A few weeks ago, I watched my 16-year-old go through airport security and board a plane bound for Paris. She was off on an incredible adventure studying language, architecture and art, and volunteering in a day-care center. After months of discussing with her that she needed to spread her wings and open herself up to new things, she cautiously agreed. While she did fly solo to Australia last summer, she was greeted at the other end by old family friends with whom she stayed for two weeks. So there I stood, trying to catch the last glimpses of my little girl and suddenly I burst into uncontrollable tears (no surprise to my husband, who laughed at me!). At that very moment, I knew it was the best opportunity for her but I never saw my side of this scenario! It has been two weeks and Adaire is happily roaming the streets of Paris, and I am becoming more comfortable letting go.
As parents, we are always telling our children to try something different, but how often do we take that advice ourselves? In the world of design, some of the most imaginative homes were created because the designer or architect chose a new way to approach the project. This was ever apparent in this year's entries for our second Innovation in Design Awards (IDAs). The projects demonstrated innovative, creative solutions to problems like incorporating the outdoors into a house addition; building on a rock ledge hugging the Sound; or creating a garden that originates with its design history. Over and over the judges remarked at how the obstacles in the projects became the impetus to great design.
We often choose what is simple or familiar; there is comfort in having done something a certain way. But as a designer, it is the willingness to push yourself into unchartered waters that is often the catalyst for great design. My hope is to inspire all of you to try something a little out of the ordinary, to mix it up; or, hopefully as Adaire might learn, prendre des risques!
Editor in Chief
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