The other day, I heard Jessica Murray, an astrologer, state that image-generating capacity of the human mind determines what happens. At this point in my career, it’s an undisputed truth. As an architect, I envision something, draw it up, and it materializes. Seeing my personal life as a work of art, on the other hand, is a skill I had to work hard to develop.I went through image-generating training in Architecture School. Still remember that freshman year,
A DIY Ally client wrote: “Hello Alla, I’ve much enjoyed your website, particularly your 11-step eBook and blog entries. I have a space planning question. My husband and I are downsizing from a 2300 sf home to a 1948 ranch 3BR/1BA 1100 sf home. Every sf needs to count. Over the 5+ years we’ve owned the home, I believe we’ve pretty much figured out how to maximize the layout; however, a recent decision to completely re-plumb the house allows us the
I’ve been getting a lot of traffic on AllaDIYAlly lately. For instance, just last week I heard from a client in Washington’s Wenatchee Valley who is enlarging a small bedroom and adding a bath suite. He inquired: “If I send current dimensions and include a sketch and additional square feet, can you work from that?” Of course, I can!
A project you designed, when built, may present itself in ways that were ultimately unpredictable. Picturing a space with a degree of certainty is an acquired skill, and a scaled model is an invaluable tool for training your eye. It just makes it much easier to imagine what a room will feel like, to anticipate the spatial experience within it.
A generic statement, such as: “In this bright white modern space, the architect used clean lines, a minimalist palette, and simple shapes to create…” can succinctly describe my intentions for a tiny bathroom and adjoining kitchenette I am in the process of planning. Although it sounds formulaic, it’s anything but. Trends come and go; the object is to design with the site-specific requirements in mind.
Second installment of the workshop felt like the fastest three hours ever! In awe with the participants’ commitment, I admired and respected their passion for learning — the way they were striving to stretch their comfort zone — developing, acquiring knowledge and expanding existing skills. It made me think of life as work-in-progress.
Although nervous and uncomfortable promoting my own system, I’m compelled to recommend it. I teach a strategy of organizing thoughts aimed at generating a parti, a launch pad for an architectural design. The process is quite simple; it’s outlined in my how-to ebook DIY Like an Architect: 11-step method.
I just attended an exhibit at the Getty Museum titled “Pathways to Paradise: Medieval India and Europe” documenting people’s travels to destinations across Asia, Africa, and Europe in pursuit of heaven on earth. People have longed to find it for centuries, but have not been able to. Somehow, it made me think of DIYers I work with, those who are instead of expecting it to be somewhere waiting for them, are willing to build/create their own. Right where they are — in their own backyard.
As architect on demand, I frequently get emails from DIYers concerned with their home’s curb appeal. When adding a few potted plants or planting climbing vines is enough to spruce up the entryway, Martha Stewart has great advice. However, it could be a question of subtracting, instead of adding. There are times when a façade can benefit from authentic architectural details and intervention.
As Alla DIY Ally, I advise my clients to start with a plan. Next, as soon as there is a basic layout is in place, to consider the three-dimensional qualities of the space by drawing sections and elevations.