…and New-Century Modern Design
Have you ever stopped to think about the role balance plays in our lives? We’re taught, from an early age, that balance is a good thing. Whether taking our first steps as a child, riding our first bicycle, or getting our first checking account, balance is required.
Going into business is all about the balance sheet. For most of us, finding the balance between work and play becomes a lifelong seesaw.
The balance of nature exists on a much grander scale. The world couldn’t exist without it. Nature exhibits the ultimate display of balance. Right down to the smallest details. Examine the symmetry of a leaf, a flower, or the wings of a butterfly. Balance is everywhere.
Without it, we just don’t feel right. This translate to our world of interior design. Have you ever walked into a room where there was too much furniture on one side of the room? Immediately, you want to tilt your head or lean to the side to adjust for the obvious imbalance of the space.
Without getting too far into Gestalt Psychology, we’re so programmed to see things in balance, that our brains automatically try to make the corrections for us. We identify the element that’s out of balance, and try to fix it in our minds. When we can’t identify what’s wrong, it can easily become a fixation.
We love balanced designs because they keep the amount of information our brains need to process to a minimum.
If you think about this, it’s a real distraction when something’s out of visual balance. It takes you away from what you’re supposed to be doing.
You feel compelled to take the time to figure out what’s wrong.
On the flip side, when things are in balance, you really don’t even notice. You see the whole of the room, or the entire piece of furniture, and you go about whatever you’re doing without a thought.
Could we go so far to say when it comes to balance in interior design, we’re more relaxed, happier and more productive when things are “just right”? We think so. We’re convinced design choices influence our sub-conscious. That’s how important balance is in our world.
Balance has many forms in design. It can be simple, yet quite complex. Symmetrical design is the easiest to accomplish. One side simply mirrors the other along a central axis.
Asymmetrical balance, on the other hand, requires a bit more talent to achieve. There’s also radial balance, but our design world centers primarily on symmetrical and asymmetrical balance.
Jeff Vioski, founder and designer, at VIOSKI, has his own point of view for his new century modern furniture designs. He believes, “there’s an excitement to asymmetrical versus symmetrical balance. I like working both at the same time. If you can work off balance to achieve balance, its adds an element of funkiness and attractiveness. If everything is always perfectly symmetrical, it can get boring.”
The VIOSKI Tre I Sofa is a good example of asymmetrical balance. It has a low wider arm on one side, and a higher, narrower, curved arm on the other. The elements are actually off balance, but when you look at it as a whole, it still comes off as balanced. The asymmetry draws you in, making it more attractive. If well done, a bit of off-balance, will add interest.
While chairs tend to be symmetrical in balance, their form goes well beyond that for Jeff. Balance and proportion are always intrinsically linked in his designs.
How the seat of a VIOSKI chair “talks to” the back of the chair is something Jeff spends a great deal of time figuring out. The seat should not be dominant. The back should have more importance. As Jeff says, “the seat should be subservient to the back of the chair”. There’s nothing simple about this concept of balance.
To add to the complexity, our perception of balance appears to evolve over time. Our sensibilities around balance seem to transform with new perspectives. As Jeff says, “nothing is static in the design world. If you’re not evolving, you’re not being creative”.
Over the years, he’s added a few inches of height to the back of the VIOSKI Palms I Chair, because his evolving sense of balance told him it needed a little adjustment.
For Jeff, the concept of balance washes over him in waves. His attraction to longer leg length prompted him to design the VIOSKI Chicago II Sofa to experience asymmetrical balance between the body of the sofa and its architectural, yet simple, base and legs.
He then became drawn to the more grounded, solid relationship to the floor, exhibited in the design of the, fluid yet formidable, VIOSKI Mitosi Sectional.
Jeff’s latest wave is the high-back chair. He has another wing-back chair currently in the works. It will be released as soon as he feels it’s, well, … perfectly balanced.
Why? Because balance is everything in design, and in the world around us. It makes things easy on our brains. Gives us a feeling of comfort. It keeps us in harmony with the world as we see it, and feel it.
How do you view balance in your design? Do you find your sense of balance evolves over time? Are you a believer that balance effects our psyche?
VIOSKI is an experience of artistic expression brought to life in timeless furniture design. Unique in style, charismatic and sensual. Each piece is masterfully created to be simple yet complex. Proportional yet fluid. Handcrafted in California, by master artisans who devote themselves to extraordinary quality. New-century modern furniture starts here.