Design As a Journey

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When an object speaks to us across time, it’s because of its authenticity.

Design industry thought leader and Glass House Director Henry Urbach said this in response to a series of questions we asked him about the process of rebirth and the journey of design. Lincoln wanted to know: When it comes to design, what makes something worthwhile to reimagine?

We collaborated with Dwell Magazine to gather design-industry thought leaders like Urbach at the Fontenell Hotel in Palm Springs, CA, during Palm Springs Modernism Week 2013. Artists, designers and architects alike gathered together to discuss reimagined design with us. The innovators described what it feels like to see a familiar object or hear a familiar song in a completely new way, share their thoughts on the creative process of rebirth, and, perhaps our favorite query: What would they like to see reimagined?

Art & architecture is about conveying emotion & storytelling. It’s a reiteration of ideas in a modern context.

“There has to be a difference between modern principles and nostalgia,” said architect Ana Escalante. “Taking principles that others learned…and just running with it. It’s almost like a relay race.” Walking into the Fontenell Hotel, that relay race is apparent. The hotel is more of a resort, with seven houses surrounding a triangular pool. The houses are impeccably designed to celebrate mid-century modernism that was Palm Springs’ heyday, complete with pink, yellow and turquoise kitchens meant to inspire. The resort is not one of reminiscence; it’s a collection of good design ideas in their original environments, ideas that have been used in new ways for the rest of time.

Good design is like good ideas. They are timeless.

After the questions were asked and conversations sparked in the cool air of the San Jacinto Mountains, groups of guests were paired with a design leader and travelled with him or her in Lincoln MKZ and MKS motorcars to dinner. The meals were held in stunning examples of Midcentury Modern architecture, which had been opened up to the exclusive guests. The groups continued their tête-à-tête about reimagination over several courses served in each of the homes. Among the guests were fashion designer Trina Turk, Falling Water Building Director Lynda Waggoner, and recording artist/design blogger Moby.

“Our prime need is to reassert our individuality,” said Jack Lenor Larsen about design as it relates to identity. “Not to be a sheep; to be different from the neighbors. To be ourselves, whatever that is. And to grow into being real people.”

Lincoln plans to continue reimagining the world around them in search of what may come from a good idea reborn.


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