Two ways I think of design work are graphically and sculpturally. Graphics might strictly refer to the two dimensional but one clue to its true importance is our tremendous ability to remember and appreciate that identity. Logos, fonts, and design documents all capitalize on this. Great architectural drawings frequently say something beautiful of their own. Why does the two dimensional resonate so much in our minds? One explanation might involve the profound importance of silhouettes in indentifying the unknown. Is it a predator? Is it prey? Is it a mate? When things are in the periphery of our vision or low light they still have a strong presence. Their intrinsic nature is often captured in that silhouette or the strong lines that define it. So it is true with architecture and interior design.
Sculpture doesn’t fit on the page. It engages us as actors in the space. All the functionality and ergonomics that we expect out of our modern interiors and objects is related much more to the form than the silhouette. Sculpture is more dynamic and complicated and needs to be held up to the light more directly. The features, textures, and material complexities need to be investigated. Whether it is an enemy or a mate, there is a lot to get to know about them.
When I am designing a project for a client this dichotomy is going on in the background. Furniture, cabinetry, door systems need to have beautiful lines. They should frame views instead of blocking them. They should fit in with the existing sense of design and layout. They should also be things you would like to know, incorporating useful features, original textures and finishes and evocative materials. We will often emphasize the graphic or sculptural qualities of a design but they always have both.