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Resilience and Impermanence in Design

I started to write about resilience in design,  and realized that Impermance goes hand in hand. 

Impermanence refers to the ever-changing nature, while resilience is the ability to adapt and recover from not wanting to change. Understanding their relationship is part of the solution to adapting to life as we re-create ourselves.

Art that creates Impermanence:

Banksy is the artist that first comes to mind with impermanence when the artwork was shredded in a custom frame at Sotheby’s. His work became famous because originally it started from  unsanctioned street art, which could be painted over or touched in any way at any time. But,  this is the essence of Banksy’s impermanence.  Banksy was brilliant in his clever theory of “what is value” in a different state – this being shredded art.

Just as Bansky’s art found new value in its cut-up form, I find that by embracing change, we find value in unexpected transformations.



Another example is a  $30,000 artwork by Damien Hirst created, which found new value in its cut-up form.


Architecture that adapts to  Impermanence:

And then there’s the world of design. Architecture has adapted to change for centuries. 

For example, Hagia Sophia which has been converted through the centuries adapting to religion, politics, and society. It changed from Cathedral to Mosque, to Museum, to Mosque from  the year 1453 to 2020:


Products made for Impermanence in our Enviornments:

This brings me to adjusting to our daily lifestyles which will change over time. Here are some products that support impermanence in our homes and offices:

I personally Love this Herman Miller OE1 Agility Video. It shows where we are with being flexible in our workspace

Check out this other notable designs. I personally used Inova in the past as an extra office/guest room. 

Below: Sofa Wall Beds and Table Beds for Office/lounge/ sleep  -by  Innova

Adjustable Height Dining Table – Vintage Burlwood  by Henredon / Baker

How we can adapt to Impermanence Emotionally:

I can’t touch upon the Arts with Impermance without focusing on the obvious concious/subconcious –  how we become resilient to change. Resilience is not just changeable or metaphorized as an artform,  but it’s a mindset that we must have to shape how we approach life’s challenges and opportunities.

I know I’ve evolved my career from figure skating, lighting design, commercial design, theme park light fixture designs, and now residential design that includes product design. My mindset has had to shift – from designer to manufacturer –  from lighting manufacturer to vendor. The knowledge pool widens, but the focus is just as intense in each area of practice when we re-create ourselves.. 

Figure Skating:


From Commercial Design:

Designing Mr. Earvin Johnson’s Offices… Twice

 1st Time:

Below: 2nd Time: 

To Designing Theme Light Fixtures for Disney’s Theme Parks –

(Below at Disney California Adventure)

To creating and engineering off-grid, energy-efficient Luxury Outdoor wireless, weighted Lamps.

And during some of these careers,  I’ve been designing custom residential Interior Design environments

As a multi-disciplinary artist, I feel that we live in unchartered territories. We have to bend more and understand that we are Not just one facet of our careers. To be honest, we are Not our careers. This has been a life challenge;  learning to bend with change (as much as possible) and not sweat the small shifts, knowing that I design in detail.

For me, it’s being able to let go of those details I put my heart and soul into that may get changed. It can be difficult. But, I find that this is a life lesson for mental wellness; that’s if you want to enjoy life and live longer…lol. 

Our expectations can be romantic best scenarios. But, reality can evolve much differently even after thoughtfully planned steps.

So if you’re up to the challenge, take a stab at what life has to offer and know that impermanence is part of life, and that being resilient is the secret to understanding that nothing will stay the same. It’s one of the secrets to living a life well lived.