What do you do?
Design homes, hospitality and public spaces with a focus on the human.
What are the three most important things to consider when designing a home?
Comfort, practicality and aesthetics.
How should a client form a brief for their home?
If the client is considering alterations and additions to an existing property rather than a brand-new build, they should think about how they use the existing space they have, with attention given to what doesn't work for them currently and what they would like done to improve their interaction with their home.
They should also have a firm idea of what they really love about their current home, and what they would like to retain in any new design.
For all types of projects, providing [the architect with] a strong indication of the kind of aesthetic – modern, contemporary, traditional – you would like to achieve helps in focusing a design. It also helps to give the architect an insight into your family life besides the material considerations. How do you live with each other? What do you like to do as a family? What are your hobbies and interests? Also, you should try to have a realistic budget in mind from the outset, as this is the single biggest factor that will affect what may be achieved.
Finally, create two lists, one containing the elements you consider essential to any design and one detailing the items that would be nice to have, but are by no means essential or that can be jettisoned from the design if it looks like the budget might be blown.
What's the first thing you do when you need to prune the budget for a project?
Review the client's list of non-essential inclusions, and reconsider the material choices.
What's the one thing you always include in a project?
Passive solar and light design, solar panels, water conservation measures, and easy transitions between indoors and outdoors. We are also being asked more and more to include the option to install Tesla batteries.
Who is an established Australian architect/designer you admire?
John Wardle and Renato D'Ettorre.
Who is an emerging Australian architect/designer to watch?
William Smart and Raffaello Rosselli.
Do you prefer a big or small home, and why?
I always encourage quality over quantity.
Which is best, high-tech or low-tech, and why?
Sydney Opera House designer Jorn Utzon said that you should use technology once it has been tested for long enough to guarantee it is fit for purpose and longevity, therefore it depends on the type of technology.
Technology designed to reduce the energy consumption and carbon footprint of your home should be considered an important aspect of any design. And there are some technological elements that are now essential in modern home designs, integrated network cabling and USB ports for example. But full home automation or 'connected homes' should definitely be on your 'nice to have' rather than 'essential' list as, if the system fails for any reason, it has the potential to render your home unlivable.
What's your favourite room in the home, and why?
I don't have a favourite room in the home; the beauty of a well-designed home is how each space interacts with the others to provide the residents a place that gives them a sense of comfort and safety, and an escape from the stresses of increasingly hectic lives. This is the ethos of humanist design.
Want a cleaner, faster loading and ad free reading experience?
Try New Atlas Plus. Learn more