The Origins of Considered Design
Considered Design began as a set of guidelines developed by KGA to help streamline the process of designing production homes. We found ourselves addressing similar, if not the same, questions and challenges on a high percentage of projects. As a result of working through them we developed a set of parameters as a better and more efficient way to create stellar designs. And, Considered Design was born. (To learn more about Considered Design for Production Homes, click here.)
Since its conception, we’ve discovered that many aspects of Considered Design can be applied to a variety of things, not just production housing. Take the example of Frank Lloyd Wright. When he began designing furniture for his homes, he noted that if the home has lower ceilings, then the furniture should be scaled appropriately to take this into account – that is Considered Design!
So, What Exactly is Considered Design?
First and foremost, Considered Design is a philosophy. It’s the belief that regardless of a home’s size, architecture can–and should–improve the way people live.
It is a carefully weighed design process that utilizes priority based decision making to control construction budgets while optimizing a home’s function, livability, style and perceived value.
For example: Keeping in mind the size of standardized building materials when designing the structure will minimize waste piles. Rule of thumb, the smaller the recycle pile the more efficient the construction.
It is made up of both fundamental ideas that rarely change, and ever changing guidelines that evolve with today’s diverse lifestyles and technologies.
For example: In the 90’s you saw tech spaces designed into common areas for those bulky desktop computers. Today you may find shower stalls in the mudroom or laundry for washing pets; and already being included in tomorrow’s homes are USB ports instead of power outlets and wireless functionality built-in during construction.
It is an important evaluation tool of discovery that helps create successful, market driven designs.
For example: In recent years fewer home owners put value on 5-piece baths. In response, we have replaced the bathtub with an over-sized shower that often incorporates a steam shower, overhead or dual shower heads and a built-in bench. 10 years ago, this would have been unheard of, today it makes total sense.
It is a pledge to evaluate each nuance of a home’s design to optimize its value and usability.
For example: Powder room entries should be privatized from public spaces. (When Aunt Edna leaves the dining room table during Thanksgiving to use the facilities, you should not be able to throw a dinner roll at her while she is in the powder room!)
The philosophy of Considered Design goes way beyond a tool for creating better production home designs. It is the way that we, as architects, view the world and it influences all of our designs – be it a 1,500 sf production home or a 15,000 sf custom home. Is it applied differently in these 2 situations? Of course! But the philosophy is the same – that architecture can, and should, improve the living experience.