The Week of October 7th - October 13th


Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative and Visual Director of Raven Vanguard

Once-over time again? How is that even possible? Being uncharacteristically caught off guard, I am entirely unprepared to write about anything today, especially anything that will require me to tap into my creative side.

If I were looking for the easy way out, I could simply write about the most recent (and many) bludgeoning examples of the spiritual bankruptcy of mankind (gender specificity intended); however, today, I just don’t feel like acknowledging another week of boorish and inhuman behavior by a growing worldwide cesspool of miscreants and the sycophants that enable them (Rudy, is that you?).

So, rather than continuing to kick sand on an ever-diminishing and villainous Trump, or men like Harvey, Yoweri, and Stephan B, alternatively, I’ll take a cue from one of the many fascinating conversations we had in Raven Vanguard House this past week with a countless stream of noteworthy and remarkable visitors and guests and focus on the importance of welcoming beauty into our daily lives.

One such open-minded and thought-provoking conversation revolved around why Raven Vanguard obsesses over something as potentially fleeting and unsustainable as beauty. Surely, we can all agree that conceptually-speaking, beauty is amorphous. Still, in Raven Vanguard’s aesthetic universe, beauty is never fleeting or unsustainable. Instead, beauty is the catalyst for all of the artistic impulses that give scope to our collective imagination. Beauty makes possible, both livable and heirloom-quality luxury. Beauty is coveted, it captivates and is enigmatic, and while beauty is utterly perceivable by everyone, it is not always universally recognizable.

I readily admit that Raven Vanguard sacralizes the seductive and dramatic imperatives of beauty. From our perspective, pledging allegiance to beauty is nothing to be ashamed of; instead, its grandeur is to be unapologetically exalted and cultivated. While we always strive for technical perfection in our craft, beauty is the ultimate expression of Raven Vanguard’s creativity. There are many reasons why Brooke, Dakota, and I feel this way; most of these reasons need no explanation whatsoever, but one reason may not be as apparent.

You see, beauty illuminates our perception, and because of this beauty begets to the transformative process of lingering. And it is this multifaceted phenomenon of lingering that is foundational to every visionary and meticulous interior design concept Raven Vanguard creates. In other words, through our design concepts, we endeavor to instill the desire and capacity in oneself to linger. By intention, we look to provoke or arouse a profound reluctance to leave and an overwhelming desire to persist in a place in either mindful or meditative contemplation of the beauty within and an intense need to prolong the all-embracing nature of the sensory experience.

This particular conversation also touched on the reality that beauty will almost always cost more to reproduce than something commonplace. Homeowners willing to invest in luxury residential design are generally far more tolerant of this economic reality, while project owners in the commercial and hospitality sectors are more single-minded in their focus, with bottom-line costs being the only driving force.

Project owners in the commercial and hospitality sectors are blind in their thinking because a bottom-line cost structure, which belies the fullest realization of beauty in almost every instance, also ignores the extraordinary revenue-generating possibilities brought about by lingering and the beneficial consequences of its aftermath.

I can provide you with countless examples in my hometown where a project owner’s decision to favor cost-driven boredom over beauty and its capacity for prolonged lingering has ultimately led to total project failure or underwhelming public response. If they had only listened when we preached about the vital importance of creating an environment in which the intended users of the space would remain or stay in place longer than expected or customary. The presence of beauty at every turn, even with its attendant costs, promotes this process of lingering, which in turn leads to deeper customer engagement, and a desire to repeat the experience over and over. And not only that but a need to talk about their experience with those who have not yet had the same opportunity.

Many thanks to Laura, Frank, and Roger for inspiring today’s Once-over.