A Little Inspiration

I'm always designing things, mostly software programs in one of a couple different languages. When you spend a lot of time doing the same things, it's easy to slip into a rut without realizing it. Something that I find useful to combat this is to look at interesting designs in other totally unrelated fields.

House on the Ocean, a unique design

This is an architectural concept drawing for an "ocean house" that I found on the web (I have no idea where now, because I saved this image a long time ago). I like the image because it challenges the traditional ideas of what a house on the water should look like.

First, there are no wooden stilts in sight. Second, the house isn't modeled after a sea shanty, a New England fisherman's cottage, a native hut or anything else. It's a large, square, two-story modern building rising out of the water, attached to shore by a wooden dock (probably the only traditional element in the image).

Even there, though, the house isn't perfectly square. The frame is square, but the living quarters are offset diagonally from the frame, creating some interesting angles and shapes, including a triangular wooden deck. The overall effect creates an interesting and thought-provoking architectural design because it challenges the general concept of what a house on the water should look like.

Now, carry that idea of challenging traditional concepts over to the software realm. What concepts are embodied in a project? Can those concepts be bent or twisted in new ways to create something totally different? Can they be combined with something else to make something entirely new?

For example, when blogging became prevalent, the folks at Twitter came up with the novel idea of "micro-blogging" as a way to make blogging more accessible to people who didn't have the time or inclination to maintain a full-scale blog.

That's why I like looking at designs in other realms unrelated to software. It's a way to inspire myself to come at problems from a different angle, to combine things in different ways or sometimes just to play the "what if" game when trying to conceptualize a new project.


David Keener By ubolt on Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 02:55 PM EST

That's a cool picture. I bet it would make a great summer house.

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