Substance Abuse

In some parts of the world substance abuse is constantly condemned and supposedly against the law even. We are also adamantly against substance abuse.

When plastic is made to look like wood, when wood is made to look like gold; that is substance abuse of a particularly insidious kind. It affects the public at large and it affects negatively our mental states. (Where are the design police when we need them?)

No, we don’t mean that. We mean that good stuff can rise above bad stuff. Honesty will be the best policy.

No, we don’t mean that… Wouldn’t it be nice, though? Adolf Loos once said that the curly curvy flourishes which decorated architecture were a cause of crime. Seems at first to be a shallow idea about stuff one doesn’t like. When we now see the results of his militancy in the stark concrete box-like buildings in every city slum we surely might wish for some curls here and there. In the Vienna that Loos lived in ornate curls became the inescapable environment.

Visiting old palazzi in Venice the over-worked chairs, of wood carved to look like fantasy vines, seashells and human faces, then painted gold; kind of fattening for the brain. Might make you want to commit a crime…

We see more and more that good design depends on good use of materials, of substances, as much as any other part of designing.