The Intersection

September 29, 2015

We have been in practice since 1994, and have had wonderful opportunities to work with some of the leading and most creative minds in the design industry.  What stands out after 21+ years of interacting with so many talented architects, landscape architects, and interior designers is how DIFFERENT all have been in their approach to design issues.  Some have thrust their buildings or developments onto the site in a way that says "Look at me.  I am special."  Others seek to impose their own distinctive brand and style onto the site.  You drive by a project and immediately know it was designed by this firm or that firm.  Still others go for the "shock and awe" style.  Their buildings are purple, their interiors are tiger striped.  All have obviously been successful in their undertakings over the years, or they would not exist now.

 

As a landscape architect, I respect everyone's design opinion.  100 building or landscape architects in a room will come up with 100 different solutions to a project.  Thats our nature.  But because I chose the environmental side of architecture, I tend to favor those firms that can marry their project to the land surrounding it.  Frank Lloyd Wright, the iconic American architect of the 20th century, was a master at using landforms and materials to strategically incorporate his building into a site.  I find it sad that many of his lessons were forgotten or cast aside during the 1960's thru modern times.  Buildings and landscapes "imposed" themselves on the sites they were designed for.  The result were some truly magnificent buildings that had absolutely no relationship to the environment around them.

 

I believe that since around the start of the 21st century, that design philosopy is in a process of flux.  With climate change, (yes, its real.  Don't get me going!) people are aware of how nature can impose itself on our structures and our lives, rather than the other way around.  Our firm has evolved in it's design theories and practices, as I believe any firm must if it is to be successful.  Today's projects must be viewed as a whole, not as a building, parking lots, and landscapes.  Everything must be interrelated, just as everything is interrelated in the natural world.  When that type of design takes place, all notice, and as designers we can rest knowing that our work is vastly more conducive to environmental sustainability than it would have been just a few decades ago.  Where the built environment and nature intersect, beautiful things can happen.  As designers, we must do a better job of educating our clients to a new ethos.  Individually, we are certainly capable of designing great projects.  But when we pull the surrounding environment into our designs, magnificent projects result.  That is where we want KDC to be.  At the intersection of the built and natural environments.

 

 

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