Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It Feels Wrong: My Unfavorite Places on the Modern Atlanta '13 Tour

Short answer: Some of the stair hand rails. They should fell so safe and so comfortable that we don't even notice them.

It makes me wonder: is everything is up for grabs every time?

 
Of course not as Cara Cummins said at a MA13 panel, "We're not designing white elephants."

Designers/architects would never violate the "stair ratio." We'd know something was wrong; our bodies would know something was wrong. Granny would fall, we'd fall. Dangerous stairs can ruin a house or a garden.

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MA13 Panel: Linda O’Keeffe ‘Whats Modern Now’ with Cara Cummins, principal at TaC Studios, design consultant Smith Hanes, founder at Flags of Origin, and architect/interior designer Shawn Alshut of studio A2.

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We might not notice a bad kitchen triangle with our eye. But once we started cooking when we'd know something was wrong. We'd feel it even if we didn't know how to fix it.

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Out on the tour, I expect proper kitchen triangles, proper stair ratios, and proper handrails though they might look out of the ordinary.

It went like this for me. I think to myself, "Cool Stairs" and start the climb.

Then I'd feel the handrail and, "Ugh."

I'd find my hand on an uncomfortable edge, on a rail that was too big or small, on a rail that forced me to look. The first one didn't bug me too much. The second, third, and fourth ones did.

I'd guess stairs are one of the few places in a modern that beg for detailing. The diagonals, the turns, the height can make the drama and the delight.

I'm all for designing drama and delight if you don't screw up the hand rail.

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