learning design

design, like most everything else, takes practice.

i have been practicing since i was a child.  i started with re-arranging my own room.  i would take everything out of every drawer and shelf and cabinet and then re-arrange the furniture and put everything back again-- in a different order.  later, when i had my own apartments, i would re-arrange the furniture, or things on the walls, or make curtains, or slipcover furniture-- all to solve the design issues in the apartments and make it look good.  when i was able to buy a house, i played with the balance between doing construction to a house and solving design issues with furnishings.  i worked with (and later for) a wonderful contractor who would ask the question 'why do that?' if i came up with some structural solution that was probably going a little too far.  as i worked with (and later for) this contractor i learned about plumbing and heating and electrical systems.  i learned how houses are constructed and what pieces are necessary to hold it all together.  as i began to practice architecture on my own houses i learned how to place windows, walls, and ceilings so that they made the rooms inside feel the way i wanted them to feel.  working for other people, i learned to ask a lot of questions about how they live, how they wanted to use the spaces we were talking about, and how they wanted their homes to feel.

now, after practicing design for more than thirty years, i am aware of how much i have learned-- and equally aware (which i wasn't when i was 10) of how much i have left to learn.

fun, isn't it?


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