Dustin Kuhns

Why Design Matters

When I was young my father would say to me “if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well.” To this I would now say a resounding yes. Yet I would add one small detail—if something is worth doing well then it is worth doing thoughtfully and intentionally.” As I am constantly learning, the design process is neither simple nor easy—it requires time, effort, patience, investment, creativity, humility, collaboration and the list could go on.

So we have decided to invest ourselves in a huge project that means something deeply to us or even our families—why would we not take that initial moment to approach it thoughtfully and intentionally?

Without design our world is a mishmash of decisions rushed into hastily and apathetically. Unfortunately, when I look around I dread that this is what the spaces we live and work in everyday are coming to. I drive by too many spaces that feel as though they were born out of a complete indifference toward beauty or our own human experience. And we wonder why our emotionless, lackluster office buildings breed an apathetic and discontented workforce.

“We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us.”
Winston Churchhill

We should recognize that design is not a choice—our endeavors are either planned fleetingly and carelessly or approached with thoughtfulness and humility before all the people who have invested endlessly to carefully shape our society and the world around us. Designers are those of us who have invested our lives in carrying on a tradition as old as time to shape our world into something beautiful worth living in.

Find me a place that makes you feel special, and I’ll show you a place that was designed beautifully and built through the experience of an artist. Nowadays, you unfortunately don’t have to travel much farther to find all the spaces that are the exact opposite. It seems that spaces to experience—spaces that make you feel special, these places we feel we might never want to leave—are few and far between.

In which space will we live our lives? Which space will we build for our children? Does design really matter?

To this I would say resounding yes.

Dustin Kuhns (Design Apprentice)