The Influence of Design on Your Daily Life


A discussion of award-winning and historic design often centers on creations far outside of the typical person’s budget and taste. Innovative design, however, can have an amazing influence on our lives as individuals and can mold our behavior as a society.

“It changed my life,” the food blogger announced. A new vision in culinary arts? A Wolf gas range? No, she was talking about a flat whisk, available on for $6.99. My favorite design feature? Grooves in the bases of Ikea mugs that allow water to drain off in the dishwasher. No more puddles.


Clean, functional design inspired by a special problem, can provide broad social benefits. The sidewalk curb cut, developed for those who use wheelchair, is now appreciated by parents with strollers, tots on training wheels, pedestrians using canes, and roller-bladers. Touchscreen technology for your phone or tablet was developed in part to help disabled users access computers.


What about the internet? Most common users have no idea how web design evolved so much in the last 10 years. Web design companies around the world are able to create websites so intuitive that we don’t even need to think when we are browsing them with our mouse or finger.


Green architecture offers a ray of hope to our increasingly crowded, energy-hungry society, as does urban design that promotes pedestrian and bicycle traffic. MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang led the team that developed the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, an innovative landscape design that provides a bio-diverse habitat, storm-water infrastructure, and refreshing public space.


On the home front, elements and principles of interior design, including color, shape, and texture, combine to determine whether a space is energizing or soothing, joyful or depressing. A skillfully designed kitchen, more than a showplace for cabinetry, is a masterpiece of industrial engineering. It provides maximum utility, while a poorly laid plan creates a frustrating and possibly dangerous workspace. Some interior designers focus entirely on kitchen cabinets, others on baths or on solutions for small apartments.


Are you sitting comfortably in your chair? Thank your furniture designer. More than 150 years ago, the French military introduced a padded camp cot that could also serve as a chair or chaise longue. Variations since then include the famous Eames chair, but Daniel Caldemeyer’s Rocket Chair, a favorite of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, is considered the father of the modern recliner. The importance of design in office chairs is recognized by many corporations, where it is common to have an ergonomics specialist that fits workers to chairs to prevent back pain and repetitive stress injuries.


Today’s auto is far safer than the one your grandfather drove. Thank the automotive safety designers, who in addition to teasing consumers into spending on trendy features (heated seats, anyone?), send you off in a cocoon of safety that includes airbags, shoulder harness, padded dashboard and crash-absorbing bumpers.

Next time you rise refreshed from a good night’s sleep, avoid a crash by applying your anti-lock brakes, or relax in an urban oasis, consider the role of design in your life. Some days, it’s the little things that count.

January 27th, 2014
Filed Under: Inspiration, Lifestyle
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49 Comments to The Influence of Design on Your Daily Life

  1. Sometimes I look around my house and think to myself that I need a complete make over. It’s always a mess with kids stuff and it’s just old. It’s been this way for years.

  2. I do have a pretty comfortable office chair, and I’m very grateful to whomever came up with the design. My back would be a mess without it.

  3. I want that padded camp cot.. OMGosh… how warm that looks and if you could see out my window today, you would see snow, snow and more snow.

  4. I often marvel at the technological innovations that have happened since I was young. There were no computers then-now you can access the entire internet in a small object you are holding in your hand. Although I have a sense of what looks good together when I got my new apartment my Mom essentially put it together for me–she will tell you that I picked everything out-well yes I did but I made darn sure she would like it or she would have vetoed it! Thus my apartment is just how I like it and very comfortable. Have I ever mentioned that my Mom is an artist?

  5. I have often wondered how some items came to be. Or the reasons why some designs have been changed. But every so grateful they did; because seriously they are such helpful changes. I’m one of those moms who LOVE the sidewalk curb change! Seriously so helpful for my kids on bikes, my stroller, my toddler who was learning to walk and step up. Something so small is so helpful.

  6. I’m always fascinated by design. I could spend hours on Pinterest looking at all the furniture and houses that I want. Kitchen objects too.

  7. Nice post dear…you have a lovely blog…following you now on facebook…it would be great if you follow me back..its good to stay connected darling..:-)

  8. oh I love the design of the shoe couch. Ha my hubby would freak if I bought one of those things in to our small two bedroom apartment.

  9. I never think about any of this stuff LOL I guess I need to start slowing down and pondering the things in the world around me!

  10. Ok, how silly yet unique and totally awesome is that sleeping bag chair! I bet it would be super comfortable!

  11. My daughter has to use touch screens because of her Ehlers Danlos, but I’ve come to love them myself. Design is so important to our lives and we hardly ever notice it.

  12. I never really thought about it until recently. We are looking for a new house and it is so hard with so many different designs. I have to laugh when you say good nights sleep – can not recall the last tie that happened. I love that chair/camp cot/lounge – I never knew that is what started the designs for comfortable furniture. I wonder where that design went as it looks comfortable.

  13. Design IS so important! I’m not a designer at all, but I am a consumer who loves to look at well designed items.

  14. Is that a sleeping bag chair!? It also looks like a shoe. lol That is interesting, and hmmm suddenly I want to know how comfy it is

  15. It’s amazing how much around is can influence us in such a way strange how it really is all around us but sometimes we don’t really notice.

  16. Like Terry I too want the padded camp cot. You could have written you whole post about that chair and I would have loved to read it and look at it forever.

  17. What I love about these designs is that they aesthetically make me feel at ease. Not sure why but I love them. Car not so much. Doesn’t do anything to me.

  18. It’s interesting to think about the origins for these things we take for granted. I loved reading this!

  19. I agree with you, it is definitely all arounds us. The good thing is that we can find decorating information just about anywhere.

  20. That chaise lounge is badass hehehe. I love that! That would be so cozy to use especially ngayong winter.

  21. Great design, whether interior, architecture or even automotive always enhances the lives of the user. The principles of design have to be taken into account for a successful design. Great post. thanks for sharing

  22. I am not good at design at all. I love a modern look with beautiful colors but I don’t have the patience to to take the time to put it together and I really don’t have the eye for it. Getting ready to remodel my kitchen and dreading it, LOL.

  23. i love the chaise lounge looks really warm and cozy. I want to give our home a make over its been a while and i have some great things i want to do if only i had the time.

  24. i look a round my small trailer and think I would love to give it a complete makeover and make it more hip

  25. It’s really amazing all the advances we’ve done over the years. I do think that I may need a makeover sometime soon though. My house is starting to look bland.

  26. Design in incredibly important to our world. Without it, the world would be such a boring, drab place to live!

  27. ha! my last car didn’t have antilock breaks and i missed it for sure.

  28. Love that shoe couch! So unique & definitely cute. Oh, and my room (& my house especially needs a total makeover!

  29. I agree with you regarding the design in life and in the house. I sometimes look at various designs and envision what my future house would look like. It should have a lively and comfortable design. For my house now, I would like to start in my room for a makeover :)

  30. I like clean designs and i don’t like it to be busy on the eyes I prefer it to be Zen Like.

  31. There is really a need to redesign our home. All we need is to have good ideas and design on how to make it. The materials you need and don’t forget the budget too!

  32. I think design whether it’s for the website or for the home enhances the appeal of your place and makes people want to visit and appreciate it more.

  33. Hi Aisha,
    I hope this one comes through. I was commenting last night that design has a tremendous impact on making our lives comfortable. We take for granted all the things that help us start our day from our shower to our food and even the comfort of our living arrangements. We move seamlessly through our day because of all the thought and effort put into creating comfort for us… It is remarkable and that is why this topic resonated with me quite a lot. I love design and pay attention to those little things like new designs in light fixtures and such.

  34. this hits the spot about design! A world without design is dull and boring after all – it is definitely important because of so many reasons including our daily life :)

  35. Thanks for sharing this post. I love the design, I know it’s hard to achieve this kind of design but who knows in the near future I can achieve one of those.

  36. awesome post love!
    mannnn you know how i am with design. i major in graphic design so it all comes naturally now.. everything is like DESIGN DESIGN DESIGN hehe

  37. Analyzing how designs affects our everyday life and comfort is pretty cool. I think there’s both science and art infused to make anything.

  38. I envy those who have a talent for anything artsy, especially home decors and web designing. That’s prolly why I took up IT (web design), but got nowhere. In the future, when I get my own home, I’d love to see how I do with home design! :)

  39. design makes life more “surprising” and “interesting”. Without it, anything we’d see would be common, it indeed makes everyone extra special :)

  40. Mai

    I really love how designs have evolved through the years, and how much these have been made efficient for use. Of course, we owe it to our genius fellows for always thinking out of the box. For without their great minds, we wouldn’t be able to experience so many of these conveniences in our lives.

  41. Design does make everything more appealing and a lot better.

  42. Franc

    Today’s cars are much safer and are designed to absorb the impact in case of crash.

  43. I am always mesmerized when i see places who are elegantly designed and sometimes wish i also have that talent. design really what makes the place.

  44. That red shoe looking sofa is what I’m eyeing. I wish I’m doing my computer rounds right now on that sofa so after I’m sacked out, I will immediately zip up and sleep. hehe

  45. this post makes me ponder on what design we needed to upgrade our bare living room. thanks to google and pinterest, i now have few ideas on how to decorate our small space:)

  46. I showed this padded camp cot to hubby and he said “So Gay” lol. I like it though, so chic!

  47. OMG I Want That Chair It Looks So Comfy & Warm!!

  48. I’m not artsy but I can say I know when a good design when I see one. Anyway, I’m really thinking of making a major house renovation just because I’m getting bored with the one I’m currently seeing everyday.

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