As architects, we have the good fortune to collaborate with many interesting and talented people, including our many clients, friends, and fellow designers. Those shared collaborations, interactions, and impromptu conversations revolving around design, life, how to mix the perfect margarita, etc. help keep us charged and excited about what we do. A while back my partner Mary and I were chatting with friends and our conversation turned to how we would describe what we do, as designers, for our clients. It was a great question! I realized that after 30 years of practice, I still don’t have the exact answer. And somehow, that errant question has turned into the somewhat crazy idea to do this blog, to explore and to share what we do. It’s our chance to think about design outside the confines of our day-to-day work, and have a relaxed conversation with the people we enjoy about the things we love to do. 

What is it that we do as designers? We struggled to describe what we do without falling into the trap of what everyone here in our office jokingly refers to as “talkitecture”: the long winded architectonic rationalizations and verbiage that most all Architects learn through many long hours of college study and endless critiques amongst their peers. Walking away from that conversation, we began to really think about what is the essence of what we do? Sometimes it can be hard to see the forest through the trees. After much pondering, a few happy hour sessions steeped in lilaceous research, and a conscious effort to think outside the “architectonic box”: we came to an idea of the essence of what we do for our clients:

We create your sense of place

What does that mean? Well, to us it means:

Discovering the tangible and not so tangible things that will make your place special, unique, and perfectly suited to the way you want live, work and play. 

A place that is carefully designed and built around you, that is a true expression of who you are, a wonderful backdrop the things that are most important to you. 

A place that is your sanctuary, a place that is perfectly in tune with your needs and that makes you happy.

It's creating a place that's not only sustainable for the environment but also sustainable for you, your wants and your needs, a place that perfectly suites your life goals, your financial needs and provides well for them. 

A place that works with you and not against you: it could be a well-placed laundry chute, lighting and shade controls that seamlessly monitor your environment over the course of the day, doors and windows that are well designed to provide daylight and warmth, shading and natural ventilation whenever needed, a solar electric collection system that captures the sun’s energy to power your home and your car, a super efficient self adjusting heating and cooling system that learns your unique needs and automatically adjusts to keep your home just the way you like it year-round.

What is it that will create your own sense a place?

This is the first question we ask our clients when we sit down to learn about who they are, what they want, and what will make them most happy. That’s our jumping off point for design. What is it that will make you happy and create your own sense of place? After all, isn’t that the ultimate goal?

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A master bedroom or a breakfast nook where the first thing you see in the morning is the beautiful sunrise view

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A place that is backdrop to your artwork, your music, to the things that excite you or make you most happy

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A place that is not only a great space to cook but a great place to gather and entertain

Please feel free to join our conversation and check back into our blog as we share ideas and explore all things that are design, about good living, and finding your own sense of place.