About ME

I am an artist, a thinker and a minimalist at heart… I love being out in the sunshine… I love animals of nearly every kind, at least the furry ones, I am trying to be a gardener… I believe people are good at the core but are also capable of very bad things when they aren’t intentional about their actions… I love my family, my passions and my life… I am just me 🙂
My Story:
Since I was a tiny girl I always wanted to build my own place that had everything I wanted in it, nothing more nothing less. My own personal ‘fort’. In the house I grew up in there was a space on the side of the deck where my folks built a dog kennel. It was sort of tucked back and thus was a sweet little hiding spot. I used to go out and hang a hammock in the kennel and hang out with the dog all the time. It was my favorite place to be, partly I’m sure because our German Shepard spent time there too… he and I were BFF’s. The thing about it was that I could only hang out there when the weather was nice. So I started thinking that I wanted to build an enclosed fort there. I actually started saving money for it when I was around 5-6 years old. I remember pricing out plywood and knowing that it would take me a LONG time to save up enough.
I started drawing up plans hoping mom and dad would see how passionate about it I was and feel sorry for me and eventually give in and just buy it for me :). The thing is I wanted it to symbolize my favorite thing at that point in my life. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t come up with a logical way to shape a plywood house into the shape of a dog… they were too tall, how would I enter without adding a really expensive elevator??
My next best animal was a rabbit, they were much easier to imagine converting to a fort for my small noggin. So I drew up plans for a rabbit shaped structure that would sit in the dog kennel area (approximately 8x15ish feet). I drew it up a hundred different ways and I remember my dad helping and thinking it was cool… at least encouraging me… it wasn’t cool enough to buy for him, but cool still.
That plan never worked out, I had to stay a resident at my folk’s place for another 10-12 years :), I was bummed!
I got pretty distracted from those plans by going to school but I always stayed passionate about building and design. I ended up going to school to be an architect. I am, right now in my internship period, I recently started taking my exams to get my license.  While studying I realized just how much I DON’T know. Not only in terms of what is on the exams but I don’t have a ton of ‘real world’ experience with a lot of the products and sciences I shamelessly promote. I want to build this tiny house in an effort to learn ACTUAL construction as well as to give me a baseline for understanding pros and cons for various building systems such as solar power, radiant heat, alternative sewage management etc. I want to document the construction process but also make a record of actual pros and cons of various systems as they function. In theory, I know a lot about these things, in reality I don’t. This is the main reason I am building this.

My Beliefs:
I very much believe that form follows function. Everything in a design should have a reason and a purpose. Good design can seamlessly integrate a plethora of systems and make it look natural. It can take various pieces and add them up to make a greater ‘whole’. I have no doubt there will be a lot of mistakes made from me on this house experiment but I will learn, that IS the ultimate point. In the mean time I get to not only learn about building, I get to learn about myself.
I will miss some things that I find lacking in my tiny house I’m sure (or maybe learn to appreciate them better) and I will realize some things I thought were ‘needs’ are really just wants. Either way I am going to strip my whole world back to what I consider the bare minimum for me to be happy. NOT the bare minimum for what I need to ‘exist’, there will be a lot of ‘excess’, but there are certain luxuries I don’t want to give up (like a shower with shoulder-room, a desk to work on, a chair for reading, an area to do my art work comfortably, etc.), these wants will be in my tiny house. There will be a lot that some deem as ‘needs’ that will not be though, like a spare bedroom, granite counters, a septic system to name a few. I want to prove to myself and to others that it is okay to challenge your own views of what you NEED and what you WANT.
Some say that this living situation won’t work for them, they have kids, or they ‘x’ or they ‘y’. And that may very well be true. But I want people to see that this is a valid direction to head, I may be more extreme about it than necessary but there will be lots of usable aspects for everyone to at least think about. The point overall about building environments is to have as little impact as possible on our ecosystem, in my opinion. Something that is a little closer to this WILL work for everyone. The thing about design is that it is fitting of the end user, or should be. You may not be able to build your home on the bed of a trailer and haul it into the woods at the end of its daily use to be used as a cabin but you CAN build a 600 s.f. house rather than a 2,600 s.f. house… You do not have to be this ‘extreme’ about re-evaluating your life but you CAN re-evaluate some things, you may be surprised at what you come up with, I have been.
Why Now:
Right now I am in a situation of paying someone else’s mortgage (rent), I hate that. There are actually LOTS of benefits to paying rent over a taking out a mortgage, I have learned that over the years. Certainly paying rent is better than buying a house you can’t afford, at high interest rates, low downs and long terms… I would MUCH rather rent than that but, I still hate renting.
There are also benefits in renting when you can ‘test’ out certain neighborhoods and see if you would actually like to put roots down there. You get to try out various layouts and figure out what you like best… I have enjoyed doing all of those things, I hate renting though, I don’t want to rent any longer.
Another, maybe lofty goal is to be able to travel around and learn how to build earth-ships in a couple years. It would be awesome to have a home I could take with me, off the grid and learn to take things to even the next step! That is a lofty dream, and I have a bit to cover first before going there… but still a partial reason I want to build my tiny home.

Why Tiny Works for Me:
*UPDATE*
I have been living in my tiny house for 6 months at this point (December 2013) with my great dane puppy.  My daughter is due in March and we will be staying put in my tiny house.  This has allowed a perfect situation for her and I to live simply and for me to be able to raise my daughter instead of working so that I could provide her with day care.  I now have about a three year plan until I am guessing she will start needing some of her own space, that may happen sooner or later, I’m not sure.
Tiny works with me because I like simple. I don’t have a ton of ‘stuff’, I don’t want a ton of ‘stuff’. I don’t have extended family or kids to shelter. I am single and don’t plan on starting a family for a few years at least. I could afford to put visitors up in a hotel with the money I saved from not paying rent. My needs are simple. A simple house will be perfect for me.

I feel weird posting pictures of my life but I will do it anyway 🙂 This is me:

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§ 55 Responses to About ME

  • Carrie says:

    hi there! I just found your blog google searching for my blog (clotheslinetinyhomes.com) and we are building a tiny house too – and on a gooseneck trailer! and we also have a little dog…. anyway, I’ll keep checking in on you. keep up the good work! so cool to find there are so many other people building tiny houses!
    – Carrie in Prescott, AZ

    • Macy M says:

      Hi Carrie!
      Awesome to see someone else using a goose-neck! I will definitely be following your project! Thanks for dropping a line best wishes on your project I’m looking forward to following ya! (I’m going to add you under my ‘tinyhousers’ link if you’re not cool with that please let me know 🙂

  • Hey Macy, I found you through tinyrevolution and just spent an hour catching up. Fantastic documentation of this project so far, I should have been taking notes. I’ve got an old 5th wheel in Texas just begging for a tiny house… thanks for the inspiration to get on that. I’m sure your project/home will turn out great, especially with your attention to detail and that awesome dad you have. Until then, we will all just have to live vicariously through you, because most of us are still in the orange, blue or green portion of our projects. Red is a definitely a good thing in this case! I would love to help you out with some additional 3D renderings if you’re at all interested, it would be my pleasure to do them for you. Just shoot me an email.

    • Macy M says:

      Thank you Kevin! It’s so surreal for you to write me that (and so cool!). It made me realize, just now, I AM in the red here, I am actually going… I’ve read so many tiny house project blogs front to back before starting my own and now you’re reading my blog. Crazy! Thank you for the note! I hope you can get building soon too, I’m going to check out your site and add you to my blog links as well, please let me know if you’d like to be removed.
      Also some 3D rendering would be awesome :). I’m curious, what software do you use to render?
      Thanks again Kevin!

  • Sorry it took so long to get back, looooong day and I hate commenting through my phone. That would be Plan 3D that I use for my renderings, it runs $17 for one month access or $36… I think for a year’s access. I needed something that truly represented my plans and future concepts the best way possible… and was in my budget so it’s definitely a great program. Add me away! I would be proud to be affiliated with anyone following their dream. Just shoot me an email through Cozy so I can send you some preliminary renderings. Also, let me know if anything has changed from the sketches pleeeez. Trust me, I understand how projects evolve constantly. Perhaps Tobi wants to start a family and you need more room? One truly never knows… 🙂

  • […] Macy, “tiny house builders/owners” is a bit wordy) links. She has a great page about WHY living in a tiny house is so attractive to her but I think those reasons go for a number of people […]

  • myecofurblife says:

    awesome! I wanted to build myself a tiny house too! good luck!

  • Ingrid says:

    green with envy in Canada that you have land to build on….my dream is to build a tiny house in the city but can’t afford land….defeats the whole purpose of trying to leave within a budget when the land costs more than the house…. so right now i live vicariously through all those that are so blessed to be able to have the adventure…..May, are you looking for donations for the project? wasn’t sure what the ‘donate’ link on the side was for…. talk to you soon! Bless you!

    • Macy M says:

      Well thank you, I’m glad you are enjoying the blog! It is so inspiring to hear that ‘someone’ (other than dad) is interested in this stuff. It is SO cool to me :). I don’t actually have the land though, I still have no idea where I will end up parking this thing… I am a city girl so I hope to find a good situation where I can be downtown too… “If you build it they will come…” right? I am very fortunate in the mean time to have a great set of parents who I live near to… they have given me pretty much free reign to build at their place and in their shop! (huge convenience!)

      As far as the donations, of course! Who isn’t looking for donations! 😉 Actually that was put up there because of the suggestions of several friends. I have a pretty tight budget on this project and I figured I would totally donate to some of the blogs I have followed intensely if they had that option, so I threw that on there. Do I expect to get any donations? no… though it is a goal of mine to make one dollar from this blog, but that’s just a silly goal really… The real point of the blog is to be a resource and source of inspiration for other people with the same interests such as yourself! I am so glad you found my blog and that you like it! Thanks for the note!! Best wishes!

  • Ingrid says:

    I’m probably as old as your dad and just encouraged my son to buy a mini Fiat. Trying to teach my kids about the importance of their legacy. If our City could implement a tiny village, I would be all in and I admire you and all who are doing this, it’s why i am green with envy because if I wanted to take on such and endeavor, I would have to live out of town on an acreage which would mean that i would have to buy a car when that would be the last thing i need right now (:
    Sometime we are forced to weigh in the good with the bad (:
    i asked about donation because i would love to help you if even in a small way to encourage others to “help our neighbours” even if at this time we ourselves cannot do what you are doing, i think to help you would be a great encouragement to others. I would love to help you if even in a small way.
    I can’t wait to see what your new place will look like.
    Bless you!

    • Macy M says:

      Ingrid-

      I can’t explain to you how much you just made my day! It is SO cool that other people out there are interested in the same things I am and value the importance of the same ideals I believe in. I definitely think there is room for improvement with city codes when it comes to this sort of lifestyle, it is a major reason I got into building design as a career. I have always felt that way but through starting this project I have found an immense amount of support from people like you who propel me so much further to be that change. This will most likely not be the easiest project but I feel purposeful through this project.

      You have also, single-handily caused me to achieve my financial goals with this website with your very generous donation, thank you so much!

      Thank you so much for connecting with me, I wish you all the best!

  • Ingrid says:

    And you as well. Spread your good fortune (not just financial but do something for others) and hopefully other will contribute to not just your project but others as well. This is what a community is supposed to be like. God bless you. (:

  • Lisa says:

    Just started following you. Found you on the clotheslinetinyhomes blog. Good work! Looking good.

  • Marcy, I love your site. i am only in the dreaming phase myself, but love to look at all the site of those who are actually building their tiny dream homes.
    I wanted to be an architect when i was in High School. life took me on other paths but I still dream of designing houses . I have several that I have been building in my head for years. I really like the idea of living small and sustainable. I am approaching the retirement years now. I long to travel and have purchased a 1967 trailer and have been working on making it a tiny home that can travel around in.
    I am now thinking maybe I should aim for a bigger tiny house that I can put down some roots in as well.
    Keep up the good work and don’t worry about how long it takes. It will all be worth it when you get done, rushing it would only make the journey less enjoyable.

  • AadiRohilla says:

    HI there, just found your blog and i really liked your blog and happy to follow you!! You’re pretty beautiful and “Awesome”..hugs and love!! God Bless you

  • chris says:

    fantastic blog Macy, thnak you!

  • Vanessa Beck says:

    Hi Macy, I am excited to see another one of use using a gooseneck. I am at the start of my plans. Currently my trailer is at my parents house in Idaho. I am over in Washington about five hours away so unless I can bring it here it will take me some time.I will be tearing down and RV and rebuilding my house.

    I will be following you and looking forward to seeing it finished. Thank you for the blog and all the great information.

    • Macy M says:

      Hi Vanessa-

      I am SO counting you as another Idaho Tiny House! We need all the help we can get! 🙂 You make the 7th I know of in this state! I have added you to my tinyhousers list, I hope you don’t mind, I’m looking forward to following along! Thanks for dropping a note, good luck with your build!

  • Jane says:

    Well, I don’t have a tiny house that I am building, but I really admire those that do just that…but I got rid of a big house and moved to a small condominium, just big enough for me…no mortgage, very low utilities, and I am pretty free of stuff too!

    • Macy M says:

      Way to go Jane! That is the idea ultimately! What a proud feeling, right? I am glad you found my blog and left a comment, it’s nice to know who’s interested, best wishes!
      Macy

  • mamalulu1 says:

    ok – sadly, I don’t have time to read it all yet….but, I’ll be back. I love that you are building a tiny house! THAT IS SO COOL!!!!!!! so I will be back…I am so excited to have found your blog!

  • Jill Pearson says:

    Hi Macy,
    Just had to send a note to tell you how much I ADORE your house (and your green door!) I haven’t starting my own building process yet, but I’m getting lots of inspiration on my design from your blog. Congrats on a beautiful new home, can’t wait to see it when it’s totally finished. (And please don’t take down your site for at least a few years till I can harvest and put to use all of your great tips and tricks!)
    Jill

    • Macy M says:

      Hi Jill! Definitely won’t! Thanks for the note, it’s super awesome to hear from other interested people! Thank you so much for your kind words, I don’t know if you plan to document your process but I would love to follow along when you get there! 🙂

  • jogreen1 says:

    Hi Macy,
    I love your house, it is in my top 3 tiny houses. One of the others is clotheslinetinyhomes. I’m not longer a youngster and the way you have your beds over the gooseneck is wonderful. No lofts to climb up to, and no ladders to fall off of. Unfortunately I also have your tendency to injure myself with just about anything. I have 2 dogs and just love the pics you post of Tobi and Denny! I have a pug and a mutt thats about 45 pounds, but I love big dogs. My BFF dogs have been a pekingnese that I had from a baby until I was 17, the last one was my GSD. She was so smart and sweet, I don’t think I want that kind of shedding in a tiny house though! I love the dogs I have now but there was something really special about those two. (BTW, how much do Great Danes shed?)

    Anyway, sorry, I’m prone to rambling…. I am really looking forward to your product reviews. I need a W/D, I want my comforts too. I’ve been trying to find a small soaking tub, cause I love to soak (i get achy every now and then and it sooo helps), and they are all over 3 feet in diameter. I have to say you have really put a lot of good ideas together in your tiny and I’m jealous, but drawing plans over and over and over again trying to find what works for me. Getting rid of the “stuff” in preparation has been more of a release than I thought it would be. Thanks for blogging your experience and posting so many pictures, it’s inspiring and helps keep my dreams alive and viable. (No matter how crazy my kids think I am!) If I get a chance to live this dream I’ll be blogging too, because if I can do this, anyone can. The blogs of the tiny housers are great – full of USEFUL information by sharing the experience. Hopefully I’ll keep redo’s to a minimum because of your generosity.

    Jo

    • Macy M says:

      Hi Jo!
      Thank you so much for your kind words! I really appreciate them! I will definitely add a category for bath tubs, I know a few tiny housers who have them, maybe I can ask for a review from them. I would LOVE to follow along with your tiny house when (not if) it happens! 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  • Ron Friedman says:

    Macy,
    I am working on some designs for tiny houses with several sip manufacturers. Some have very basic expanded polystyrene parts that go together like a jigsaw puzzle and interlock with a steel framing system. Once the structural envelope is complete an interior and exterior specialized ceramic stucco is used to make the structure monocoque and super strong. This is a very very simple building process that requires minimal building skills. The envelope is easily up in a few hours, a day perhaps. I also supply led lights, electric radiant heating systems, and many environmentally responsible products. Let me know if you would like to learn more. Where are you doing your intern work? It is a great time to be an architect.

    We are also working on a collaborative website that will focus on energy products, green products, tiny houses, and much more. I would love to link with your site. Please let me know.

    Ron
    Rochester, NY

    • Macy M says:

      Hi Ron-
      When you get your site up and running I would love to check it out. It is a great time to be in architecture for sure, it was not just a few short years ago sadly. I am near my family just outside of Boise, Idaho doing my internship, I really should get off my hobbies and finish my exams, this house build was actually a diversion tactic so I could put off my exams a little longer, I have six more to take before I can call my self an architect.

  • SeasonLaurel says:

    Hey Macy I just stumble across your site from HuffPo and I’m so happy to read over your posts and keep up for now on. I see we definitely are cut from the same cloth. I live without ‘stuff’ out of necessity (I move around the country often and can’t be bothered) but now that my hand embroidery biz is taking off I’m finding I need a way to keep my workshop mobile, and my tiny office/home/trailer idea was born! Also I ALWAYS travel with my best friend of 13 years, my dog, and it’s sometimes tough to find a place to stay. I’m thrilled to see how many others with similar ideas there are out there. Since I’m still in the planning stages, a blog like yours gives hope and inspiration to people like me trying to make a dream a reality! Thanks Macy!!
    Season Laurel

    • Macy M says:

      Hi Season Laurel, Thank you so much for your kind words, I am excited to hear that you get something from my site, that is what I was hoping for! It is a long journey but well worth it!

  • Kirst I says:

    Looks good, its very much functional without giving up the luxuries so many take for granted. I was once very high maintenance until I moved to the Rocky Mountains in Alberta Canada. There I lived in a small 10ft 1979 tin trailer, including the hitch. It was difficult and each day felt like a chore. For my fridge was a small cooler and washroom was an outhouse and water was in a small portable barrel. I showered at the local gym and rotated ice packs from the freezer at work. It was a tough transition, for the trunk of my small car became more and more of a dresser! Canadian winters are a little too harsh for what I ventured into. However, it is most definitely possible, with the right design! I learnt so much and had an amazing time. What I loved more was that the outdoors was my kitchen, my living room and my retreat! Being closer to the elements of nature and weather are liberating!!
    Since I am very much a fan and advocate of tiny home living, I know what it takes already. What I do question though is where people are putting these tiny homes? Renting a space to put your tiny home is more often than not just as pricey as renting a small apartment. Are people buying property? Do they intend to stay in someones back yard for years? Whats practical and where is it practical to live?
    Thank you in advance.

    • Macy M says:

      Hi Kristi-
      Wow, you are a bold woman! That is quite the adventure!
      I know a lot of people do rent a back yard or something but I agree, it gets spendy. TinyHouseListings has a sections dedicated to matching tinyhousers with people who have space for them, http://tinyhouselistings.com/tiny-house-parking/index.php?s=viewmore. I know there are a few developers who have contacted me about making a tiny house community, none of them to date as far as I know have been very successful at this. I have found a connection through a friend who charges me $200 bucks a month to park on his empty lot. It works well for me for now. I think the most successful tiny housers have a similar experience, it becomes a lot about your personal connections.
      Another idea I have explored is purchasing a house with a good sized lot to park on an then renting out the house portion so that a renter will pay the mortgage and I would essentially have free rent. that is a possibility I may be exploring further in the near future too! Some people like Kristie Wolfe have found incredibly great deals on parcels of land for their house.

  • emlevitan says:

    Hi Macy,

    I have spent all day online reading reading reading about tiny homes, looking at plans, dreaming big–tiny–dreams! I relate to everything you said about your reasons for moving in this direction. I am almost 56, and have lived my entire adult life in the Washington DC metro area in a lifestyle that has never suited me. The time has come to live authentically.

    Reading your story, and all the others who are embracing a simpler, mortgage-free lifestyle, is so inspiring. I plan to attend the Tiny House workshop in D.C. in January to get even more excited, and hope to start blogging this whole transition so that other Boomers like me who are looking to make a big change, might do so by thinking Small. : )

    Keep writing!

    Eileen

  • great idea i wanted to know do you have blue prints and also what happens when your Great Dane pupply outgrows the house

    • Macy M says:

      Hi! I am working on plans now since I have been nudged by a few people, if you wanted to sign up here, http://eepurl.com/LeAUD, I will be sure to get you an email when they are ready 🙂
      And Denver is out as soon as he outgrows it 😉 (TOTALLY kidding!) He is only ever going to grow into it, Danes are VERY lazy dogs, he is very content to sleep all day, even as a puppy. Right now he comes to work with me and then comes home to sleep, we keep a similar schedule, they tend to make great small space dogs because they are really just over-grown couch potatoes 🙂

  • I can’t remember how I came across your story but it is very exciting. I know what you mean about not needing so many things and that actually things get in the way of being able to produce. I live in a one-bedroom condo with about 683 square feet. I actually prefer sleeping in the living room, but it does get me away from the computer to go into the other room. I still haven’t bought a bed. I sleep on a mattress. When I lived in a studio over-looking the BART station in Berkeley, CA, I loved it but I was also painting in oils and large canvases. Sleeping in the same room with them gave me profound headaches. Now that I am not painting or doing portrait photography anymore, but now moving into strictly writing, I can imagine a smaller space. I am looking into buying a large Victorian and living in the smallest unit and renting out the other units. All I need is a shower, kitchen and room for a sofa and desk. I watch movies on my computer and don’t own a TV. What I have found is that it is not about the space but about the quality of the space, how it fits with what you do in that space. I am constantly at a desk and then go into the kitchen for food. I shower before I go to work and shower when I come home. In the minute, the place is a mess because I have been sick and I am trying to repair and paint so that I can sell. I really believe that smaller is better and easier to clean. The rest is just distraction.

  • […] Macy Miller was an architectural intern with a childhood dream of having her own self-contained home; her own little fort, if you will. […]

  • Peter DuPre says:

    Your tiny house is NOT a house. Yes, it is a nice little HOME but it has wheels and a trailer hitch. It is a 5th wheel trailer; it is not a house. As a small home, it is wonderful; as a house it doesn’t fulfill the technical requirements (i.e., it is permanently located and fixed to the ground). Nothing wrong with living in a 5th wheel, especially one a nice as yours. Great job…just don’t call it a house. Call it a home.

    • Macy M says:

      house
      noun
      hous/
      1.
      a building for human habitation, esp. one that is lived in by a family or small group of people.

      I think I qualify 🙂

      • J. Bentley says:

        Right on Macy – officious idiots need not commentate.
        Mr. Dupre, recall a particular ‘lesson’ from “Bambi”. Or as Eddie Murphy would say, “have a Coke and a smile and shut the **** up.”
        You’ve a lovely little house there – one with the added *benefit* of being portable, fashioned from the strength of your imagination.
        Well done.
        I’ll be borrowing the design in the not-too-distant future as a guest-house for friends. :0)

        Best,
        Jo

  • […] Macy Miller was an architectural intern with a childhood dream of having her own self-contained home; her own little fort, if you will. […]

  • Ashish Rana says:

    Hello Macy,

    The thing which brought me here was the title “Minimotives – Less is More”, as I also believe in the philosophy of minimalism. While going through your blog i can actually relate to many things, such as being passionate about building and design since childhood or the belief that everything in design should have some logic. The childhood part reminded me of my childhood, when i used to draw plans and tried to design something.

    I have just completed my architecture degree and your blog has inspired me in many ways. The bucket list section is quite amazing and inspiring. Looking forward to read more from you.

    Congratulations for the tiny house, that is really cool and amazing design.

    Ashish.

    • Macy M says:

      Ashish! Thank you for your note, I am happy to hear it is inspiring for you! I think there is something ingrained in the best designers from a young age that makes them think critically about design all throughout their lives and builds up to a great career! I wish you all the best in our field and congratulations, that degree is not an easy one, it’s SO fun though, please let me know if you ever need anything! Happy Holidays!! 🙂

  • U. Khan says:

    Where did you study architecture? I am interested myself in studying it…can you recommend good books on design, construction, architecture issues, etc? By the way, your tiny house is really amazing and inspiring!

    • Macy M says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I went to school at U of I here in Idaho. There area a lot of really great arch schools that will set you out ahead of the curve but the thing I love most about architecture is you can craft it completely to your own passions and you really do get out what you put into it. It is not an ‘easy’ path and you really have to want to do it for reasons other than money because it is a touch and competitive field. I LOVE it though, honestly, there is more to life than money and I get to work with great people, learn about so many different industries, help solve problems and color with markers and crayons :). If you have an interest in a specific area I suggest just reading more into that, as much as you can and it will lead to other things, there is ALWAYS interesting things to follow :). Is there a certain type of architecture you like? or a certain architect? I tend to gravitate to certain materials and methods and then read up on those, some of my favorite architects you could start at would be Renzo Piano and Tadao Ando, both for different reasons, Piano is very crafty and innovative with every building and Ando is very natural, worked his way up from being a general laborer into a major designer, he knows his materials and pushes them to the limits in his design! I also tend to look a lot into alternative home building methods like cob and strawbale. In my experience architecture is the design element and then there are all the methods of getting to the final product, a good architect can think outside of the box and knows a little bit about everything and can apply unusual concepts to every day ideas and make it into something better. If you had a more specific area I could probably try to point you to something more specific. What kind of architecture are you interested in? What makes you like architecture?

      • U. Khan says:

        Thanks for the reply; to answer your questions, I am interested in designing structures that are more than just functional (very interested in commercial buildings and residential homes). For me, a building should be artistic and reflect its surroundings in addition to being practical in terms of location and orientation within the environment. I’m also very interested in ways of making structures energy-efficient. For example, I like aerated autoclaved concrete as a building material because of its amazing properties (light weight, thermal efficiency, etc). Also, I love natural lighting – the more the better. If discrete ways are available to make maximum use of sunlight for off-the-grid energy (solar panels and such), I would use that in construction as well.

        A few architectural examples over the years that really inspired me are the bird’s nest Olympic stadium in China, the Vatican and other buildings I’ve seen in and around Rome (been all over Europe), Apple’s plans for a new campus in Cupertino, CA, the Sydney Opera House, various earthships in Southwest of the U.S., the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, and the Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove, CA. That last structure was designed by an architect I’ve read about: Philip Johnson. His use of glass and his rule-breaking work (like the Gate of Europe) speaks to me.

        Finally, what attracts me to architecture is the freedom to be creative and the excitement of letting a design materialize and develop. It is not just interdisciplinary engineering, but the fusion of that science with art, and that is an incredible framework in which to work. I just seems like a lot of fun to me.

        I like your perspective; thanks for the message. If you have any other advice, I’m listening!

        Happy Holidays!

        U. Khan

        • Macy M says:

          It sounds like you have more to teach me than I do you ;). You are definitely on the right path toward architecture and have a very varied pallet of interests, that’s cool to me (not a lot have that much variation!), The fun part now is finding your own way instead of piggy backing on others’ views! I can’t say I share your interests in design style based on some of the projects listed but I can certainly respect the passion in your words!

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