some reflections on architecture

To be sure, I am a dreamer…. though, at the end of the day, I endeavour to be a practical person.

I am particularly interested in infill housing – lane houses, tiny houses, and studio conversions – as well as contemplative spaces and exhibitions. And, yes, sheds too.


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I am interested in activating everyday spaces, steering them from mere utility into something special by imbuing a sense of the sublime. I remain energized and stimulated by architecture – I am just as curious about matters relating to architecture, to space, to the play of sculptural form, to the phenomenology of place, to the value of the ineffable, as when I graduated as an architect many years ago.

Though sublime intention needn’t be architectural in outcome – it could be sculptural or sonic and other ways, such qualitative experiences can result from good architecture and clear intentions. In my experience, such energized results need not be more expensive or less useful.

Like film, the built realization of an architecture is totally collaborative in that it requires numerous people pulling towards a shared end. Having said that, like good film, good architecture inevitably has the stamp of a singular vision. Again like film, because of the intricacy of realizing the form, combined with the economic imperative to be within a timeframe and on a budget, in a practical sense, there need be a chain of command.

Through my film work, my businesses, as well as my large art projects, I have experience and am comfortable budgeting, project managing and supervising the entire creation process. I have limited interest in abrogating these functions of my services.

The relationship between client and designer is one of close proximity, honest and direct communication is key. To make the process generative for all, an affinity is important.

For me, design is an iterative process. Rarely is there only a singular solution. My goal is to tease out a balanced and appropriate solution to the various particulars of the design dilemma. I do this by responding to a clients goals, the spatial and material realities, and the financial limitations.

digital virtual methods

Architects have been building models and doing drawings to explain their projects for years. I use digital tools – very sophisticated dimensional digital tools to explain my projects.


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I am a rarity in the design professions, in that I am equally comfortable in the analog world of physicality / building / gravity / weather / plumbing and the digital virtual world where one needn’t worry much about anything other than the visual seduction. Doing my “trade” work – where I design, create and animate set extensions and environments for film and television – has necessitated I become more than proficient in some of the most sophisticated 3d digital imaging tools available. Further, in my art projects, I explore additional peripheral technologies, like spatial interactivity, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), spatial scanning and 3d printing. All this to say, I design projects using three dimensional imaging and animation tools, and I will present a dimensional “sketch” of the project that you can walk into. All before spending a dime.

contractual matters

Like my other art projects, I don’t provide building design services as a financially remunerative undertaking. I see being engaged in architecture as a generative matter of shared intentional goodwill. If we decide to engage with each other, lets intend it to be about more than money. Assuming we agree that I am suitable as the designer for your project…,


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… I intend to maintain an emphasis on my curiosity and positive intentionality in working to design & realize the project with you.

I provide my building design services on a donation basis – donations in kind, donations of reciprocal services & opportunities, or lastly, donations of money. I value my skills and cherish my time. By relying on donation, I put the onus on you, the prospective client, to articulate to me an agreeable value of my involvement in the project. (In addition, out of pocket expenses will need be covered.)

While I am open as to how the contractual relationship is framed, I believe it important that there is a contract that articulates an exchange of value equivalence. The contract could even be honour based, completely non-legal, something like: “mtk will design and oversee the construction of a tiny home for Mick Mouse to the best of my abilities in exchange for three chords of wood, eleven one-hour uses of a pick-up and Mr Smith’s old plan chest cabinet.”

This contractual framework, and the particulars of it, can be negotiated in parallel to me starting a design. In fact, I think this is an excellent way to proceed, as we can see if we get along.

However, should we not contractually agree to move forward with the project together, the design remains with me, and I retain all rights. In other words, without an agreement, you will not have permission to go to another design/build professional with the design.