Deciding on creative project proportions: Scale matters

The influential American architect Louis Kahn, speaking on the elements of design, commented that in a small room, one does not say what one would say in a large room; an observation that is usefully applicable to a wide variety of creative thinking and process efforts.

As in:

How often have we read a long article or book, only to feel that the writer could have probably covered the topic better through a more concise and direct approach in a shorter piece.

Conversely, an artist may greatly admire a small sketch which has strong impact in its 8 x 10-inch size, but which looses all its charm and design appeal when the artist scales it up as a much larger 24 x 30-inch painting.

In music, a striking and haunting theme might be appealing as a four-minute fragment, or background to a scene in a movie, but try to orchestrate this up to a twenty-minute composition, and the result may be disappointing.

And yes, in this blog post, you have already got the message without me writing another 300 words.

In creative work, form must scale proportionately with content.

Dennis Mellersh

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