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Apr. 1, 2020 | Wednesday
Editorials and Opinions
Architext: A brief interlude
Tract McMansions. (Supplied)

Recently, I received a comment on this series from a landscape designer who said, “You’re talking about architecture but I use the same principles in what I do.” This got me to thinking that perhaps I had ‘skipped a beat’ by not properly introducing this series of articles at the get-go. You see, she’s right; the half dozen key principles featured in these articles are ubiquitous to all residential design disciplines. Indeed, many iconic architects considered this so vital in composing a property with intuitive ‘liveability’ that they’d handle every design aspect, including landscape and furniture, to ensure flawless integration.

I’ve always believed that the best client was the educated client. These folks could ask the questions which invariably produced the best results. However, learning key design principles, often couched in techno-speak and obscured behind clouds of marketing (by those who would rather you didn’t have the knowledge to raise questions that really need to be asked), can be a challenge. But, without these ‘educated’ questions, things will often go awry.

Take for example the Millennium Mansion; a late 20th Century builder-friendly style focused on the upscale market. In far too many cases, designers working in this style would ignore the principles of good design and produce a cacophony that justifiably earned the nickname “McMansion”. I’d like to believe that had the builders been faced with educated buyers most of these flawed designs would never have seen the light of day.

Hopefully, this series on Design will give you a basic framework to assess “the good, the bad, and the ugly.”