A powerful way to design is to
walk a mile in someone’s shoes
to understand their needs.
Today, Guido-Clark heads up her own firm, Laura Guido-Clark Design, and
creates product for prominent industry names like Herman Miller and Design
Within Reach, in addition to major international brands, including Google, Toyota,
Mattel, Apple, and more. Design is Guido-Clark’s way of making things more
relevant, humanistic, and aesthetically pleasing. She stresses the importance of
being open to new ideas and new ways of thinking, and to see that design is
multifaceted—it is not purely aesthetic. The most important aspect of design,
she told i+s, is to be humanistic and to meet various needs. “A powerful way to
design is to walk a mile in someone’s shoes to understand their needs.”
Guido-Clark is an advocate for the idea that “beauty is a human right.”
When we don’t have it, she explained, it’s harder to function in this world; it
is a human need. From healthcare environments to the workplace, design
should always be flexible, or the space won’t be effective. As people change,
so should design, she noted.
As design has evolved to become more holistic, so has her role in the
industry, which now includes the empowerment of color, guiding people in
the process of self-expression. As a color consultant, Guido-Clark sees color
as a significant aspect of design. She takes the connection between how
people respond to color and, in turn, each other, which is the more significant
role of design, she said. It is not on the surface, but far deeper. She encourages
young designers to think about color in the beginning phases of a project in
order to convey a strong message.
While creating Project Color Corps, a non-profit organization dedicated
to transforming lives and inner-city neighborhoods through the power
of color, positivity, optimism, and hope, she worked with children and
communities, teaching them about the relationship between color, emotion,
and environments. She learned a great deal from them in return.
Guido-Clark’s creative process is a refreshing new way to look at design.
“I like to walk around [objects and environments] to process what something
is, to understand how many different ways there are [to look] into a problem,”
she explained. She is open to new ideas, she added, even if she is tackling a
task she has taken on “a million times” in order to deliver a fresh design. Her
process includes taking a problem and “turning it sideways” to find an original
way to discover fresh solutions.
As for young designers, Guido-Clark believes it is paramount to be open
and learn as much as possible, as design is continually changing and becoming
more sophisticated and impactful. She also recommends up-and-coming
design professionals stay true to who they are, embracing the element where
they feel they have the most to offer. “Push and grow, but do not think you
need to be someone else.”
Savanah Colestock is an Interior Design major at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, and will graduate in December 2017. She was the first-place winner of
i+s’ 2017 I Like Design competition; her concept for the magazine's Materials
Pavilion came to life at NeoCon.
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40 interiors+sources august2017 interiorsandsources.com
BELOW LEFT + RIGHT Guido-Clark’s work
reflects her belief in the empowerment
of color, guiding people in the process
of self-expression. Heartwork, right,
launched in 2012 with the idea that
there is a growing need for great design
and color in the workplace.
OPPOSITE TOP Aeron Remastered is a Herman Miller
offering that builds upon the successful Aeron
collection with Carbon and Mineral, new colors
formulated by Laura Guido-Clark Design. Adelene
Simple Cloth is an ode to past generations—
reminiscent of quilts and simple linens, always
soft yet sturdy, crisp and cool to the touch.