Creating Personal Utopias

What is a “home”? 

Is it different for each person, each culture, or are there consistent notions of what people define as “home”? 

Since most of my work has been and is with residential design I can’t help but come across this conundrum every time I begin a new project, meet a new client, visit a new job site.

When talking to clients I soon realize that the answer is not one dimensional. There are specific individual notions of what a “home” is based on personal experience and meaning, group notions and also collective notions. The layering of these for each person creates their own definition of “home”.

For example,  I have very positive memories of a beach home in Brazil in a seaside village (Angra dos Reis) about a two hour drive from Rio. I remember distinctly falling asleep on the bottom bunk of our white stucco built in beds, with only a cotton sheet on my skin fuming from spending the day in the sun, to the sound of the ocean tide rolling in an out of the Bay, leaves rustling, owls cooing, through the wooden shutters off the second floor balcony. This memory is forever engrained in my notion of “home” and until this day for my personal home I always create some conceptual connection to the ocean.

My self-imposed quest then as a designer is to go beyond trends and superficial solutions and instead to research and pick up on cues to understand my clients’ concept of “home” and then create spaces and designs that respond directly to this along with all their other needs.

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