2. How exciting! Now, let us begin at the very beginning..

Building a Home


What on earth have I gotten myself in for?

Stop! Breathe! Don’t panic.

Take a moment to be excited at the amazing possibilities! The fortunate juncture you find yourself at to create such a marvelous thing! Acknowledge the work, toil and dedication it took you to get here – let go, let yourself dream, what do you want this thing – to be and become?

A home? A place? An investment for the future? An expression of yourself? Your point of view? A knitting together of partners, families,  human and/or fur babies? Pause and consider all the significant dwelling places you have known, write them down, recall what was significant about each, what senses were heightened when you are in them? What is easiest to remember? Location, light, colour, smell, touch of textile or building materials? What would your transfer forward into your own place now if there were no limits?

If you no longer have access to them – what is occurring in your everyday moments now – when you run smack! bam! Right back into the memories of these significant places? The shape of a driveway, the scale of a front door?

If this is all starting to seem to fluffy, silly or a waste of time – just hang in there! Let me help you see how it can translate into many practical ways.

For me I grew up in a rural place, so trees are significant, so is open space. I moved to the city and carved out private nooks in what was to me, a very exposed way of living. When I feel a certain grain or texture in concrete or see a certain curve or specific shade of leprechaun green I remember our lounge room walls and how the walls were the perfect scratching post for humans and pets alike.

Weird? Perhaps.

But to me, I learnt that walls can be made of all sorts of things, it opened my mind to what is possible; it also taught me I am a very tactile person, I like to touch, feel and know what the physical world around me is made of. The overall outcome is curiosity, valuing dynamic relationships and a treasured desire to dwell, craft and belong to my places.

How exquisite! Get excited!! Let that energy drive you forward; because you will certainly soar to the highest of places and drop to seemingly endless low valleys. Don’t be overwhelmed, keep hold to the origins because they will sustain, energise and inspire you!

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The Words that Drive…. what the elephants whisper

‘A part of our future appears to be evolutionary and unpredictable, and another part looks developmental and predictable. Our challenge is to invent the first and discover the second’ John Smart – Accelerated Foundational Studies.

 ‘I never saw an ugly thing in my life – for let the form of an object be what it might – lights, shade and perspective will always make it beautiful.’ John Constable

 What does the building want to be?’ Louis Kahn

 ‘Architecture is about ideas in the first place. You don’t get to design until you have an idea.’ LebbeusWoods

‘Artists use frauds to make human beings seem more wonderful than they really are. Dancers show us human beings who move much more gracefully than human beings really move. Films and books and plays show us people talking much more entertainingly than people really talk, make paltry human enterprises seem important. Singers and musicians show us human beings making sounds far more lovely than human beings really make. Architects give us temples in which something marvelous is obviously going on. Actually, practically nothing is going on.’ Kurt Vonnegut

 ‘A house can have integrity, just like a person,’ said Roark, ‘and just as seldom.’ Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

 ‘The secret of architectural excellence is to translate the proportions of a dachshund into bricks, mortar and marble.’ Christopher Wren

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Acknowledgemnet is the 1st Step

I was recently posed with a question – “What is the hardest thing about architecture?” – as a student in the midst of completing my degree, this is a valid and well-timed prompt.

Initially, it took me three days to consider a response and after an additional two weeks of considerable thought and rambling conversations I have arrived here.

The summation of my exploration thus far is simply – The Marinating Elephants in my head.

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