Home with Dean Sharp

Home with Dean Sharp

Listen to Home with Dean Sharp on Saturdays from 6 AM to 8 AM and Sundays from 9 AM to 12 PM on KFI AM 640!Full Bio


Subtle Yet Powerful

Silver abstract painting in white frame on the wall of trendy living room interior with brown corner sofa

The Power of Design Abstractions, Suggestions and Inferences

Any good architect is a student of human nature. Architecture is species specific -- human architecture is for human physiology and human nature.

Abstraction: an idea as opposed to a concrete reality; a notion; an impression

Fact: We are capable of abstract thought, therefore we “obey” abstractions. One of the most powerful and pervasive spatial abstractions we obey on a daily basis - painted traffic lines - “stay in your lane” - those aren’t lanes! Country lane, bowling alley ... those are real lanes.

The ability to abstract is perhaps the defining principle of our humanity. Our imagination. “I don’t have much of an imagination, Dean” - Yes, you do.

Here’s the thing ... our greatest strength is our greatest weakness. It makes us susceptible to all sorts of perceptions based upon our beliefs. Sometimes, when we exploit human nature in architecture we call it a “hack.”

Ways to define a space:

Floor pattern change
Area rug
Pony wall
Furniture placement
Driveway divider shrubs
Separate walk path to front door
Close-up luxury white carpet on laminate wood floor in living room, interior decoration

Structures that aren’t there:

Full porch but no cover necessary
Our driveway walk path
Taller wall with high chair rail or wainscot
Tall baseboard with added astragal molding and painted wall
Our “Craftsman” tapered columns
Pass through wall

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

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