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Visualize This!

For my first article that will grace this re-incarnated front page of Log Homes on the Internet, I want to examine the role of design and speak of its future. Undoubtedly, we shall return to this topic many more times in the years to come. Since this is the culmination of my life’s work and passion, I’d like to show you why it is so cool and what talent and technology have in store for us all. Please bear with my erratic thinking here. My mind is something of a billiard ball.

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Cave Painting

So let us begin near the beginning and consider, the cave paintings high on the left bank of the river Vézère, near Lascaux, France which were amongst the the earlier “designs” or plans-for-the-hunt that had real significance for the artist and the viewer. No doubt our artist could have said, “visualize this!” when he/she was ready to present this masterpiece to his audience. And just like in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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where the bone transforms into a space station, we can flash forward 15 millennia and see what is in the here and now.

[An aside:
Don’t you just love those mind leaps? There’s something about it…a sudden realization…a delightful insight. It’s a drug, I think. A year or so ago, I asked myself, “What do you really enjoy?” And I was surprised by thinking, “I really like to think about the future, and see it unfold (in most un-expected ways!)”]

What’s here is called software, the internet, technology, communication…you name it. But for sure, design, which can be paintings on a wall, CAD drawings of a log home, 3D internet websites, immersive computer experiences (games) and a lot more, is presenting new and old ideas (often with an attitude, an impact) never before experienced. And it is presented to more and more people at less and less cost than ever before. In fact in many cases it’s just plain free.

[Another aside:
In the mid ‘90’s I think I was being fascinated by some PBS special on learning and the amount of new information about some subject and thought, “Is there a trend here?” “What is knowledge dissemination all about?” After a while, I decided it was more information to more people, quicker at less cost. Ultimately this means, “All knowledge available to everyone, everywhere, all the time, for free.” It’s a dynamic, evolving thing, to be sure. But do you agree? Case in point: Google’s on going project of putting all the libraries/books of the world on the internet and accessible to everyone with an internet connection.]

Yes, there are costs involved but money is less important and time is, I think, the overriding expense. It is hard to learn new things, get comfortable with keyboards, mice, screens or new software programs. Believe me, I know this to be true. I’ve been struggling for years to learn a software program called 3D Studio Max (now in its ninth release)….it’s just so hard! The learning curve is years long! But it is so important and the promise is so great, I just can’t abandon it.

In its basic elements design is getting an idea from one person to another or even from yourself back to yourself in a new way. “Visualize this!” And we do because 70% of all the information we receive is through our eyes. And it’s that image in your mind, that emerging, developing concept that evokes huge emotional investments of warm, fuzzy feelings (hopefully). We’ve hit on this many times in Lhoti…”the log home feeling: what you feel when you walk in to a log home” So many of us are on this journey to bring that experience from “Visualize this!” to “Experience this” and that, dear reader, is the promise and the future of design.

If you have some time to play with a 3D Log Home, here is your chance:
3D Log Home

You may need to download Autodesk’s DWF viewer which can be found here:
Click here DWF Download

In Part Two we will explore more of what's available here and now.

In Part Three...the Future!