Clients are often encouraged to clip images from magazines or create Pinterest boards to better communicate what they want. Images are a better language to use than words, because most people cannot put their environment into words. Why would they need to?

But there’s a drawback: every image is layered and filled with impressions and memories and taste preferences. It becomes a little like internet dating.

  • That person is appealing because of their infectious smile;
  • This one is interesting because they show a love of travel. 
  • Another fascinates because they show affection for a pet, or 
  • they remind you of a favorite fictional character. 
image courtesy of  Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
"Internet Café, after Jean Béraud"

I hope none of us would ever take a collection of images that piqued our interest and then expect to find a cohesive person who looked like all of the people pictured (creepy facial morph). And yet, this absurd approach is taken all the time with architecture. It should not be attempted because it is a bad idea!
I suppose some clients have enough budget to afford the architectural equivalent of a harem, all connected together in the same sprawling building, but it's still a poor design approach.

My vote, whether internet dating or planning a home: pretend you’re writing for J.Peterman’s catalog. Narrate lavish captions for every image you pin, describing exactly why you like something or what it reminds you of (that trip to the Amalfi coast....).


p.s. Pinterest is also addictive.