Designing in Tandem: Part 2

In our previous blog post (Designing in Tandem: An Exploration in Duality and Co-creation) we explored our design process and what is like to work together. Co-creation does not mean that we are always on the same page. Sometimes when we start design we stand in polar opposites from each other. The process of bringing our ideas together is what fuels and excites us to create something which neither of us has yet thought of.

One truth about design is that the first idea we start with is barely ever going to be the best idea we will ever have. That's because design needs time and space to flourish. It needs to evolve. And that process takes time. And patience. And it cannot be rushed.

Here we will show how this one particular project has evolved in our process of co-creation.  

When we started out, we had pretty different ideas for the expression for this house. 

 

 

We weren't totally satisfied with each other's designs. Something was missing in each. And it didn't feel like it was OUR expression, OUR image. The designs were too much one way or another, like we were leaning too much on our own tendencies, it wasn't really balanced. 

As we began to work through the design together we had to let go of elements that we were too attached to in our own design in order to make room for something new to emerge. For me it was the circle. I wanted that circle to be there so badly that I couldn't see past the circle. Then it was clear there was no way to move forward unless I dropped the circle idea. So I dropped it. I wanted to see what other ideas would emerge... 

 

So the front of the house started to take shape in a different way than we each had first imagined it. We started to find the expression in the "parting of the house" to make way for a breezeway towards the ocean view. It felt kinda like the parting of the waters. We both agreed that we liked that idea better then our initial ideas. It is a simpler move and yet it carries a stronger expression. 

On the back of the house we had to find a way to integrate the "parting wave" idea in a way that made the house look coherent as a whole. The glass trellis roof over the breezeway feels almost like we "unzipped" the house to let the light through. Now we were getting somewhere we both found exciting! 

 

Now we had to work on the roof lines to find the simplest shape that could achieve everything we wanted - to let light in from the South, capture the views from the North, provide cover for the deck, privacy from the neighbhours and so on. Finally we settled on a simple sloping roof to the view with purposeful 'pop-ups' to capture the South light into the house. 

 

And there we felt like we had finally arrived at something we were both happy with. What we saw was not a reflection of our own selves, but of both of us, in balance and harmony. And it felt complete. 

Design is always a process. Sometimes you just have to let go to see where you might end up!