There’s no such thing as a blank slate. Share where you’re coming from as well as where you want to go. We start many projects with a personal “spatial” history that helps us understand our clients from the inside out. Collect images that resonate for you. Describe a place that remains vivid in your memory many years later.
Soft focus. Be true to what matters but flexible about how to accomplish it. Be open to ideas from all directions. Start with a list of goals like: “create a welcoming place to share with family and friends” or “design a house with art at the heart of it.” With these principles in mind, the details will fall into place.
Don’t be shy. Many problems can be solved–or avoided in the first place—through better communication. Don’t hesitate to voice your hopes and fears, however irrational they may seem to you. We love clients who are comfortable speaking up, offering their ideas, and questioning ours.
One Size Does Not Fit All. Some clients are comfortable reading plans, some need perspective sketches or models to understand a design. Be sure to tell your architect when you don’t understand a term or a drawing. Part of our job is to teach you our language; the other is to speak yours.
Join the Fun. Don’t let being a beginner hold you back. Look for ways to draw on your expertise in other areas to contribute to the design process. We love learning from other fields and encourage clients to try their hand at putting things on paper. We’ve had clients send us ideas rendered on napkins, excel spreadsheets, and modeled using playdough and macaroni!