The design process usually starts with a few complex questions:

“How long will this take?”    

“When will I receive a permit?”

Questions that speak to a complicated process that includes both time and patience.  We begin the process with a dialogue that involves inspiration, collaboration and arithmetic.

Inspiration creates good design.  Every project is different based on the connection to the lifestyle choices of the client.  A vision for how they live in their house combined with a wish list that will contribute to their comfort and enjoyment in the years to come.  The personality of the “family,” that will live in the house I’ve designed. 

We begin with a detailed questionnaire discussing “how they live.”
What is important and how they envision life in their new home, it is a very personal and invigorating experience.  I usually start formulating thoughts and ideas before we finish the discussion.  Our conversation creates inspiration.

My travels over the years contribute to the process by combining my personal experience with the wish list for each client.  I’ve incorporated many design features from around the world that just seem to connect with the family.  During the conceptual design presentation, I know I’m on the right track when I see their faces light up and smile.

Collaboration is important because every good designer knows that a great home is never created in isolation.  There are so many talented individuals who bring the design to life.  Framers, plumbers, electricians, stone carvers, brick layers, joiners, trim carpenters, and cabinet makers to name a few.  Of course, interior designers and landscape architects complete the story and as a team we contribute to the magic of every good design.

Arithmetic is the sacred geometry found behind the design process.  Geometry, trigonometry, algebra, calculus and simple mathematics are all foundational elements found within the design.  These disciplines have been handed down throughout the centuries and are as relevant now as they were thousands of years ago.

The mathematical calculations that must be exact to the fraction of an inch. These create the proportions, rhythm and beauty that we enjoy in our neighbourhoods and communities.  It is how the design comes to life not only on the drafting board but in the ground.  Architectural good manners completes the process and is paramount to the streetscape and what connects each family to their neighbourhood.

When we change just one element in the design it creates a domino affect that forces a number of dimensions to change, dimensions that are dependant on each other.

Just think of a rubik’s cube – it may sometimes take hours to get it “just right.” We often refer the rubik cube to the collaboration within the design. It looks deceptively easy, but it takes a skill that combines experience, talent and expertise.

I have had the honour of winning many awards in both Canada and the United States amongst a very talented group of peers and I’m always amazed that my design talent is recognized on both sides of the boarder.

To answer the question: “How long will this take?”  It depends on the number of times we have to go back to the rubik’s cube and solve the puzzle for good design.

What I am able to answer when we first meet?

“Great clients, inspire great houses” and I’ve had the pleasure of working with many wonderful families. 

John Williams
Architectural Designer
Williams Residential Design