February 18, 2015

what is fearless design

"She is fearless in her design."

I've heard that dozens of time about dozens of designers. Men and women. Professionals and novices. But between you and me, I'm not exactly sure what this means.

Design, contrary to how it sometimes feels, is not a matter of life and death. If someone does something "different" in design, no one gets hurt. Lives aren't ruined. And you can find just as many 'experts' who will tell you there are no rules in design as there are 'experts' who says there are rules in design. So if it is indeed a wide open world based purely on personal taste, what exactly makes something, or someone, fearless?

Is it a polite term for ugly? The same way eccentric is a nice word for crazy. Or is this just another overused and therefore meaningless phrase, like 'epic'.

What do you think? What is your definition of fearless design?


  1. i love it personally- i think it's a huge compliment. fearless to me means you aren't afraid to push borders and try new things.... it means being a leader in the design world and creating the trends rather than following.

  2. I am going with Compliment ... and pray when someone calls me "fearless" it's a good thing!! And if not ... oh well ... push on!!

  3. I think it's kind of overused, as in a "pop of color", which I refuse to say. Before it got watered down I'd say it means to follow your heart no matter what everyone else is doing. Blogs and Pinterest make it hard to do that.

  4. This is a toughie. I think being fearless is going with what you love and not minding what other people think about it if its different. I think experimentation is wonderful but I also think you can make mistakes.....which is fine...you can always fix them....just do your thing and if it doesn't work out, try again.....like Nike would say...just do it.

  5. Well I still karate chop my pillows and I always will

  6. Great quote and topic. For me, it means taking a chance on something that I'm not sure will work. Which is really hard for me to do. I wouldn't say I'm "fearless" at all... but I'd like to work up to that!

  7. I've always said I'd like to be rich so I could be eccentric instead of crazy. Case in point that rich couple's Florida condo with the fuschia at the edge going white to the center. It looked like a site of Flamingo massacre with bleach applied trying to get rid of the evidence. The couple thought it was perfect. It made a national magazine. It made my eyeballs twitch. That was fearless. Was it successful? Probably only those who got paid for the install and the people who live there. Which is their prerogative. I do believe that people should follow their hearts and love where they live. I did paint the beadboard on my first floor black and used sheet mirror as a backsplash. Yup, I'm that crazy.

  8. To me it is a compliment because fearless means (to me) pushing boundaries, being different, using what I love and what means the world to me! Great topic Elizabeth!

    The Arts by Karena
    The Centre Cannot Hold

  9. love this conversation. sometimes i hear it used to describe design that looks very decorated and over the top. but if it's used to describe someone staying true to their design sense no matter what is going on in the rest of the design world, then i think it's a great term. for example, i would describe johnathan adler's design sense as fearless...it's paving trails, but still great design and totally accessible.

  10. I think it means to not give a darn what others think and letting your self be as creative as you want...

  11. what an amazing quote! agreed - sometimes you won't get it right the first time but you have to try and then try again!

  12. (I'm so behind on my blog reading so apologies for the delayed response) I've heard that about my home as well, that it's 'fearless' ('brave' is another word I hear that I don't get) but completely agree that it's a bit silly - I mean, I'm not sure where the big fear is - in doing something that other people won't like? If so, who cares as long as you like it? And if the big fear is in doing something YOU won't like - well, things can be done over, returned, repainted, re-wallpapered, sold, whatever. So I think it's supposed to be a compliment but really, it's not about fear at all. It's about embracing your own unique look and OWNING THAT SH*T. ;)


  13. I love this quote! As for your question, I am flattered by being deemed fearless. I don’t think it is a nice term for ugly; I think it just means you don’t care what anyone thinks. You just do your own thing and that is a huge compliment to me! Check out the website: http://www.peninsulamobilescreens.com/


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