Our Design Process

From first concepts sketched in pencil to accurate 3D computer models to beautiful finished results - quality of process is the underlying element throughout. The creation of beautiful and site-responsive buildings is an art that should be approached deliberately, creatively, joyously, and attentively. A good building lives much longer than it's inhabitants, and dramatically influences the quality of life of all those who spend time within its walls. We're committed to the craft of making structures that feel good, look great, and operate well.

Real-time 3D modeling is the right tool for the job. In the early phases of design, we'll work collaboratively with clients, using a digital projector to provide near-life-size imagery of the model as we begin to develop the plans. Pencil and paper still have an important roll in the design process, but taking a real-time walk-through of your new home is hard to beat.

Aaron Westgate fabricating custom steel table legs

Aaron Westgate fabricating custom steel table legs

Our design process is deeply informed by an understanding of materials and construction. Many architects and designers don't know how to build, leading them to develop designs that are impractical and unnecessarily expensive. Following the traditions taught at Yestermorrow Design/Build School, we believe deeply in the importance of understanding the details of any building project. We always aim to work collaboratively with engineers and builders in the early phases of the design process, to ensure that the whole team is on board with the project's vision. This way, construction details and problems are solved on the computer, not on the job-site, where mistakes are costly and disruptive. 

Strawbale Wall Detailing (Developed with  New Frameworks , VT)

Strawbale Wall Detailing (Developed with New Frameworks, VT)

Green design and construction is an implicit part of our practice. The realities of environmentally responsible building are nuanced and sometimes conflicting. Is it better to choose a more toxic material that will help the building stand for many more years? What is the sweet-spot of adding more insulation, and what kind of insulation is best for the specific application? Is concrete a sustainable material? We've been studying and answering these questions for over a decade, and we love to engage in the process of researching pathways towards better, greener buildings.