The purpose of the work for the Shakers was as much to benefit the spirit as it was to produce the goods.
The universe had clearly decided it was time for me to think about the Shakers and their design philosophy as earlier in the week I had saved this quote defining it thus:
Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful.
Isn’t that the most perfect philosophy for designers, creators, makers, craftsmen and us all?
In DO Design Alan proposes 14 principles for creating enduring beauty:
- Be curious about the world
- Increase your depth of field
- Develop an ability to adapt
- Go see
- Understand language
- Be open
- Work better together
- Start with optimism
- Recognise no boundaries
- Only work with good people
- Let go of fear
- Seek to create enduring beauty
These principles are described in more depth in DO Design and are worth the price of admission alone.
Read, absorb and re-visit regularly.