The architectural design process isn’t a dark art or an overnight hit (unlike that cool YouTube video, you know, that one that got 975,232 hits then disappeared). The design process is a fun, imaginative, and productive process that can take some time depending on the size and complexity of the project in question. How much time? We’ll get to that in another upcoming post.
Because the design process takes some time, it is well worth the investment to develop a great relationship between yourself and your Architect. If I’m unable to fully connect with you and learn about your needs, lifestyle, likes and dislikes, I’m likely going to miss some details that are probably important to you and the design might not be as great as it can be. The Architect-client relationship is much like the building project itself – one that grows and evolves over time. You will usually determine in the first meeting or two if you are a “good fit” and see eye-to-eye on your project’s goals and ambitions.
How might you go about determining if an Architect you have selected to interview is a good fit? There are many suggestions in online resources – the American Institute of Architects (AIA) lists “Questions to Ask Your Architect“ on their website and these may be a good start to judge if you want to engage in a working relationship with a particular Architect. I feel you’ll likely start here or from a similar list and find out if you are a stylistic match.
I frequently see camaraderie and interpersonal facets become increasing reasons to match up with a particular Architect. You should, after all, receive a lot of enjoyment out of the process (and you get a cool home when finished). I also feel you should develop and expect a high level of trust between yourself and your Architect – after all you are investing in your own property or home in which you want to live and thrive. Sometimes it is the intangibles that make all the difference – you both follow a certain sport, you might have similar lifestyles, or both of you might have a similar passion (like for cooking or fine art). The list goes on.
So with this in mind, I’m going to play Q&A so you might learn a few more things about me. Have a question that’s not listed below? Comment on this post and let me know!
Drum roll, please!
Q. Where did you grow up?
A. In the Dallas Metroplex. Most of my immediate family is nearby, making holiday and family gatherings frequent and fun. But I grew up in the suburbs, so don’t expect too much of a Texas twang. I do tend to say “ya’ll” however…
Q. Where do you live and work?
A. I’m fortunate to currently live and work in the Lake Highlands area of Dallas. I can work on projects across the city and country very easily. If I have to travel for a project, the airports are close by. And I’m not far from White Rock Lake which has a nearly 10-mile hike-and-bike trail around it. I used to be a competitive bicyclist, and I still enjoy riding frequently.
Q. Bicycling huh? How much do you ride?
A. Rule #1: it’s got to be fun. Rule #2: Obey traffic laws. Compared to women and men who race, I don’t ride that much. Compared to non-cyclists, probably a lot. I get a lot of peace from riding, and I think about current design projects as I ride and exercise. 20 to 30 miles is a good ride, 40 to 60 miles is better but more rare these days.
Q. Favorite color?
A. Blue. Probably makes up 40% of my closet. But I’m an Architect…so there is a lot of classic black too.
Q. Car or Truck?
A. Truck. Need it to haul building materials back to the house (I should have bought stock in Home Depot a long time ago). I have designed and renovated quite a lot of our own home; I enjoy both the creative work and implementing it. And power tools are cool. (Note: many kudos to my wife who both puts up with my messes in the garage and lends a helping hand from time to time)
Q. Do you design and build then?
A. Design in most cases. I formed Eckxstudio for Modern Architecture so that I can bring my design skills, hard work, and creativity to bear for the benefit of my clients. There are numerous great builders out there who specialize in the actual construction of your project – that’s where their skill set lies. I feel that you shouldn’t short-change or cut out a design expert when you decide to build. The value I bring to an architecture project is timeless and outweighs any costs; it is worth bringing an Architect on-board for.
Q. What motivates you on design?
A. Seeing the design translate into the benefits to my clients. I can create better feeling and functioning spaces for my clients. Increase value for them beyond what just hiring a builder can yield. I think of all the little details and how they can make the overall design perfect for the client. In short, it’s perfect architecture and inspired living.
Q. Cook or eat out?
A. Both, for sure. But we frequently cook at home – it’s the creative process applied to food. Just like the enjoyment of applying the creative process to your renovation or new home. Cooking so much at home also helps me think about kitchen design and layouts which I apply to kitchen renovations and design projects.
Q. Favorite beverage?
A. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. I think some Architects run on caffeine. I’m a fan of French press coffee vs. drip. But to each their own. So if my handwriting is ever shaky, you can guess that I had too much coffee that morning.
Q. Favorite vacation spot?
A. There’s many! I love skiing in Colorado, and Canada might be on my radar soon. I’ve really enjoyed seeing the architecture in Paris and Barcelona on trips to Europe. And I was awed by ancient and new structures alike when I was able to walk along the Great Wall of China and see the building booms in Beijing and Hong Kong. I’ve been fortunate to travel some, but there are so many places I’d like to check out in the future.
Q. Architecture question. Pencil or pen or computer drawing?
A. All of them have their part in the process. I gravitate more toward drawing with a pen and also the computer when I’m digging into a new design.
Q. If you could go back in time and change something, what would you change?
A. I never thought of this before except for the usual “go back and buy a lot of stock when it was cheap.” But I think it would be interesting to go back to the middle of the 20th Century and expand housing programs such the Case Study Houses which championed modern design, open spaces, and uniqueness in each house. Every family is unique and I think most families would benefit from a home designed for them, for how they live.
A lot of houses in the US are getting older and were built when life was different. Family dynamics and needs have changed and more expansive customization of homes could address the changing lifestyles we see now. It was really hard when my wife and I were buying our home – we had our budget, had to stick to it, and saw so many houses that were full of outdated spaces that didn’t fit how we wanted to live.
Q. Lastly, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A. Right here, in architecture. Designing homes for great clients, with innovative features and really usable spaces that look and feel great.
(Case Study House #8 – Charles & Ray Eames)
(Case Study House #9 – E. Saarinen)
This post was originally written before re-branding as Eckxstudio for Modern Architecture at the end of 2017.
At Eckxstudio for Modern Architecture, we design unique and stunning projects, individually crafted for our clients’ lives. We’re passionate about listening to your needs, wants and desires as inspiration to design the dream home you’ll never want to leave.