While most of our projects are for individuals or families, we also understand that each project we design exists within the greater context of the community. Community involvement creates meaning and balance for our office, and it enriches our design process. Not only do we view our projects with the perspective of the client, but also as part of the city, and the green building movement.


Graphic Communication

Everyone has different abilities to read graphic information – we’ve know this from working with many people. Some people will look at a plan and immediately visualize the space, have a sense of scale and understand if the solution is right for them or not. And other people need more hand holding to make sense of a plan. We work with drawings all day – so sometimes it’s hard to take a step back to really put ourselves in the shoes of someone who is just learning how to read a floor plan.

The other day I had an “aha” moment; my daughter’s math teacher was showing us an exercise she uses to help develop math skills in students with dysgraphia. Dysgraphia is a learning disorder that includes visual spatial difficulties – or trouble processing what the eye sees. For someone that is very visual – it’s hard for me to relate. But when the teacher showed me the “compare pictures” exercise she uses to help students develop attention to detail – it made sense. Not everyone has an easy time placing the decimal point in the right place every time, she explained. Math is hard when the brain is not processing visual details well.

Through years of struggling with school my daughter has self diagnosed herself with dysgraphia. And yet she has a wonderful eye for taking photos and amazing color sense. The brain works just a little differently for everyone. Where one area may be lacking the mind seems to make up for it elsewhere. She may struggle with the details of numbers and dots on a page, but she still has great design sense.

If you are looking at a set of drawings and feel that it’s not relaying the information you need, just let us know. If all the lines and symbols are not translating to spaces, we’ll be happy to walk through the basics of reading a plan. We’ve had years and years of training and practice, we can’t expect you to understand every nuance that is second nature to us. We can create 3D drawings of a space so you can visualize the design with furniture, materials and color. It’s essential to show furniture in design work – it gives a sense of scale to let you know how you relate to a room.

Don’t be shy about asking for more information. It’s easy to pull out a tape measure to explore the size of a room, or the height of something. The design of a home should be centered around you and so should the design process.