The Non-Genius in the Design Practicum

Not everything a design professional does is a reflection of the genius at work. No
design can be a complete work of perfection, or there would be no gauge for such
perfection. When designing for awards, great acclaim, or a ʻpersonal recordʼ, the design
is, in fact flawed. The motive is not purely of great architecture, or simply the
programmatic aspect of the clients best interest; it becomes a personal pursuit of
individual advancement, an ego motivated charge. The true genius in design is the
means meeting the ends. All aspects fall into place, and what once was a labor of parts
becomes a symphony of the whole. The design then feeds the program, the assembled
perception of needs and wants and potential of that vision. Perfection comes when an
idea is carried beyond the bounds of the prescribed solution. When a designer gets
bogged down in the fancy, or the ʻgimmickʼ of an idea, the design becomes secondary
to the idea, and thus does not succeed in fulfilling any aspect of the vision. The beauty
of a design comes in the non-genius. The reworking of familiarity, the struggle with the
parts, and the process that puts the parts conundrum exactly where they want to be
within the whole.

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Topos studio now located in Scott’s Addition

Topos recently moved to a new office space in Richmond’s Scott’s Addition district. The firm is excited to join our new neighbors, local business owners and residents in revitalizing this community. Our phone number has remained the same, but our address has changed. Full contact information below:

Topos LLC
3105 west leigh street
richmond va 23230

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Exciting new opportunities for local, smart development

Storefront for Community Design recently kicked off operations, working to bring public and private resources together in a central place to help facilitate community building and design projects. The Storefront for Community Design works with homeowners, businesses and organizations to encourage high quality community development and strengthen Richmond’s urban neighborhoods by providing access to design and planning resources. Learn more at their website:

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