MEET THE ARCHITECT
OPEN, AIRY, SUNLIT AND COMFORTABLE INTERIORS MARK THIS ARCHITECT'S WORK
What's your design philosophy? I try to team up with my clients—communicate and share information with them, enough to understand what they like and don't like—so that I can design something that's "theirs." What's exciting to you in the world of design right now? As all of us—professionals and laymen alike—come to know more about traditional architecture, we realize how creative and inventive we can be with it: light-filled, airy open interiors all about informal living, within architectural designs that also learn from our history. What do you think should go away? Ego-driven, "look at me" avant-garde design where nothing can be considered "architecture" if it isn't something that no one's ever done before. What period of history are you drawn to? The "glory days" of shingle-style and country house architecture at the beginning of the century. Do you have a favorite building or structure? An anonymous, dilapidated old abandoned beach house down the road from me sitting astride a property line. It'll probably be gone by the time you read this. Describe your home: A small beach cottage at the water's edge, weathering quietly away, with no paint at all on the outside. What are your favorite materials? Almost any natural material: wood shingle roofs, stone foundations... Do you have any secret design obsessions? "Double-coding" formal design (like a Tuscan column) by articulating them with informal details (like wood shingles). Who has had a profound impact on your work? Christopher Alexander, one of my professors at Berkeley, and his book, A Pattern Language. A growing number of companies are turning to architects to design everything from household to luxury goods. How is this changing your industry? It's a very good sign, in my opinion. Good designers are looking at good design, wherever or from whomever it comes from. Any companies you'd like to design for? I've always loved naval architecture, but I lack the knowledge to tell any of those guys I should be allowed to contribute. What is your favorite element of a project? When you go back to your drawing board and start sketching, then—sometimes slowly, sometimes all at once—some new thing, scheme or idea starts to emerge from the mist and the fog. Any advice that you would give to young architects? He who does not learn from history is doomed to repeat it.