What do you consult for design inspiration?


I'm in the design phase of a couple of small household projects (TV and Phonograph stands), but I wanted to design something unique. At the library I was in the furniture history section and thumbed through a dozen books or so, but nothing really struck me as a good source for inspiration.
What do you regularly look at for ideas? Architectural Digest, FWW, what? I'd love to have some better sources for printed material to mine for inspiration.
Thanks, H
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Anything and everything. Stuff you like. Stuff you don't like. Any of the woodworking magazines, from newbie to advanced. Thrift stores or other places where various styles can be encountered.
Do a derivation design. Wait for inspiration. Keep looking.
--
but the edge is still Out there. Or maybe it's In... HST (1967)
when i got to the edge , i built a deck % (2005)
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I love the design side. You can't have good ideas every week, probably only one good idea a year for someone like me so you are right you need a technique for getting inspiration. I have two routes into this problem:
First is to think about materials, tools and techniques. An elegant method of construction makes an elegant piece. You might be considering the properties of the wood or the decorative grain. You might be considering laminating versus steam bending, available tooling and what you can do with it, a method of jointing, whatever, but a bit like form following function if you can make the form, the function and the method of making hang together you have the foundation of good design.
Second, in my work there is the question of aesthetics and the visual vocabulary. In simple terms this is looking at the past and re-using historical design. It might be architectural references, it might not, it might be a shape, a line, a moulding, a pattern, a stain, a pegged joint, a veneer, whatever, but you find it I think by looking at old things. There are some good old manuals of ornament (Meyer or Owen Jones) there are old paintings, there are museums and their websites, there are old catalogues and of course the library too. It's important to remember you are not just looking at furniture, but all arts and crafts across the board for ideas that might translate into furniture from say architecture, boat-building, ironwork, whatever.
HTH
Tim W
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PS
Meyer: http://www.alibris.com/search/search.cfm?qwork '94983&wauth=Meyer%2C%20Fran z%20S%2E&matches`&qsort=r&cm_re=works*listing*title
Owen Jones:
here is a FANTASTIC online collection of design resources including a complete Owen Jones Grammar of Ornament. http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/DLDecArts /
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Google, click on the images link. and search on, candle stand, dresser, tressle or whatever is close to what you want to make.
Save the pics of the items that have a detail or a form that you like, them try to coelesse them into a form that you find pleasing.
The idea is not simply to rip something off that looks good. The idea is to identify the design elements that appeal to *you* and to help you generate a "list" of features, be they functional, structural or aesthetic, that you would like to incorporate into your own design.
-Steve

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hylourgos wrote:

Since those are "functional" designs you can only do so much anyway... as far as flights of fancy go.
Learn about the design ratios -- and much will be reveraled about the proportions off objects that you see...
Root 2: 1.41 to 1 --> 1.41:1 (or divide by .707) Golden Mean (rati, triangle etc) : 1.62 to 1 --> 1.62:1 (dived by .62) 123 : 1:2:3 proportions(1 high 2 deep 3 wide)
Small Tables 20" to 24" high etc. Boring but true -- as are many other functional aspects of furniture.
Measure some furniture that you already have. Think about the "constraints" that are imposed upon you by the human form -- i.e. making the stuff usefull to a "normally" proportioned human. Or maybe even to _your_ abnormal proportions if need be.
_Then_ go looking at designs and it should give you a fresh perspective on what works, what doesn't and what might.
Next start thinking about how you like modern, vs mission (arts and crafts), country, vs french vs baroque (rococco) etc...
Check out the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) site of you can -- or visit similar. (see my links page). If (things like) the ROM displays do not inspire you -- one way or the other -- I can't help you. :-)
Have fun and make something weird today.
--
willr
http://woodwork.pmccl.com
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"hylourgos" wrote in message

Typically magazines, but rarely woodworking ones. Most often of the ilk of "American Bungalow", but even been known to steal and design idea from catalogs like Ethan Allan's.
I have a file folder with twenty years worth of torn out magazine/catalog pictures of things I'd like to do "one of these days".
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 12/13/05
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Thu, Dec 29, 2005, 10:31pm (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@sasweb.org (hylourgos) wanders in a daze and asks: <snip> What do you regularly look at for ideas? Architectural Digest, FWW, what? I'd love to have some better sources for printed material to mine for inspiration.
Rarely, or never, any of those. I would say mostly by just sitting down and thinking about what I want. Sometimes in the library (mine), and sometimes not. Next I would say google, especially google images. I do google searches probabl daily, and usually several - which is how I'm slowly developing the design for a bed for myself. And, a couple of times, I've asked my 6 yo grand-dau, and got ideas that worked. Use your mind and imagination, asking people is a last resort.
Right now I'm in the middle of a vehicle project. I've asked other people a few, very few, quesitons on technical aspects, but mostly I figured them out on my own - I don't try to reinvent the wheel tho. And, if I'd asked anyone about any of the design aspects, they'd have either told me it could not be done, or that "I" could not do it - and they were so wrong.
Bottom line, do what pleases you, after all, it's your time and money - unless you're doing it for someone else. And, it ain't rocket science. Plans? Plans? Don' need no steenkin' plans.
JOAT You'll never get anywhere if you believe what you "hear". What do you "know"? - Granny Weatherwax
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I generally do a Google image search for the product. That usually gives me hundreds of pix to look at for ideas.
Vic
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Thanks everyone. For some reason Googling didn't occur to me. And I like the idea of looking at museum web sites and magazines that cater to various designs.
Regards, H
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The guy who goes by the handle of "J T" has provided links to inspire more than a few visitors to this newsgroup.
Aw shucks, I didn't fall for a troll, did I?
Dunno. But "J T" is a good bloke just the same.
J.
hylourgos wrote:

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