Getting back to the basics – Design Matters

I spend a LOT of time talking about architecture, building science, and community.The backbone of any town, city, place is the architecture that binds it together as a cohesive unit. There are works of architecture that are the dominate element that demands to be noticed while some encourage actions and other simply brings comfort.


Architecture is a powerful tool that left to evolve will create a sense of place. It is also a tool that can be planned and guided to create the sense of place you want to achieve. Architecture can also be defeating if left unattended and will create a place that you don’t want to achieve.


Most people don’t notice how the design of architecture around them is impacting their lives. They are comfortable in their surroundings and the architecture falls away. Many have only realized the power of architecture when walking into a space that demands attention and is overwhelming, one that sparks emotion. Unfortunately many don’t experience architecture that is well planned on a regular basis. We as a culture have allowed our architecture to deteriorate into a box with a sign on the front and a flat open parking lot with lights for trees and stripes for detail to take over our daily lives.

big box

We live in houses that are not designed for the way we live but rather adapt the way we live to the architecture. The power of design is to realize a space that brings emotion, comfort, and builds community. This is not a new approach, it is not cutting edge, it is the way things used to be done. Parking convenience pushed us into a direction that has resulted in a nondescript existence with communities struggling to have identity. We have seen a shift as downtowns are becoming hubs in cities again. Downtowns with existing detailed architecture that is varied and sparks emotion.


Communities that are vibrant in today’s economy are usually vibrant in their architectural spaces. This resurgence of good design has not reached the residential market in force yet and still does not exist in all commercial development. My hope as we move into our new economy is that the true value of creating spaces that are healthy, inviting, and comfortable will be emphasized.

Design Matters for your community, for your health, and for your happiness.