I often find myself telling clients that if it looks deliberate, purposeful, it will work.

I love having my assumptions upended; do you?

I'm reading a really wonderful book right now, and a small exchange stopped me in my tracks.

The book is called The Night Circus, and there is, indeed, a circus that happens only at night.

At a party, the founder of the circus is lauding the talents of his designers, sisters who finish one another's sentences.  "They are brilliant with atmosphere," he remarks. "Both of them absolutely brilliant."

"The trick is to make it seem as though none of it is purposeful," Lainie whispers, "to make the artificial feel natural."

"To tie all the elements together," Tara finishes.

It feels like magazines are always applauding careful spaces that appear "effortless," and this makes me wonder: is it allowing the purpose to show through, or concealing it, that achieves the desired effect?


Heather Peterson