By the first grade I knew something for certain: When I grew up I would become either an Architect or a Alpine Ski Racer… I became neither, and I am good with that. Being a residential designer encompasses most of what I love about architecture (creativity, functionality, innovation and personality), and I had my taste of ski racing when I was still young. Designing is something that most architects and designers can do professionally well into their seventies or even eighties (something that can hardly be said of other professions).
I remember having a conversation with a mentor of mine years ago. Though nearly 40 years into his own career he was in the prime of his career. He told me that when he was my age he was afraid that his creativity would fade over time, yet he had found that over the years the opposite was true, that he felt more creative than ever. I guess that it has something to do with the enjoyment that comes from learning and gaining life experience. Plus, it seams that though the body grows old, the heart and mind tend to remain young. I spoke with him only a few days ago, as he had called me for some advice on a tricky engineering problem. He conveyed how excited he was that the home was going to be a “break-through home” for his practice. This conversation puts a smile on my face, that I am where I want to be as a residential designer and that the future is bright.
As anyone growing up with crayons and building blocks, there is a certain enjoyment to seeing the thoughts of my mind’s eye develop into reality. From an initial consultation, site-analysis and design checklist, to schematics, concepts and permit drawings it is also rewarding to have clients put their trust in me to work with them on their vision for their future. It’s a process, and at the end there is a sense of accomplishment.
It is also a nice thought that since early times people have always needed a place to rest their head and this is not about to change. There is not about to be a lack of diversity in the foods that we eat for dinner. Similarly there is not about to be a lack of diversity in the spaces that we inhabit. These are facets that make us human. We are naturally creative and if not suppressed, will have a good, healthy craving for good residential design.