Making It real
My story in attempting to bring a new housing type that improves affordability, livability & community resilience
(Please note that this article is one in a series and it may make references to previous articles)
So now I have a design in hand what now? At this stage, I was not across all the regulation and rules, so I needed to acquire some additional help. A consultant that I had previously worked with was embarking on a self-consultancy practice and was eager to undertake some residential work. The combination of him being a gentleman and I had design and construction experience had me asking the question, "What could go wrong?!” So, I engaged him. It wasn’t long before I soon realised that my growth spurt in learning through mistakes would never end.
The practice of design has always fascinated me. The variables that are required to be considered, conjured and reimaged is an extraordinary process. Throw into it the need to have a general understanding of engineering, legal, finance and human behaviour, and you can start to grasp the beehive of activity that can often reside within a designer’s mind, in particular, that of an architect. Yet somewhere in the process, (so I am led to believe) their early teachings encouraged them to push back on clients ideas or directions that did not align with their own. Even though we worked through several items where collaboration produced some intelligent solutions, I was struggling with continuously being encouraged to embrace an external form that I did not relate to. After requesting different varieties, I struggled to fall in love with it as it would remind me of an 80’s shop. I thought it deserved more yet I was not getting the same love from my architect.
Somewhat like any relationship, the collaboration process with the design fraternity can be an enriching experience where you’re both pushing and pulling ideas or problems as you all search for design solutions. Yet the journey together often starts haphazardly as discoveries are more likely to be problems and constraints rather than reflections of grand visions. An example of this for me was during what became a “napkin twisting” exercise of trying to meet the required boundary setbacks while seeking to respect the adjoining Victorian terrace. After countless attempts, I had hoped that the right design outcome would float to the surface, yet no matter the many iterations created, my internal design fire would not ignite. It was time to raise the prospect of an open relationship with a new design partner, Archbazar.
Archbazar was at the time, a relatively new crowdsourcing architectural design platform. Its platform allowed Clients to log design competitions where any registered designer from around the world could submit a design and if successful, would claim a proportion of the prize money. My early exploration of design crowdsourcing lead me to this discovery, and the more I was becoming disillusioned by the plans I was receiving from my architect, the more I wondered if I could use this platform to find a solution or a unique design response to the challenge before me. I was becoming increasingly interested in giving this a go-to design the front of my building, so I asked my current designer if they were comfortable in an open design relationship with a broader audience. At first, he agreed…but as I suspect with many open relationships, it was doomed to end in tears. In the next article, I will explain the story of jumping in bed with Archbazar and what I received in exchange.
A property expert with over 25 years experience working across both private and public sectors, predominately within the housing space.