|A sense of design, is the result of an education through training, and then continued learning through practice. You need the professional services of an architect to bring in this science of subtlety and sensibility to your abode.
You are the user of the space and so there is a role for you as well. This is true whether you decide to hire the services of an architect or not.
Today, as an architect, I wish to tell you things about designing spaces that you don’t need me or any other architect to tell you!! Ludicrous though this may seem, I have seen so many clients commit themselves to living in habitats that hurt their physical, emotional and social wellbeing so very often that I venture on this dialogue with you.
I do this consciously stepping aside from a prescriptive role of a design consultant to take on an advisory role of a friend and I hope you will appreciate the following, even if you are already aware of most or some of the following….
I discuss below the basic model of our buildings, the house. Other building typologies are extension of the same thought:
1. The house is an expression of your highest values. Call on them. Cleanliness, Godliness and Integrity. Make it bold, thoughtful and borne out of love, not fear. You live only once.
2. The house is clearly about you and your family. It is also about your regard for fellow humans, your neighbours and your visitors. A selfish and a pompous, invasive house is a mirror of your lack of concern for others and eventually an insult to yourself. The reverse is true.
3. The spaces that make your house are for you to live, each one holding a specific purpose and fulfilling a need for comfort, security and repose, not a falsity to hide behind.
4. You bring your thoughts into the house. The walls and the spaces need to accommodate these thoughts. To calm you when you are upset and to energise you when you are tired or dull. The need for such a house is to be simple, tranquil, cheerful and flowing. Open up the spaces inside gently and fill them with light, colours of the earth and allow the air to come in.
5. Do not clutter the house with the many motifs, partitioning cabinetry and the wall features, or even with the things you bring in as they catch your fancy. Make space. Don’t put anything that is not essential. Think of it like a well spoken prose or, if possible a well composed poem. There is no room for superflousness. Throw it away.
6. Make the program of your home aspirational, a forward looking, practical ideation, not a sentimental gesture of the past. Differentiate between tradition and the burden of memory.
7. Allow flexibility of use, remove hoarding and keep the contents simple, limited. That makes space easy to live and easy to maintain.
8. Live for the days of the year, not for the events that are yearly. Store rooms, formal spaces and recreational dens belong in public spaces. Not in your home.
9. Books, plants, art and empty space… make sure you are surrounded by these objects that speak about depth and consciousness.
10. Media, glitter, screens and show pieces are superficial. Glimpses of reality. Stop staring at them, keep them away.
11. When you feel that you can make your spaces more valuable with the advice of a professional, do not hesitate to speak to one.
12. Select an architect based on his sensibility and his expression of your ideology. He can sketch and show. Learn to trust only that.
13. Respect the architect, speak your intent and stay away from dictating your opinion. You should know why you hired one.
14. Pay your architect. In time. Make sure his heart is in it. As yours should be.
15. Love means caring. To build it beautifully and to keep it, caring for it as it ages.
by Samarendra M.Ramachandra
Featured image: graphic designer cartoon