Sunday, May 17, 2015

NEED: Do We Need Interior Design Emoji?

Eye candy from Maison
While walking last week's Maison & Objet Miami, I wanted to text a few friends but was dismayed by the lack of smart phone graphics to convey  my adventure. Granted photos of colossal glass chandeliers speak volumes over simplified cartoony emoji...but still, it's nice to have an option.
I thought: "Why aren't there furniture emoji? I WANT them."

Then I googled "furniture emoji" and discovered that Ikea had come up with its own iconic text language earlier in the year. Ikea's emoticons are beautifully illustrated; they remind me of modern flashcards. Ikea's emoji philosophy:

In the home situation
misunderstandings occur most around clutter.
And that is why IKEA introduces Emoticons:
a communication tool to ensure universal love
and understanding in your home.

Check it out at

Before learning that Ikea had pioneered furniture emoji, I felt inspired to take it on. As a design enthusiast, I was feeling left out of the picture text world. Apple's existing emoji offerings enhance the victories, challenges, and overall communication of other careers, but for interior designers...there's.really nada.

A chef can express enthusiasm for a new dish that just got written up in the Times.

A basketball player can share his success after being signed to the pros.

But in the world of basic unbranded non-Ikea emoji, what can an interior designer really convey via text?I am a tad surprised, since designers and furniture makers comprise such a passionate group, that they have not left their mark yet in the emoji world, especially with design icons such as a Barcelona chair, an Egg chair, a Kagan sofa, an X-bench, a Sputnik chandelier. While waiting in a doctor's office, I mocked up these.

Perhaps for this trade, emojis simply cannot rival photographs to relay the design experience and the library could be endless. How would one adequately communicate:
Luna Bella's Medusa pendants
 these luscious tablecloths from LinenMe
a  B+W composition at Maison Montaigne
the comparative textures of nuLOOM's rugs
Sometime emoji move but not to this extent.

 Love these magnetized porcelain plates designed by Martial for Non Sans Raison
Me on a So-Nu river stone chair
So maybe it's ok then. We have our camera apps. Do we really NEED emoji? And is Ikea correct -- that all emojis are the key to harmony at home?