Friday, December 22, 2006
God bless intelligent design
Lest I be misunderstood, I mean to sanctify the brilliant of intelligent design, not Intelligent Design. Paul and I were talking about art and the home. For a while now I've been really excited by Target's approach to housewares. Granted, the Michael Graves designs do little to nothing for me, and sometimes do a few things to my stomach. They're overly cute and sometimes feel irrelevant, but they carve out an important space for art in the home. Why should inexpensive products be seemingly free of design? Why should a toaster that you buy at Wal-Mart be as generic and industrial and boring as possible? I have long applauded Target for commisioning products that are both functional and aesthetically interesting. It aggrivates me to think that only the wealthy should be able to outfit their homes with pieces that feel well crafted and designed. That's part of why I love Target and Ikea. These are stores that sell inexpensive but artful housewares, and furniture. I have this notion that surrounding yourself with objects that you feel contain some energy, some idea beyond simple utility lifts your thoughts to something more grand than just getting by. A product that browns your bread, but does so while looking aesthetically pleasing may be just the role model one needs for thinking about their own life. Why shouldn't I allow myself to think loftier thoughts, why shouldn't I make a place in my own day for something more than just getting by. I realize this is a little grandiose, but I'm a firm believer in the idea that there's real value in art, real value in being able to live in and among objects that remind us that there is more to life than simply moving from A to B.