• Jay Friesen

Foundations I: Why Design Your Landscape?

Series: Basics of Good Design

  1. Foundations 2: Pre-Design Work

  2. Basics I: Line

  3. Basics II: Shape & Form

  4. Basics III: Color

Design is Human Nature

I have been asked this question many times through the years and I generally answer because “life is design”. What I mean by that is every day we design and interact with designed things. We design our days based on the tasks we need to get done and we design our relationships to create a life we wish to live. Or, think bigger, nature though it may look random and chaotic at times when closely studied design is everywhere. Human and animal biology and physiology are systems and orders that must happen a specific way for us to live, they are designed mechanisms like the citric acid cycle. The human eye is also a scientific marvel designed to work perfectly for our bodies allowing us to have depth perception. On a simpler note, things we often take for granted have been designed such as the bed you sleep on. Which gives your body a good night sleep (or at least you hope). The coffee machine you use in the morning designed to brew beans into the perfect drink. The house you live in designed to function for your specific needs. Even the door you open to go outside is designed to be at a height that works best for the average person. The shoes you put on to go for a run are designed to provide your feet support.

Design is Necessary

Basically, I am saying you must design whether you want to or not. Which means that you are either going to design well or poorly. Have you ever tried to open a door and realized that it opens the other direction? Often this is because the handle design is poor, instead of cognitively suggesting pushing open most people will pull. Another common poor design is when you walk into a home and the light switch is nowhere close to the door so, in the dark you are forced to look for the switch blindly. Design has a cost, either your time or paying a designer. Yet, in the end it saves you money as fewer mistakes will happen and you will find more enjoyment in the product.

Design brings fulfillment

Designing a proper landscape will seek to create a functional, attractive, inviting, and balanced space with unification between the home and outdoors. People need nature, they need to be outside and feel the sun, smell the flowers and enjoy watching wildlife. We have a strong desire for the outdoors especially here in MT, the most participated-in activities are outdoors (walking, hiking, floating, boating, climbing, skiing, biking, camping, etc.). And a well-designed space can make your backyard a place to relax and connect with nature the moment you arrive home.

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