputs stronger.

  • Use basic shapes as it is more affordable and easier to build and decorate.
  • Follow simple material and colour palettes.
  • Use simple windows and place it in the right areas.  
  • Don’t conceal connections between materials. (e.g. tile grout)

Complex designs are always welcome as long as it’s plausible. There is no point in planning a design that will not pass the council.

Keep things in order

Work is crazy if we don’t organise our stuff and our thoughts. Identify the important things in each project, let the other details refer to it, and eliminate the unnecessary. Put all your priorities in a hierarchy.

Repeat designs

Repetition of details is good as it ties the design as a whole. It helps establish order. We recommend repeating an element two to three times. Identical elements also serve as the background of the things we want to highlight.

Break the rules

Once we have an established repeating pattern, we can decide where to break the rules. Our design decisions should have a purpose.

With a repetitive order as the background, calculated rule breaking is assured to have special meaning. It also balances the repetition to keep it from being staid and monotonous.

Engage all your senses

It’s not enough to build something that feasts our eyes. We design using all our senses. Our profession requires us to dive into the experiential level so we can make places, from homes to offices, much more pleasing. We also design with the environment, considering the location, local climate, breezes, and sun movement.

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Residing in Western Australia? Check out our designers based in Perth.

 

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