Friday, March 14, 2008

CA | Boom Modern Design Show

I recently attended the CA|Boom design show as part of innovation day at my office. The great thing here is that you get to see more than materials in trade booths, you get to see them in use. The show consists of a convention booths and home tours. The homes range from the far out designs to more (financially) reasonable remodelings.

The mood is also very pleasant, there are people from a wide range of design disciplines. From contractors to car design studios looking for inspiration. One conversation I was having with a couple of ladies stuck with me. They were surprise that I and my software design team were there. I tried to explain that the process for designing software is vary similar, if not the same to architecture. In the end, you're just swapping out the materials. There were 3 design themes that caught my eye this time around that also tie back to common design patterns for interaction design.

Most of the homes felt very clean and simple. They did not have furniture pieces scattered throughout. Yet somehow magically, the elements were still there. Bathrooms still have storage, kitchens still have tons of cabinets and living rooms still have plenty of seating. What helps them achieve this magic is that many elements are blending into the walls and other architecture elements. For instance, the kitchen cabinets are the same color as the wall so that they don't take any visual hierarchy.

Many spaces did not have a clear definition of where they started and ended. Some even peeked into other rooms. This creates the sensation that you are never fulling in one living mode. It's almost an acceptance to the fact that we all multitask our lives.

User Experience-Flow Another common pattern was how the user/visitor was taken through the home. Some started with a walk through the garden where colors, textures and materials preped you for what was to come. Once in the home, living rooms flow from to the dinning area and to the backyard.

Check out the photos.

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