What Does Technology Do For You?

As far as technology goes, I’ll be one of the first to argue that it is, in many ways, hurting our culture. I, for one, prefer the relaxation and conjuring of imagination that only a book can bring to the human mind. I despise television – in my opinion it doesn’t teach us anything of value, and, these days, is just thousands of channels of mindless drivel. Have Americans really become so bored with life that we have resorted to filming penniless rednecks whose only form of entertainment is drinking too much moonshine and passing out? Ahh.. but I digress…

I do, however, believe that some technology has become extremely beneficial, and, in fact, helpful, to many of us and our ways of life.

The camera, for one. I never truly appreciated its value until this semester. I am enrolled in a photography and Photoshop class – I am one month into the semester and have already learned a hundred more things about a digital camera that I never knew before. As a creative-minded individual, I am soaking up every tidbit of information like a sponge. And as a design student, I am even more appreciative of having a camera in my phone – and a good camera, at that!

One of the things that I’m learning in my design classes is that we can (and must!) draw inspiration from everywhere and everything. That means pulling out your sketchbook and roughly outlining what’s caught your eye. OR.. Pulling out your camera phone and snapping a photo that can be uploaded to your computer and saved into your archives. *Sidenote: I hate to put down sketching, because as old-school as it is, and as modern as design has become (we now use CAD and other design programs to draw out future homes, gardens, and commercial spaces), it is so much more fulfilling to hand-draw something on paper. I actually prefer this method, myself.

That said, it sure is a lot easier to remember what something looks like when you can pull up the image of it.

The beauty of digital archives is the ability it gives us to see different forms of design right next to each other. As an interior design student in today’s society, the curriculum we learn in school is heavily contemporary. I tend to balk when it comes to designing something that I feel is cold and lifeless, but there are aspects of modern design that can be warm and inviting if done the correct way. I am more appreciative of the traditional look, but I do love a good mix of the two.


Take the two light fixtures above, for example. They are both visually appealing and yet completely different from each other. The chandelier is bright red and really draws the eye. It is whimsical and traditional, and yet modern in its own way. The lantern below it almost has an Asian flair, and is much less eye-catching. But it still draws enough attention and does its job in a visually appealing way. I love the challenge of finding a way to incorporate both into the same space.

So the next time you’re out-and-about and you see something that you feel is just fantastic, don’t hesitate to document it. The other great thing about digital photography, is your ability to delete it.

ImageAbove: the Mont Bleu Hotel & Casino in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada

ImageAbove: An outdoor seating area on campus at Sacramento State

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