quality. what does it mean? is it the most expensive, the oldest, the latest fashion? well from where i sit it depends. no, not dodging the question, just providing a complicated answer because to me it’s a complicated word.
take coffee– a staple around here. it depends on the day. is today a ‘one-step-up-from-motor-oil-need-to-get-rolling kind of day? or is it a day to sit + see where the first wisps of steam will lead the pen to? so, perhaps quality is judged based off the task at hand.
a good drink. is tonight a double hopped ipa, burger paring kind of night? or is it a slow sip bourbon whisky over a detail that just needs to be worked out? quality depends on what you’re trying to do. neither drink is of bad quality, but depending on where your headspace is, this could be a vastly different answer as to whether it’s a quality drink, or just a drink.
you don’t need to always look at quality in the vein of what you need right now. it can be something that is based off your feeling, your mood. it’s okay to have a different yard stick for what quality means to you in that time.
when it comes to design of any kind, the challenge is that quality is going to be measured over a much longer period of time than the sip of a good drink by the fireside. you will inhabit, interact with, modify + grow with whatever space you are in. you can’t switch between wood flooring + carpet depending on what warms your feet the best from night to night. those quality decisions are much more complicated + nuanced. those decisions are going to have pluses + minuses, but they don’t have to start off on the wrong path. stop, think, grab the drink of the night for a few nights + see where the mood averages out to. when you get to that space then you’ve found something that can be quality for the duration.
ultimately, quality comes down to what is right for you + not for someone else. design is meant to help you in the process + it’s okay to be the only glass of whiskey at the bar, if that’s what quality means to you.