Design Gratitude #7: The Pedestal Collection
Also: A new education tool for senior designers, why Apple doesn't care what you think, and putting a price on motivation
Hey designers! 👋
Happy iPhone announcement day to those of you who observe 🤓📱
If you’re new here, I’m Pat and this is my mid-week digest where I share my gratitude practice for good design and the designers who make it happen.
Let’s get to it!
Design gratitude 🙏
This week I’m grateful for The Pedestal Collection by Eero Saarinen.
A colleague of mine just moved into a new house.
As we talked about furniture options for his dining room, I mentioned that I gravitated toward the tables with a central pedestal rather than legs as I felt the legs cluttered the space.
In turn, he mentioned this classic design which came into existence precisely due to a designer’s desire to solve that problem.
In Saarinen’s own words: "The undercarriage of chairs and tables in a typical interior makes an ugly, confusing, unrestful world. I wanted to clear up the slum of legs.” And clear it up he did.
But why’s it a good design? Let’s count the ways.
Rams Principle #3: It’s aesthetic
Saarinen was a master of form.
As both an architect and industrial designer his work often had a sculpted nature to it. He was known to prototype scale models to better understand the unconventional shapes to which he was drawn. And regardless if the scale was monument-sized or furniture-sized, the shapes were always beautiful.
Rams Principle #5: It’s unobtrusive
Saarinen delivered on his desire to “clear up the slum of legs” and gave us an enduring modern design that looks lovely but gets out of the way.
Its core is neutral and restrained while leaving space for the user to express their preferences and customize to their liking (in particular the tabletop material and seat cushions).
Rams Principle #10: It’s as little design as possible
The table and chairs of the pedestal collection focus on the essentials. A single, solid base for each piece reduces the visual noise in the space significantly (or if you’re a math person, about 75% 🙃).
Coffee break links ☕
Designer of the week 🎨
Michael Riddering - Founding designer at Maven and Founder of Figma Academy
I don’t know Ridd personally, but it seems like he’s firing on all cylinders right now.
He just announced his newest venture, Dive, which launches soon and sounds like it will dig into providing education on more advanced design topics in a number of disciplines.
I also see that need in the market so I’m excited to see what he’s come up with!
Check out the new project here 👉 https://www.dive.club
A video to watch 🎬
“Apple doesn’t care what you think” -
A short video from one of my favorite designer-preneurs, Oliur.
A succinct response to the public criticism of some aesthetic choices Apple has made with its products over the years.
A good reminder any day, but particularly on release day 😃.
An article to read 📖
“Don’t offer free stuff if you have nothing to sell” -
The biggest mental block I’m having to get over in making my own products is simply having the courage to put a price on them. It’s new and awkward for me.
Jakob shares great insights into building indie products that I’ve been getting a lot of value from recently. Here’s a quote from the piece that makes a simple and salient case for charging for your work.
It’s extremely tough to stay motivated if you’re not earning any money from a project. The trough of sorrow is inevitable. But if people are paying for what you’re creating, you simply can’t stop. Paying customers are a perfect accountability system and will help you to get through tough times.
Signing off 🖖,