Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with me when I walk into any given environment and begin to pick out everything about it that’s wrong or doesn’t work. In instances like this, I begin to think I’m a judgmental bitch. Perhaps, but not really. The root of all evil in this case is that I am a designer. It’s in our blood to study the design of any space we’re in and try to figure out how (if at all) it can be improved upon.
One of my biggest annoyances is when stairs aren’t designed on a 7/11 ratio. What is this, you ask? Stair treads should be 11″ deep and only raise 7″ up. The steps at most CTA stations, the stairs that go from Michigan Avenue down to East Illinois Street, the stairs going down to the Chicago Riverwalk – these and several others drive me up a wall because they aren’t built on a 7/11 ratio making it uncomfortable to go up or down them because your feet either don’t fit on the stair correctly, or you have to take more than one step per stair. Call me crazy, but go for a walk and see for yourself.
ADA is also my worst nightmare. She’s a whore. She haunts my dreams day in and day out. She is seriously everywhere. From door swings to clearances and everything in between, her special needs get hammered into your head in design school and become even more apparent in the real world. There’s no escaping her. She is contagious, and I have caught her disease.
Is this Interior Design Disease life-threatening? God I sure hope not. Is it annoying? Very. I feel like rather than appreciating the space I’m in like any other normal non-designer human being, I’m stuck with this gift/curse of walking into somewhere and instantly seeking out what could have been done better or what doesn’t meet code. It’s ridiculously annoying, but at the end of the day, I’m perfectly content having this disease because I love what I do, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.