Theoretical Thursday – Strength – Utility – Beauty

by , on
Sep 16, 2021

Happy Thursday everyone!! Welcome back to Theoretical Thursday!!
Theoretical Thursdays are the days that we will be talking about Architecture, Organizing and the many different components, connections, traits/etc that Architecture and Organizing have in common.

Last time we discussed Hierarchy, Circulation, and total area. This week’s post we will focus on Strength, Utility and Beauty. I am sure most of you are familiar with Leonardo da Vinci… he was a great…well everything. He was an artist, an architect, an engineer, a sculptor-he was everything. Some of his well known pieces are: The Last Supper, Mona Lisa, and the Vitruvian Man to name a few.

I want to focus on the Vitruvian Man. This man is said to be perfectly proportioned. He is the outcome of Leonardo following the principles of Vitruvius. Vitruvius may not be as well known to some as Leonardo is – hence starting with Leonardo. Vitruvious was an engineer, architect, and author. Firmitas, Utilitas, and Venustas (“strength”, “utility”, and “beauty”). These three adjectives were the ideal puzzle pieces that every building should have – that was Vitruvius philosophy and these principles were adopted across the board.

How does strength, utility and beauty fit in with organizing?

Well right off the bat… Strength… makes sense right? Be it – in buildings or closets – we want materials and products that will hold up… that won’t bend, twist, or deflect. Let’s say you are in the middle of organizing – anything – you don’t want to pile a flimsy box on top of a flimsy box do you? No. Why not? Because that flimsy box is eventually going to squish from the weight on top of it. We want durable and long lasting storage solutions.

Utility – yes please! This goes not only for the space we are organizing but also regarding the products/items that we are organizing with!! What is the point of organizing a space other than to have it function properly?? What is the point of buying a particular silverware divider if it doesn’t organize your silverware in a way that functions properly for you? That may be a silly example – but I don’t think so – there are NUMEROUS types of drawer silverware organizers out there – but you need to find the product that will allow the drawer to function in a way that works best for you. For me – Utility is a major part in organizing.

Beauty – Let’s face it – we all want to look at pretty things lol
In a paragraph above I asked what was the point in organizing other than having it function properly – well the other answer to that question is Beauty. We want it to be pleasing to look at. Sure we could use cardboard boxes to organize all of our stuff – but who wants to look at that? That is why you can go to The Container Store, Homegoods, etc and find beautiful baskets and storage solutions that make you WANT to look at your closet, cabinet, etc.  For some people – that is why they color coordinate their closets, books, shoes… They want it to be organized and to be aesthetically pleasing.

In big ways and in small ways – Architecture and Organizing are joined at the hip. We will continue to learn and expand on that as our journey continues!!

Theoretical Thursday…. Architecture and Organizing

by , on
Jun 3, 2021

An Introduction.

I have been studying and working on spatial relationships for over 20 years. The design principles regarding form, function and beauty that are applied to laying out and designing spaces can also be applied to organizing spaces.  When laying out an efficient and effective design there are numerous factors that you must consider-total area, hierarchy groupings, circulation, aesthetics…just to name a few.

Form follows function—that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.

—Frank Lloyd Wright

All of those items not only apply to Architecture-but also Organizing. Take a minute and think about it….

Total area: how big is the space you are organizing/how much room do you have? During the day I am trying to fit numerous private offices, conference rooms, huddle rooms, pantries and workstations into a specific amount of square feet. Well the same applies to organizing a pantry or closet.  It’s true – there is only so much that will fit-and sometimes you will have to compromise your wants and needs.  Either way – I will try to find the most economical and efficient way to fit what should be included in the space.  

Hierarchy groupings: what items do you use the most vs the least and what spaces/objects should be placed next to other groups.  When laying out an office I do not want to place the conference room right next to the restrooms or a noisy copy area – and I don’t want to put the President in a small windowless office. Think about how you apply this to your own home. When you are in the kitchen you will want the items you use most close at hand and even more than that – you will keep “like with like”.  For example: Keep your baking items (flours, sugars, etc) near your mixing bowls and spatulas.  

Circulation: In a home or office you need plenty of room for people to move throughout your space to get to where they are going and to access the things they need.  In your closet you need the same sort of access.  Do you want to move a bunch of items just so you can get to your supply of toothpaste?  Do you want to move all of your dry goods around in your cabinet so you can grab that box of pasta?  You don’t want your items all smushed in together-just like people, they need a little breathing room.

Aesthetics-this of course is all in the eye of the beholder, but let’s be real here-no one wants an unattractive space – be it a home, an office, or their bedroom closet.  When things are in their places and are tidy – for most people – it takes a  weight off their shoulders.  Puts them at ease…

And lastly, like Architecture and designing spaces-each Organizing project and client are different and have their own unique set of wants/needs/requirements.

Follow us on Instagram