Archive for the ‘Design Safari’ Category


Fallout in Fredericksburg

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Metaphors and Symbols in design are a simplistic way to communicate in a “universal” language. When using symbolism, it is not always necessary to use words. For instance, with street signs, one is not required to know how to READ words on the signs, but rather to know what the shapes, colors, and symbols or icons mean. Same applies the other public informational or directional signage, like the photo of the old Fallout Shelter sign I found bolted to the side of a building in historic downtown Fredericksburg, Va.


I have no idea how long that sign has been there, except it looks like it’s aged awhile! I find it interesting that the capacity is cited as 210! Fallout Shelters are designed to protect inhabitants from radioactive debris from a nuclear event. Thus, the sign incorporates the radiation symbol large and bold to identify its location. Maybe that should be my destination during the Zombie Apocalypse!

Mother Nature’s Mountain Rhythm

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

Mountain Valley

This is a photo I took yesterday on our way back from Lexington. This beautiful mountain valley scenic overlook off of I-64, showcases Mother Nature’s design rhythm. The majestic, tree covered mountain range has a fluid movement about it, with it curves, evaluations, and spacing. It tempts your eyes to flow the curves, texture of the trees, and shapes of the mountain, with color variance aiding in the guidance of the viewers vision. You are so engrossed in taking in the rhythm of the view, that the white house in the foreground is almost an afterthought!

Memorial Minimalism in Design

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

Yesterday, Dave & I took a drive from Fredericksburg to Lexington, Va. It was a beautiful day for that scenic drive. On the way back, near sunset, we stopped at one of the established “scenic overlooks” along I-64 near Afton Mountain, outside of Charlottesville. Here we found the VDOT Workers’ Memorial.

VDOT Workers Memorial

This monument, built solely with donations, serves to honor state highway transportation workers who died performing their jobs, many in work-zone accidents. The design of this memorial is an uncomplicated and dignified. Carved in black, white, and gray granite, it depicts three profiles or silhouettes of workers, symbolizing the diversity of the VDOT workforce. A simple, minimalist design, chosen from 41 entries, was submitted by Fredericksburg District Location and Design Engineer Harry Lee and his daughter, Stephanie, a studio arts senior at Mary Washington College at the time. Standing against the majestic scenery of the mountains and valley below, and beautifully landscaped with colorful flowers, this commemorative shrine is a perfect example of the power of minimalist design.


Domineering Downtown Dwelling

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Dominance simply sounds like a controlling, authoritative word. In design, it holds the same meaning. Creating dominance in design makes creative use of size, color, density, value, and white space to create the effect of one object being larger than others, hogging the space, begging for attention.

Domineering Downtown Dwelling

In this image of a building on Princess Anne Street in downtown Fredericksburg, the building and, more specifically the windows in the building, use size and perspective to create the effect of dominance. The building is ruling the lamppost! The post is actually in the foreground. I was standing on the street corner, looking up with the lamppost only an arm’s-length away from me. Perhaps a change of angle to emphasize the lamppost would turn the tables on that building then the lamppost could dominate the building!