2nd April 2017
10 Claremont Street
I felt a certain pressure to choose somewhere special for my final breakfast of the semester. Thankfully my choice was made a lot easier by an exceptionally busy Sunday morning down in Finnieston; meaning that many of the places I had in mind were simply too full. Stepping out of Finnieston slightly, towards town, I found a venue that I had planned to go to a while back but had completely forgotten about.
The Scullery has the appeal of being just out of the popular area whilst still delivering the quality you would expect. I think this has allowed them the freedom to make the experience even more appealing by not cramming tables in but instead, giving all them plenty of room to breathe. You definitely feel like you’re in for a treat as soon as you step through the door.
As I come to the final graded entry of this “Great Design” blog it seems fitting to look back over all I have written and think about what has changed. On the first morning of the blog I wrote that I wanted to create a timeline to see how myself and the design world evolve, so I now wonder what effect writing this blog has had on me and whether or not my views are different.
Before I began, my understanding of design was very much focussed towards a modernist approach, due to the majority of my reading consisting of The Bauhaus, the work of Dieter Rams and the philosophies of Don Norman. Whilst I always felt like this early focus was a good thing, it did feel slightly premature and unjustified given that I hadn’t really considered alternatives. I felt like I sometimes found it difficult to give people solid answers when they asked me about my thoughts on design and when it came to actually designing products, my knowledge hadn’t evolved enough to really apply what I had learned.
Due to the fact that my reading of other design blogs had consisted mainly of product reviews, it was unsurprising that my early posts took a similar approach. I was amazed to see how quickly my writing very naturally became a lot more opinionated and reflective, once I began to ask myself questions and think about not just product features but design values. I ended up veering so strongly towards this that I actually had to force myself to occasionally write about products in order to give my blog some tangible content.
It was clear that I began the year with a very narrow view of design, solely believing that all products should be designed honestly and that anything driven by consumerism was bad. I was able to initially broaden these views to address the design industry in a wider sense through “The Design Compromise” and “Design as a Consumer”, but it was in 2nd semester that I really saw a change in perspective. I began to talk about my feelings towards design and write about them much more subjectively and emotionally. With “A Modernist Retreat” and “A Digital Dilemma” I really tried to connect with the reader by opening up about my experiences as a design student. These had changed my impression of the world and I now see how forcing myself to reflect on them allowed me to understand how each experience had changed my views.
I began to notice myself asking more questions as I wrote each post, some of which I had to think hard about. I began to open my eyes to not just the purpose of the designer, but the responsibility. Posts such as “If it Ain’t Broke” and “Designing the Life Hack” saw me look at what I believed to be engrained in my nature as a designer and what I want to be doing when I leave this course. Equally, “Considered Luxury” and “Getting Punkt.” allowed me to look at the presence that products have in our lives and how this provides the designer with both opportunities and responsibilities. When I looked into the Memphis movement during March, it forced me to stray even further from this strictly modernist view of design. Questioning this view throughout the blog, I had become much more open to the expressive elements of design, again helping me to understand how I wanted to be designing.
You soon realise that when you begin to put your own thoughts and views into words they start to make a lot more sense. Most apparent in “The Design Compromise” and “The Edisonian Approach” when I discovered the ability to not think about the features of a perfect product, but about how a product is special in its own right because it has been shaped by a process and a journey. When I wrote my reflection on Nicholas Oddy’s talk last week, what I missed was the fact that there will always be a strong process behind a piece of “great design”. Perhaps my answer to “What is great design?” is just that - design cannot simply be embodied within a physical object but it must exist throughout the whole process.
Thankfully I wasn’t disappointed by this breakfast finale. The coffee didn’t try to be too fancy but maintained a strong flavour, my Eggs Benedict couldn’t be faulted in any way and the full breakfast took the crown for the year.
At times I feel like my love of breakfasts makes this blog slightly biased, but on this occasion honesty was all that was required.
If there was ever a better way to measure the quality of a breakfast it would be its ability to brighten my day. Any readers who have followed the blog will understand the sentimental value that I hold to my bicycle, so when I unfortunately discovered it had been stolen this morning, I knew The Scullery would really have to deliver.
The inability to fault this breakfast was what really made it so easy and just what I needed. If I could call myself a breakfast lover before starting this blog, documenting this weeks has really made me value it as a time to reflect and just clear my head at the start of the weekend.