Design Principles – 4 Stability (Series, 4 of 6)

Read Paulina Bird’s (House of Bird) insights into the 6 Principles of Design and how applying these principles can influence a successful design and create beautiful spaces.  This Six Part Series breaks the design mystery down to its most simple and most easily understood elements – a must for any design enthusiast.

Sta-bil-i-ty: The state or quality of being stable, especially, resistance to change, deteriorate or displacement.


During my Diploma Course at Holmesglen in Melbourne, Design History was a favourite subject that spanned the entire 2 year course. We were constantly challenged to complete assignment after assignment from the Egyptian era to today’s Design statements.  What a wonderful journey, each era adding to the ever intricate detail of historical events, eras and artworks that have created the amazing world we now live in.

During this journey, the study of iconic chairs and designers was a complete delight.  The word “Stability” in Design Principles is simply an object that is well designed and constructed and stands the test of time for its excellent characteristics.  For example a well designed chair is a very stable object and giving in to my wish list, funny enough, the Wish Bone Chair (also known as the Y Chair) by Hans J. Werner, a Danish Designer in 1949, is classic design that ticks the right boxes.

Here is a “stable” quality chair.  It is a light, sculptural dining chair that is also suitable for relaxed sitting away from the table. Its steam-bent, gently rounded top-piece provides freedom of movement and generous comfort.  The seat is hand-woven in paper cord (unbleached/natural or black).

It is available in several different colour’s and is making an enormous comeback. Stability of design therefore speaks for itself and lets us appreciate what an excellent design can do.

Stability 2

Wishbone Chair, black with natural cord seat.

Stability in Design also renders confidence in the project at hand and forms a practical communication with the Designer and the brief.  An example of this can be seen in a Bathroom floor plan that does not have a practical layout.  Simply re-tiling and painting such a room merely gives it a face lift but does not add much value to the overall project as it is still compromised.  The point of this discussion is that the Bathroom has an unstable element.  Assuming the owners are seeking professional advice and spending their finance’s wisely, then to rearrange the floor plan to a design that is practical and functional adds much more value to the time and effort taken to stabilize the design and renders the project a huge plus.

Design that is stable will stand the test of time and remain functional even though the aesthetics change.

Stability 1

How many practical applications surcome to an easy solution that compromises the integrity of the design making the project unstable?  The outcome is never pleasing. It pulls down the entire project.  Another example of this is my own experience, where I recently purchased a property that had been renovated.  While the Reno appeared fresh and updated to the 40 year old property, what was compromised was the lack of any drawers to the glossy white new kitchen.  While this appeared to be an easy solution to cutting costs, it remains a source of impracticality in the stability and function of the room.

Everything needs to be adhered together.

As I have discussed in my previous Blogs, the Design Principles need to be adhered together.  When Stability is compromised then it is no longer a practical and functional project.  It remains unstable till the solution is sought and applied.  Be it a kitchen or bathroom, floor plan or furniture placement, a practical and well functioning area will add value to your property because no matter how old your house becomes, it remains stable and a delight to live in because of the ground work carried out by using a professional and practical approach.

It is well worth seeking professional advice when building especially in the planning stage as this is the very bones of the design.  Get it right the first time and you will reap the rewards over and over again for many years adding stability to any project.

Happy Designing.

By Paulina Bird

Links to all six parts: Design Principles – 1 Balance (Series, 1 of 6)Design Principles – 2 Rhythm (Series, 2 of 6)Design Principles – 3 Movement (Series, 3 of 6)Design Principles – 4 Stability (Series, 4 of 6)Design Principles – 5 Dominance (Series, 5 of 6)Design Principles – 6 Tension (Series, 6 of 6).

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About Paulina Bird

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