Shifting Concepts

I’m rather embarrassed to say that this, the old Mercedes, was my concept of Beirut prior to my arrival last August.  If I feel like a mindless, relatively entertaining movie is in order “Spy Games” (Brad Pitt, Robert Redford) is a typical go to.  Part of the movie is set in Beirut, mid Civil War, the Syrians are described as “cowboys” (not in a good way), the wasta cares for pigeons on a rooftop, The Commodore is “where all the expats stay”, and Pitt’s character drives an older Mercedes haphazardly through bombed out streets. I knew, in a very pragmatic way, that this was no longer Beirut yet that old car was the symbol, the first image that came to mind.  Truth be told the streets are clogged with my symbol, which now provokes laughter, and thankfulness. Laughter at my self, thankfulness that I’m slowly but surely building a different concept.

In design speak the concept is what is initially pitched, the mock up and prep for the final product, the draft that can, and will, be picked apart, played with, until something more real, more permanent can be crafted.  The concepts are whimsical, all the ideas and wishes and flights of fancy tossed together, the fun part.  But if a designer only stays with the concepts, the necessary growth is stunted.  So one shifts concepts, breathing new life into the larger work, crafting growth. The old Mercedes stays as a light hearted reminder, but greater permanence is in the works…