Inspiration: The Story that's In Between the Lines. - Concept Me

Inspiration: The Story that’s In Between the Lines.

June 7th, 2022 / 4 min read

In the realm of creativity and design, the word inspiration is constantly being thrown around. There is a massive focus on ‘being inspired’. And in this context, it’s not about those quotes you read on Instagram that give you three-seconds worth of motivation before you continue your scrolling…In this context, we are talking about the inspirations behind design concepts and the spaces that they end up bringing to experiential life.

From designing haute couture to writing poems on sacrifice, inspiration has been the common driver of real art and grand design. In our industry (architecture and interior design), inspiration happens to be a collaborative process. We can sit around and write volumes attempting to understand where it comes from for each different designer, but in the world of Concept Me - inspiration either comes from the conversation or from the environment. Let’s kick start this.

When it comes to bringing a space to life, we can get poetic and imagine it as a blank canvas against which our imaginative designs will come to life. But, in fact, these blank spaces are interpreted based on the life and the environment that resides in them already or will reside in them. In some cases, our inspiration towards designing a space stemmed from its surroundings. One of our recent projects lies beside the blue Gulf waters. Automatically, the entire design of the space was inspired by the water and the lush seaside. Injecting abstract wallpaper that resembles the unpredictable movement of waves, having shaded lamps, emphasizing large scale windows that invite and celebrate light, using coastal neutral colors and cohesively integrating natural materials across the space served this inspired idea. The inspiration here was found in the blue environment and the many meanings that the seaside could entail.

Inspiration to us also comes from conversation. People’s characters and personalities are a great source of inspiration. Their ideas, ways of life, hopes for a space and personal ideologies all factor into our own design process. When it comes to creating spaces for clients, the inspirational juices really start flowing once the conversation starts. This is why we, at Concept Me, believe that inspiration is a collaborative process. We also believe that great designers need to be great communicators, or at least listeners. Once we have an inkling of what the client wants, we delve deeper into who the client is and what their character is like. Our inspiration draws on that and then we begin the process of building a space that is an architectural interpretation of them. Nothing is more inspiring than people, because their organic nature is constantly changing and enables a curious creativity!

Following those two factors of environment and character, our process of inspired design continues through research and aesthetic moods. We begin to build, what Concept Me founder Nina Parvaresh labels as ‘an imaginaire’. For those not familiar with Parvaresh linguistics, the imaginaire is the set of elements that compose what the design would look like. Building that imaginaire includes looking at inspiring designs, ideas and executions that fit within the design style we are going for, furniture and decorative pieces that contribute to the evocation of a particular feel or mood, colors and palettes that describe the narrative of the space and present projects that have interpreted similar ideas differently.

By doing that, we gain two things. The first is we get to expand our interpretation of the space and gain an insight as to how different inspirations were interpreted to invoke similar moods - this serves as a learning experience and a challenging opportunity to do better. Secondly, by referencing previous projects and moods, we get to truly define the type of space we are building whilst also giving our clients the chance to observe a wide spectrum of designs from which they can pick and choose. This continues the collaborative nature of the process of inspired design.

As much as we like to think of inspiration as that moment where the spotlight shines bright and we hear choral music in the background, it is not really like that. Inspiration is more of a process, an inescapable rush of excitement that presents itself as a fast stream of conscious ideas, concepts, designs and interpretations. Inspiration is when a conversation and its contents are taken and expanded, made real, made expansive through creative execution. Inspiration is when we get to tell a story in the best way possible through subtle hints at its creation and its cohesive narrative. Inspiration is also the ability to evoke certain moods, feelings and ideas in the people experiencing the space.

Another Concept Me example, coming right up. In one of our most eclectic projects, we had created a tea room that was to be focused on light, brightness and a sense of natural freedom. The inspiration for this room lay in the concept of a garden. Without seeming too obvious and in-your-face, we injected calming blues and shades of green, wallpaper that recalled floral scenery and a rug that’s inspired by the flowers of Beijing. The idea behind this inspiration is meant to invoke the feeling rather than straight-up stating it. Every element must evoke the particular schematic inspiration of the room. It should do that in a calming way, but when you look at it deeply, you will recognize the actual narrative there. And this is why inspiration is both conceptual and visual at the same time. The visual items must explain the concept behind it, in a shy and hinting manner.

To sum it all up, here’s the deal: inspiration is the story that’s in between the lines.

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